At least once a week, I have the good fortune to spend time with (aka, babysit) my nieces, Katie (age 7) & Ella (age 3). Usually, I babysit the girls at my house, and what makes me really happy is that the girls seem to LOVE coming to my house. They feel very comfortable here, and they know exactly where everything is at - from the TV remote controls, to their toys, to which cabinet I keep the snacks (including their own secret stash of chocolate), to The Scrapbook Cellar (aka, the basement), where we complete our own craft projects to give Mommy after she works. The girls have never turned down an offer to come to my house.
Because the girls spend time here on a regular basis, I decided to designate a space where they could keep a few of their toys, etc. It began with a drawer in the kitchen. Mental note - I've got to clean this drawer out.
Well, that drawer did not last very long, as their supply of items began to grow and overflow the drawer. So we moved on to a closet (yes, I am lucky enough to have an extra closet that was not being used!). This closet now keeps all their prized possessions (along with a few of my office supplies).
Then we had a predicament: what to do with the pictures and notes the girls draw and give to me. So, instead of hanging these things on the refrigerator (magnets don't work on my stainless steel refrigerator anyway), we decided to start hanging things inside kitchen cabinets. It all began with Katie's things, and this cabinet is now referred to as "Katie's Cabinet".
There isn't much hanging in Ella's cabinet yet, but I know it will fill up fast, and then we will move on to another cabinet. Katie's even told me that by the time she is 10 years old, she hopes to have filled up ALL the cabinets in my kitchen. We shall see.
I hope that Katie and Ella always feel comfortable here, and I hope that they never stop wanting to come here. But who am I kidding - they will eventually turn in to teenagers, and I'm sure someday they will say, "We don't want to go to Auntie's." But for now, they love coming to my house, and I'm just going to enjoy it for as long as I can.