What Makes a Great Playroom?
A playroom is a wonderful thing; it’s a space for your children to let loose and have fun, and when your children have such a space it means you get the chance to have some time for yourself. The luxury of a playroom lets your kids hang out in their own special place while you relax or take care of any household chores that need to be crossed off the list.
But it’s important that you understand the playroom isn’t just some place to stick the kids while you unwind or tackle any number of daily tasks. Whether you realize it or not, the playroom is actually more than a place just for play—it’s also a place for your children to learn and grow; that’s why your playroom needs to be more than just a designated place for playing with and keeping toys.
If your children’s playroom is going to be an environment of growth, stimulation, and intellectual development there’s some things you’re going to have to consider when putting it all together. Whether you’re taking into account the way you set up all the stuff you put inside, or how you arrange your children’s playroom—it all matters.
Keep the playroom organized
Organization is key. For one, you don’t want to have any room in your home that’s just a mass of total clutter. In addition to keeping the room tidy, an organized playroom teaches your kids about keeping toys and other things where they belong, while also giving them the opportunity to see all that they have available to them in a way that’s totally accessible. Your kids will be able to jump in and play right away instead of spending a bunch of time roaming around the room looking for their favorite toys. Treasure hunts can be fun, but you don’t want your kids to have to dig up whatever toy they want to play with. By the time they find it, they might already getting exhausted or bored.
If you want to keep the playroom organized, you’re going to have to make sure you have all the proper storage. Of course, the way you store depends on the space you have available, but you should still be able to find a perfectly practical way to keep things in order.
Wall shelves are always a great idea since they keep everything on one side of the room (or at least keep a lot of stuff from just sitting on the middle of the floor). The wall shelves will also make it so that your kids can see everything clearly—giving them a good idea of what all their options for fun are.
You might also want to try cube storage bins if you have space, and bookshelves are great too. You can use bookshelves to store a number of toys and playthings, but having some books is never a bad idea. We all know that reading is good for the brain, and you want to make sure your children are always getting the necessary intellectual stimulation they need.
If space permits, you might even want to get your kids a book nook, this way they have a unique space to read and learn. Storage hammocks are a great idea as well.
Toys that encourage creativity
You may not realize it, but you get your kids all sorts of fun toys that will encourage your kids to get creative. After all, the playroom should be a place where you kids have a place to expand their minds and horizons, and allowing them to explore their creative side is an excellent way to do just that.
There’s a reason that lots of schools and summer camps include arts and crafts in the curriculum. Art is loads of fun, but it’s also incredibly mentally stimulating and encourages your kids to think in ways they wouldn’t necessarily do if they weren’t crafting their own artistic masterpieces.
Allowing your children the ability to create their own artistic works isn’t only fun, but it makes it so that your children develop the ability to express themselves. Making art and painting or drawing is all about exercising freedom of the mind, and giving your kids access to art at home will give them the creative skills that are so integral to the emotional growth they need to become individualistic thinkers and creators.
You want to give your children the opportunity to think for themselves and to think critically. When you provide your children with art supplies, you give them the chance to both have a blast and develop the skills needed to ensure emotional and mental growth.
Also, children are often in the playroom without the supervision of parents, so they won’t necessarily receive any outside suggestions that might stifle their creativity. Not that your presence in the playroom is a negative one at all, but they’ll be given the space they need to reflect upon the world around them and express themselves in a healthy way.
Given all this, you might want to get your kids an easel with some non-toxic paint.
Chalkboard or writing wall
Having a chalkboard or writing wall is also a great way for your kids to express themselves without all the mess of them writing all of your living room walls. Since chalkboards and writings walls are flat, they take up very little space. The mess is also kept to a minimum. Once you have the chalkboard or the wall, there are relatively little financial expenses after that. You won’t need to continually buy paint or paper, you’ll just have to buy some chalk. Of course, if you have both an easel and paint and a chalkboard, your kids will have more than one medium to express themselves.
