Whether you have a large space or a corner in an apartment, setting up a playroom gives your kids a place to call their own—and a way to keep toys from taking over the house.
Larger room offer more opportunity for different play centres (a kitchen area, a craft area), but even in a small space you can think along the same creative lines. Start with decorating—think about what colours and themes your kids like. Whether one wall or four, you could paint with bright tones, chalkboard paint or magnetic paint. You could decorate with wall stickers to create a dinosaur or underwater scene. You could also keep the wall a low-key colour to blend with the rest of the house but put up the kids’ favourite art to make that “nook” their own.
Think about storage—not only will it keep your house tidy, but it will make finding things easier for the whole family. An old suitcase can hold dress-up clothes, tin cans can be covered with construction paper or felt to make pencil and marker holders. Get a few colourful boxes from a storage store and allocate them for different items like dolls, cars, stuffed animals. Label each with a photo or picture. Even the youngest kids will know where things go. Toy hammocks are a great way for larger stuffed animals to be stored off the floor, but still in sight.
Steal tips from professional spaces like daycares and kindergartens—everything is washable, there are throw pillows around for floor-play and there is a lot of open space. Even with limited space, you can create a small “work station” area for crafts and then add a beanbag chair and lamp for a “reading corner”. This differentiation helps children to focus and concentrate.
When it comes to furniture, keep it simple. Open bins are easy for all ages to access. A desk is great for building Lego structures or colouring. A low bookcase allows kids to easily grab their favourite stories. A colourful area rug can delineate a kid’s space even if it’s not in a separate room.
If you have too many toys, store some out of sight and then rotate them in. Your playroom will be uncluttered, toys will be easier to find and the kids will be excited to get new items every once in a while.