Long before your kiddo is even on the move, she'll start accumulating toys at a rapid pace. One minute your living room is totally spotless, and the next thing you know, it’s taken over by activity mats and wooden blocks. Kids sure do come with a lot of stuff, but creating a designated playroom or area in your home won’t just cut down on the chaos — it will also help encourage little ones to get lost in their imagination within a space that feels their very own.
Tips for creating a kids' playroom
Have a strategy
Before you start hauling in a mountain of playthings, break the room up into sections and think about how to best organize the various “zones.” Each zone can encourage different kinds of play, which will also make it easier to remember what goes where when it comes to clean-up time.
If your child loves coloring and crafts, think about creating an activity corner where she can unleash her inner Picasso. (Think: a kid-sized table and chairs, bins to hold construction paper and coloring books and a hanging shoe organizer on the wall to store markers, crayons and more inside.) Want to encourage more reading? Create a cozy library nook with all of her books in one place, next to anursery glider or beanbag to make storytime even cozier.
Encourage independent play
The benefits of playtime are pretty much endless. Encouraging little ones to play pretend can boost her language development, promote socialization with others and even give her a sense of empowerment. Kids learn by doing, and for toddlers who are just beginning to stretch their little imaginations, it’s important to give them some space to do that on their own (while keeping a watchful eye, of course!).
Let her whip you up something to eat in her mini kitchen set, or figure out a puzzle on her own without intervention. You don’t have to leave the room to teach small kids how to play independently, but you do need to allow them some breathing room so she can make her own fun.
Don’t forget to babyproof
Just because the playroom is filled with lots of kid-friendly toys doesn’t mean you should forget tried-and-true babyproofing rules. If you're not careful, a playroom can still pose some potential hazards.
Remember to block your child's access to any dangerous areas by placingbaby gates at the tops and bottoms of staircases and kid-proof locks on cabinets and any doors that may lead outside, or to other rooms that are off-limits. It’s also important to anchor any heavy furniture you may have in the playroom (or any room of the house, for that matter) to prevent tip-over risks. And if you have a TV in the playroom—or any other electronic item that may require a cord— buy a safety kit or cable concealer to keep them away from curious little hands.
After that? Let the fun begin!
Kids' playroom ideas
Consider a gender-neutral color palette
The playroom doesn’t have to be just a glorified dumping ground for toys. In many ways, it can reflect as much style as other rooms in your house, with trendy area rugs, eye-catching wall prints and other tasteful accents. Just like your nursery, a playroom also doesn’t have to scream “boy” or “girl,” with pink or blue walls.
Think about incorporating a gender-neutral color palette like this one, which will give the room a unique look, but also allow you to move furniture or decor items into other rooms of the house as your child grows and the playroom changes.
Add a mini indoor slide
View this post on Instagram
I really love this wall, it’s so cool? . Toivottavasti teillä on ollut kiva päivä. Täällä not so much kun Vivi heräs viime yönä sata kertaa ja mikään ei kelvannut koko päivänä. Toivottavasti tänä yönä voitais nukkua ?????? Hyvää yötä?? . . . . Coolest solar system stickers gifted @stickstay.se ?? . #stickstay #kidsroom #kidsinterior #interiorforkids #interior #myhome #styling #kidsroomstyling #dreamyinteriors #solarsystem #oyoyhomes #oyoymini #bluewall #lastenhuone #barnerominspo #barnerum #instablogit #scandikids
A post shared by kidsroom ?? kids style ?? home (@a.parikka) on
Rainy day got you down? Bring the playground indoors! A pint-sized slide like this one is perfect for kids who are always active (and it will definitely help them get out all that extra energy). You may want to wait until your kiddo is out of toddlerhood to add this to the playroom, or just make sure you’re always close by when it’s in use.
Create a cozy reading corner
Help your child get lost in stories of lands far, far away by turning one corner of the room into a mini library. Opting for an easy-access bookshelf like this one will encourage tiny readers to pick out their own books, too, since the covers are clearly on display. Remember to hang it at a low height so it’s not out of reach for your little one if she’d like to read to herself.
Make an art station
As your kiddo grows, she’ll enjoy making her own artistic creations at preschool and feel extra proud when you hang them up on the fridge. But who says art class has to stay in school? Setting up a space like this one, which has everything your little one needs to create a brand-new masterpiece every day, will keep her busy for hours.(Bonus: This crafts table even has a hidden compartment inside, so it can double as a sensory table, too!)
DIY a craft trolley
If your child has way too many arts and crafts items to store on one table, or even inside a kid-sized desk, flexing your DIY skills to create a small craft trolley might be the way to go. The fact that it’s on wheels makes the trolley easy to move from place to place, and its many roomy compartments will help you store and label crayons, markers and glue sticks so clean-up is a breeze. (But let’s be honest — it’s also just super adorable!)
Focus on pretend toys
If you’re adding any new toys to the playroom, think about ones that will encourage imaginative play. This kind of play starts early (around 18 to 24 months), and is a vital part of any child’s physical and intellectual development. Choose toys that resemble things from the real world, like this toy kitchen set.