Visual art isn’t the only creative practice that your children can partake in to stay stimulated and sharp. Getting your kids toy musical instruments is another great way to foster your children’s creativity. They can make up their own songs—with their very own melodies, tunes, and lyrics—and they can even do a little dancing. Dancing is lots of fun and it also expends energy. So, giving your kid the chance to compose their own unique songs isn’t only stimulating—but if they find that their tunes are worth moving to—they’ll also get a little tuckered out and maybe sleep a little easier.
There’s no shortage of instruments you can get for your kids. Toy xylophones, toy pianos and keyboards, toy guitars, toy drum sets, and even toy microphones. There’s no shortage of any of these instruments on the market. You can give your kids the chance to start their very own band if you want. If it’s only one kid your dealing with, you can give her the chance to master a multitude of instruments.
Spaces, toys, and equipment for imaginary play
A great playroom is all about fostering creativity and imaginative thinking. Kids love playing pretend and make-believe —and if you give them the space to do so—you can take their imaginative skills to another level.
As far as spaces are concerned, you might want to think about getting your kids toy tents or cottages. A tent can be used as a little sanctuary of sorts for your kids (much like a fort), and cottages are perfect for creating a wide array of imaginary activities. Having a cottage is a great opportunity to let your kids play house since they’ll have a little home that’s all their own.
One neat thing about playing house is that children typically take on the roles of responsible adults who have to keep their homes intact, so playing house is actually a fantastic way to teach your kids a little bit about responsibility. They could very well learn the priceless value of having a home, and learn that there’s a lot that goes into taking care of a home. House is lots of fun and also encourages mature thinking.
A tent filled with pillows and stuffed animals is also a great place for some cozy rest and relaxation.
Getting your kids costumes for their playroom will only broaden their imaginative thinking. You could try princess and prince costumes for fancy pretend parties, various superhero costumes, pirate costumes, ninja costumes, animal costumes—really the list goes on and on. You can stock up maybe by holding on to some Halloween costumes, and every now and then maybe buy your kid something new and inexpensive if they feel like changing up their game of make-believe from time to time.
Tables and chairs
Tables and chairs are not only practical, but they can also serve as another medium for imaginary thinking. Kids love having tea parties, and it isn’t exactly common practice to have a tea party on the floor. When you get your little ones tables and chairs in tandem with a cottage or even a tent, it will give your kids the chance to host their own little soiree.
And of course, there’s the practical aspect of having tables and chairs. If your kids have art supplies, it gives them a place to sit and draw if they don’t feel like sitting at the easel. And don’t forget, the tables and chairs have to be tailored specifically for the size of your kids. You don’t have to put a dining room table in by any means.
Dollhouses and train sets
Toys like dollhouses and train sets are also a great way to stimulate the imagination of your kids. While having a cottage allows your kids to play “real life” house, you can pretty much create the same effect with a dollhouse. A train set is fun too so your kid can play conductor.
There certainly isn’t anything wrong with keeping the walls of the playroom blank, but you might want to consider fun decorations for your playroom. Maybe you could get some neat designs and patterns on the walls, or have decorations such as streamers. The playroom is meant for having fun, so you might as well make the room look like a fun place to play and hang out in. All the toys and supplies will be appealing in themselves, but there’s nothing wrong with adding a little flair.
Keep your playroom safe
You want your kids to have a blast in the playroom, but you want to make sure that everybody stays safe. Make sure to keep outlets covered, and make sure you don’t get any toys that are too small to choke on. It can be pricey—but if it’s at all possible—you might want to consider carpeted floors. If that’s not in your budget you should still consider rugs. Anything that’ll make the environment a little softer for your kids is a good idea.
Always keep the purpose of the playroom in mind
Regardless of what you stock the playroom with, remember what the playroom is all about: it’s about having a good time while also allowing your kids to stimulate their minds. You want to give your kids a place where they can be masters of their own universe. Give them an entire world where they can explore themselves. If they have a space that allows them to explore themselves, reflect, and create—they’ll be learning more about themselves and the world around them. You want to make sure your kid is always growing emotionally and intellectually—and maybe you never thought about it, but the playroom is the perfect place for that growth to occur.