For families with kids, the living room can be the busiest place in the house. It often becomes home to all the toys and mess that’s made during playtime. Having a functional space dedicated to play can make a world of difference.
Even if you don’t have an entire room, you can still give your kids a play area they’ll love and play in for hours on end, whether it’s with you, their siblings, or friends. Plus, this dedicated space will help you keep all their toys and clutter contained to one area.
Here are our top tips for creating a play area of your kids’ dreams that will also help keep your house organised and tidy!
1. Create a zone with a rug or playmat
The first step when setting up a play area in any room of your house is to establish where it will be. You don’t need to build, instead mapping out the dedicated space is as easy as adding a colourful rug.
This will not only make it easy for your kids to identify where they can play, but can also help keep the area tidy. You can even set a rule that toys have to stay on the rug!
If you’re unsure of what kind of rug to buy, start with a soft but sturdy one, so it’s both comfortable for your kids but can also take some wear and tear. Better yet, why not go with a playmat? Think those classic toy car street mats or even go for a fun pattern!
2. Use colour to bring the play area to life
As well as a rug, finding other ways to incorporate colour will really bring the area to life (don’t worry, you won’t have to get the paint out to do it).
You can easily add colour by hanging up your kids’ artwork on a nearby wall (essentially creating their own art gallery) or adding some wall decals. You can even create a cosy art or reading area with some colourful floor cushions and a soft blanket for when they want to curl up with some of their favourite books.
The great thing about artwork, wall decals, and colourful cushions is that they can be easily changed to suit your kids’ tastes as they explore different hobbies and get older.
3. Include storage options
While creating a zone for the play area will help your kids keep their toys in one place, you’ll still need storage options to keep everything tidy.
Set up a couple of storage baskets in the corner of the play area. If you need more than a few baskets, but don’t want to use up too much space in the play area, a storage rack against a wall or in the corner is ideal. You can even utilise the walls by adding some sturdy hooks that you can hang bags on for storing lighter items.
4. Include some kid-friendly furniture
While a rug or playmat is comfortable for your kids to sit on and play for a while, some kid-friendly furniture will bring the space to life and make playdates with their friends easier.
You don’t need to buy a whole kiddie lounge set, just keep it simple with a kid-size table and chairs, or even some flip-out sofas that can be upgraded to beanbags when they get older. Finish it off with some of their favourite plush toys to keep them company while they play!
5. Don’t forget the toys (and to rotate them)
Last but certainly not least, add your kids’ toys to the play area. As you’re creating an area and not a room, have your kids choose some of their favourite toys from their bedroom to put in the space and rotate them weekly. This way they won’t get bored and all their toys will be played with eventually.
One system for rotating the toys is by theme. One week you could have plush toys, the next “dress-up week” with some costumes, the week after that book week, and so on.
The good thing about creating a play area rather than a whole play room is that it can easily be redecorated as your kids’ tastes change over time. The colourful rug can be replaced if their favourite colours change, the playmat can be swapped out for a patterned rug, and the artwork can be replaced with a hanging tapestry or canvas print. You can even replace the storage rack with a small bookshelf and transition the play area into a reading nook. The possibilities are endless.
But for now, with these five steps you’ll definitely be able to give your kids the play area of their dreams and keep a loving, watchful eye on them from the comfort of your lounge.
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