The good news is, the answer is right there. By designating the ultimate kids’ playroom in your home, you are encouraging playtime in that amazing space you have created just for them.
According to a recent Today’s Parent article called “Six time savers for moms,” by Karen Robock, allotting your children unstructured play can make you more efficient as a parent; your kids unleash their creativity and entertain themselves while you take care of any tasks you might have.
Albert Einstein said it best: “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
Enjoy these tips on creating the perfect playroom, while maintaining decorum in the rest of your home.
Map out the playroom
The first step, according to Lori Anders of Lori Anders Design, is designating different sections to the assigned play space. For example, split the playroom into the following parts: an arts and crafts section, activity corner, reading / “quiet time” area, and finally, the adult corner.
Let’s take a look at each part…
Arts and crafts section: it’s always amazing to see your children’s imagination at work, and if you like to avoid Play-Doh and finger painting around the house, then let them go wild in their “studio.” Add an art easel or a mini table with chairs, and let the kids channel their inner artist within.
Got a mini Picasso in your midst? Hang their artwork proudly on the walls; this is a fantastic way to encourage their creativity and use your children’s projects as décor.
Anders also recommends applying chalkboard paint on a wall: “It’s a fun way for your children to literally draw on the walls and eliminates the temptation of them drawing on other walls in the house!” Benjamin Moore has a line of chalkboard paint, which can be found at any home improvement store. For a fun do-it-yourself project, frame the section of that wall with moldings or colored paint, so that your kids’ chalk artwork is always on display.
Activity corner: there’s no shortage of fun and functional toys that are still big on aesthetics. KidKraft and Melissa & Doug boast modern-looking wood kitchens and grocery stands – the kids’ kitchens might even rival your own!
If you’re looking for a toy that gets the kids running around indoors, look no further than the Ikea play tunnel. Bonus: It’s easy to stow away when not in use.
Even today’s foam tiles are aesthetically pleasing: Skip Hop makes nice interlocking foam tiles in an array of designs and colors, and you can even find options that look like a faux wooden floor. Amazing!
Reading area: Bookshelves and proper seating is key. There are wonderful fabric shelf options (a great way to avoid sharp corners), whether ground level or suspended. To add to the room’s cozy feel, opt for a plush kid-friendly area rug, and beanbags or a “swivel/pod” chair (Ikea has an excellent version).
Adult corner: If possible, carve a space for the adults to supervise while the kids are in the playroom. All you need is a couch or seat, and Anders recommends subbing a coffee table with an ottoman, to avoid sharp corners and dangerous edges.
In a survey I conducted with my mommy friends, the number one playroom priority “was keeping it neat.” To this end…
Containers or cubbies are crucial – keep those containing safe and easy-to-put-away toys at ground level, so the kids can participate in cleaning up. Any bins containing smaller pieces should be stored higher up, within your reach. Soon enough your children will get used to where they can find (and put away) their favorite toys. You can find lovely ones at Ikea or even Pottery Barn Kids.
General décor for playrooms
Playrooms are a great opportunity to go bright and funky when it comes to accessories. Anders suggests avoiding themes: “It’s better to decorate with wall decals, which are versatile and easy to replace when your child moves on to his next favorite cartoon character.”
Looking for more playroom inspiration? Websites like Pinterest are rife with playroom photos and DIY ideas, and there are a slew of bloggers dedicated to the task. Visit design-centric e-tailers like DwellStudio.com and e-zines such as ApartmentTherapy.com for even more ideas.
And remember; just because this is your children’s playroom, there’s no reason why you can’t have a blast creating that perfect space for your little ones…
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