Specialty Rooms: The Playroom

Kids need their space to play.  Often the bedroom becomes full of all the necessitates of life: bed, clothes, desk, etc, that there is not enough room to play.  As parents, you don’t really want your child’s toys taking over the house, but you want them to still be able to play.  The answer is a designated place to play: The Playroom.  Now, not everyone has a empty room around the house that can magically turn into a playroom, though if you do, you are among the lucky.  So I have a few ideas on how to turn whatever space you have available into a special place just for kids that will make them want to play for hours.

First, you must get organized.  Whether you have a big space or a small space, organization is the key to a successful playroom.  The saying goes, ‘A place for everything, and everything in its place.”  This rings true, especially for kids.  It is hard to get kids to clean up, but if the room is organized with cubbies, cabinets, baskets, etc that have labels and specific purposes, then clean-up becomes a game trying to put everything back in its correct place.  The best way to organize any space is with designated storage areas.  For most efficient use of space, cubbies or shelves that cover a large wall offer vertical storage and keep floor space clear.  However, in your design, remember how tall your kids are.  You can design storage that is taller, because we all know kids grow, but keep their favorite toys and books on lower shelves for easy access, with other toys and games that you want to be adult supervised on upper shelves where they are out of reach of little hands.  To keep things in their place, labeling buckets or baskets with the contents help remind your kids where their toys go and will also allow you the opportunity to personalize the storage with design and color in the labels.

The second goal for the room is to make it personal.  The playroom is for your kids, so it should reflect what they like.  Paint it their favorite color or design the theme around their favorite animal or sport.  If their are old enough, they could even help pick out the color or the decorations for the room.  It will make them feel included in the creation of the room as well as making it feel like their own special place.  You may be asking how to make a playroom personal to your kids if you have more than one.  Well there are several possible approaches to this.  You can divide out the room and designate a specific area for each child.  Perhaps each on gets a wall or a corner section, where they can decide the decoration, and the cubbies are for their toys and books only.  This way each child has their special area while putting collective toys and books in a common area for everyone to share.  Another option (especially if you have boys and girls) is to appeal to all audiences, with a mix of colors and designs.  Stay in the primary color ranges which appeal to both boys and girls and focus on fun patterns, shapes and colors instead of gender specific designs.  With this route I would also suggest the separate personalized storage areas for each kid, whether they are in separate areas or just differentiated by color or name.  And remember, no matter what, the fun is in the details.  Accessories the room with fun mirrors, pictures, posters, or wall art.  You can also paint the storage cubbies or furniture to match the room.  Typically an all surface spray paint works on most furniture without sanding or stripping the existing finish.  Just pick a well ventilated area and put down protective covers on anything you don’t want painted.

And finally make it FUN!  There are so many creative options you have for a playroom that yours or your child’s imagination should be the limit of what the space can become.  You can make the room into an art studio and gallery if your child like to be creative.  Maybe you build up a partition with a wall cutout for a  stage, so your kids can put on concerts and puppet shows for you and their friends.  Or you turn your playroom into a playground.  This option is great if you have a lot of space (maybe a basement area) and if you live in a climate where your kids are stuck indoors for many months.  A fort is another option that can transform the whole room or part of it into a whole new world for your child to play in.  The goal of the room is to enhance your child’s experience while playing with their toys, doing art projects, reading books and just having fun being a kid.  Though the perk of a designated toy space and keeping everything organized is a side bonus for the parents.

So get organized and have fun.  Remember, just because it is your child’s playroom doesn’t mean you can’t join in the fun.

Written By: JoAnna Landers

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