Expand horizons with a map on the wall
Making the playroom a fun learning space isn’t just about bringing in toys that teach the A-B-Cs and 1-2-3s. (Though those are pretty great, too!) Consider adding a colorful globe or map to the room so you can talk to your child about the world that exists beyond her front door. She may not be reciting state capitals by heart by the time she’s in kindergarten, but it will help orient her early, and give her a sense of understanding about this great big world we live in.
Utilize easy-access storage bins
Chances are, your playroom will quickly be overrun by action figures, building blocks, dolls and other small toys, so having a place to store each of them — that’s clearly labeled and easy to access —will make all the difference. These plastic bins easily slide out like drawers on a dresser, and are labeled with visual cues that help little ones know what goes where during clean-up time.
Paint a colorful wall mural
You don’t have to shell out big bucks on wall hangings, shelving units or paintings to add some color to an otherwise blank space if you don’t want to. Consider adding a pop of color by unleashing some of your own creative skills, like this mom did with a hand-painted rainbow mural. It’s simple, fairly easy to execute and will add just the right amount of whimsy to any playroom. (Just remember to thoroughly plan and sketch out your idea before dipping your paint brush!)
Throw down a playmat that doubles as a stylish rug
Investing in playroom decor with dual functions is always a good idea. For rooms with wood floors, why not opt for floor mats that create soft, cushiony surfaces for babies and small kids? Options like this one offer just the right amount of protection from the floor’s hard surface, while also adding a stylish detail to the room that makes it pop.
Add a touch of whimsy wherever you can
Aside from your child’s nursery, the playroom is the one place in the house where you can let your inner kid out when decorating. This room features wall decals of hot air balloons and a whimsical canopy curtain to provide space for playing or reading.
Don’t forget to add ample seating
Your little one will need a comfy place to rest in between building castles out of wooden blocks and playing endless hours of dress-up. Add some kid-sized furniture made just for her — like a tiny lounge chair monogrammed with her name.
Was this article helpful?
Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts
As an expert in child development and playroom design, I can provide you with valuable insights and knowledge on creating a functional and engaging playroom for your child. I have extensive experience in this field and have helped numerous parents create play spaces that promote creativity, imagination, and independent play.
Tips for Creating a Kids' Playroom
Before we delve into the concepts used in this article, let's discuss some general tips for creating a kids' playroom:
Have a strategy: Before bringing in a ton of toys, it's important to plan out the space and divide it into different sections or "zones." Each zone can serve a specific purpose, such as an activity corner for arts and crafts or a cozy reading nook. This organization will make it easier to keep the playroom tidy and for your child to find what they need during playtime.
Encourage independent play: Independent play is crucial for a child's development. It helps them develop problem-solving skills, creativity, and a sense of autonomy. Create a space where your child can play on their own without constant supervision. Provide age-appropriate toys and activities that they can engage with independently.
Babyproof the playroom: Even though the playroom is filled with toys, it's important to ensure that it is a safe environment for your child. Take measures to babyproof the space, such as installing baby gates, securing heavy furniture to prevent tip-overs, and keeping hazardous items out of reach.
Consider a gender-neutral color palette: The playroom is an opportunity to showcase your child's personality and style. Consider using a gender-neutral color palette that can grow with your child and be easily transitioned to other rooms in the future.
Now, let's break down the concepts used in this article:
Creating Different Zones in the Playroom
The article suggests dividing the playroom into various zones to cater to different types of play. By creating distinct areas, you can encourage specific activities and make it easier to organize and clean up. Some examples of zones mentioned in the article include:
Activity Corner: This zone is dedicated to arts and crafts. It can include a kid-sized table and chairs, storage bins for art supplies, and a hanging shoe organizer on the wall to store markers, crayons, and other materials.
Cozy Library Nook: This zone is designed to promote reading. It can feature a bookshelf with easy-access shelves to display books, a comfortable chair or beanbag, and soft lighting for a cozy reading experience.
Mini Kitchen Set: This zone encourages pretend play and imagination. It can include a play kitchen set where your child can pretend to cook and serve meals. This type of play helps develop language skills, socialization, and problem-solving abilities.
Art Station: This zone is dedicated to artistic activities. It can include a table or easel with art supplies such as paper, crayons, markers, paints, and brushes. Having a dedicated space for art allows your child to freely explore their creativity.
Additional Ideas for a Playroom
The article also suggests several other ideas to enhance the playroom experience:
Mini Indoor Slide: Adding a small indoor slide provides a fun and active element to the playroom. It helps children release energy and engage in physical play.
Colorful Wall Mural or Decals: Adding a colorful wall mural or decals can transform the playroom into an imaginative and visually stimulating space. It adds a touch of whimsy and personalization.
Easy-Access Storage Bins: Using storage bins that are labeled and easily accessible helps keep the playroom organized. Clear visual cues enable children to independently clean up and find toys.
Map or Globe: Incorporating a map or globe into the playroom introduces educational elements. It encourages discussions about geography and expands your child's understanding of the world.
Whimsical Decor: Adding whimsical elements, such as canopy curtains or themed wall decals, enhances the playroom's atmosphere and sparks your child's imagination.
Comfortable Seating: Providing comfortable seating, such as small chairs or beanbags, gives your child a cozy place to relax and rest during playtime.
By implementing these concepts and ideas, you can create a playroom that is both functional and enjoyable for your child. It will provide them with a dedicated space to engage in various types of play, foster their imagination, and support their overall development.