Children’s toys seem to have a way of multiplying overnight. You go to sleep in a clean house and wake up to a hazard of toys; on the stairs, in doorways and bathtubs. If you have the space, one solution is to keep the majority of the toys all together in a playroom. This can either be a basement space or in a spare room, that will become a play space. If you use a large area in a basement, this space can serve double duty as a family room.
Some things to consider:
There is some allure to a special room that holds all the toys and keeps them away from the rest of your living space, and it can be tempting to just throw in every toy they own and run in the other direction. However, you’re not doing your children any favors by letting them live in an unorganized chaos. If you want them to keep clean rooms and know how to keep things organized later in life, it works against you to allow a free-for-all in the playroom.
Clear bins on low shelves that children can reach themselves, work much better than a toy box or a labeling system. In a dark and deep toy box, children must dig down to the bottom to find their toy of choice and are not very likely to put everything else back in afterwards. There is also a safety concern, because where hard and soft toys are arranged in the same box a hard toy, previously moved aside, can slide back down onto their hand while looking. Labeling bins only work once children are of reading age, you can try to add a pictorial label to colored bins, instead of using clear bins which show the toys inside. Either type can be covered by a curtain or cupboard door, if you’re looking for a tidy aesthetic.
As far as the type of toys and activities you should include in the playroom, it depends on the size of the space you have to work with. If possible, it’s best to organize the playroom into different areas: an artwork area, possibly with hard-surface flooring for easy cleanup, where children can do drawing or painting and hang their works of art. Another play area can consist of their bins or toys and the floor space needed for playing with them, which can be split up even further into areas for construction toys, active play such as running around with an airplane, or even a doll house area. A reading area where their books are stored and where there are child-sized chairs or bean bags to sit on while reading is another good idea. Dress-up areas are also a good addition, and they are usable for both boys and girls, princess costumes are as easy to find as cowboy ones. Basically any area or “station” that you’ve seen in a classroom or a daycare setting can be included in your playroom. Even if you only have one open area for play, you can still create all these activities in your space, if your children can be taught to put away each activity before bringing out the next one.
Safety is of paramount importance in a child’s playroom and added measures can help keep your little ones from harm. Many companies offer extra cushiony underlay or even rubber flooring, such as that in gyms, which can make any falls less dangerous. If you include any freestanding shelving units, such as bookcases, make sure that they have been secured to the wall properly and if possible into a stud, so that they cannot tip over or fall forwards. If any of your furniture, shelves or tables, have sharp corners consider rounding them off. These steps won’t insure that your child never gets hurt, they seem to have a knack for it no matter what, but an ounce of prevention is still worth a pound of cure.
Enjoy the playroom gallery and share your favorite!
Using clear bins will create a wall that looks very busy, but if no other wall is patterned, these bins will add interest to the space and let you see what you have.
Whether you go with clear bins or colored ones, they can be hidden by curtains.
Window seats provide storage and seating and are especially good for story time.
Stuffed animals usually end up all over the place, but there are many storage solutions including this crate zoo, or even a behind the door shoe hanger for the smaller animals.
These wire photo-hanging systems are great for hanging artwork, and/or letting paintings dry.
If you’re planning the space from scratch include some cabinetry as a surface and storage.
Chalkboard paint on one wall makes labeling easier and the remainder of the wall is a canvas ready to be decorated.
Photo shelves make a great library nook for skinny story books.
Themed rooms can be amazing, but make sure your children are young enough that you won’t have to change the décor for a long while.
This playroom has been decorated in a more mature style that may last into preteen years.
Adding a television to the space is great for games and movies.
The key to organization is having a spot to put everything away in.
Here foam puzzle-piece flooring is used to protect from trips and falls.
If you have the ceiling height and your children are old enough not to need constant supervision consider adding a large play apparatus.
A sun room near the kitchen or living room can also make a great playroom because it is close enough to keep an eye on children while you’re making dinner or visiting with guests.
This playroom is part of a young girl’s bedroom, but due to the smaller scale of children’s furniture she still has enough space to create imaginary food in the kitchen and serve it to her imaginary friends.