A List of Ideas to Help you Create a Kid’s Play Area
Are you interested in creating a playroom or play area for your kids in your home? Well, you’re in the right place to get ideas for how to do it.
Whether you have a whole room to devote to this space or a small section of a living area, these ideas will help you have a fun, educational, and exciting play area for your kids. And, it will be a place you can enjoy being with your kids too!
The main things you need are a defined area, toy storage, a space for art or crafty projects, and a space to play with the toys.
Read on to get all the details for your playroom!
Should Kids Even Have a Playroom
Having a space set aside for your kids is not a mandatory part of life! However, having a space set up like this is great for many reasons.
If you have a playroom, you automatically have an area that is meant for fun and learning.
We are also more likely to play with our kids when we have a set up to do this easily.
So, yes. I think we should have a playroom (or set aside play space) for the family. And remember, this does not have to be a huge area!
An especially important part of setting up the play area is deciding how you will organize the toys! Kids love to get out toys and those toys tend to easily spread out everywhere.
Trust me, toys get everywhere daily around here.
Over time I’ve also noticed that toys seem to accumulate. So, we’ve got to talk about keeping them organized.
I’ve tried a few different ways to contain the toys. Things like baskets, shelves, and cubbies. Here’s what works best for me. I think you will like it too!
Cubbies (AKA Cube Storage)
The best storage for toys is cubbies, like the Ikea cubes you can buy. In particular, the “Kallax Shelf Unit” at Ikea has a variety of sizes of cubes.
This is a great solution since kids can easily reach their toys (to get them out and to put them away!). It is also easy to store lots of toys in a small space using this type of furniture.
These cubes can be made into wall-size storage or it can be just a few cubes in the back of the living room.
Choose a configuration that works for your space. They can be along the wall or the cube storage can be turned so that they become a room divider.
Baskets and Bins
I like to have a variety of baskets and small bins. I use the baskets on the cubbies and in the cubbies. There are also stackable bins.
You are going to get a variety of sizes that meet the needs of the space. So larger bins for the shelves or top of the cubes. These fabric bins for the inside of the cubbies work well.
Also, consider large baskets for the floor.
How to Sort the Toys in the Storage Cubbies
I sort the toys by type. For example, the STEM type toys and puzzles have their cubbies. Then the barbies and small figures (like Little People) go together, and cars and trucks go together.
You get the idea, sort by category! This helps me remember what goes where.
Of course, we then have the random toys that go in a few “miscellaneous” bins. And that’s ok.
Remember how toys accumulate? Another part of the organization process is going through the toys every now and then.
Making sure to donate toys that are not used anymore.
This is a great time to help your kids learn about donating items to other people.
I let my kids help in the decision of which toys to donate. I also let them choose when they are ready to donate a toy.
There is a ton of furniture out there that is marketed for playrooms.
One of the best (and sometimes only) pieces of furniture for the playroom is a small table and chairs! There are ranges of tables depending upon your kids’ age and size.
For kids under two:
I have seen some small fold up tables where the kids sit on the floor or rug. I like this one at Amazon, but there are others out there for varying prices.
These are great because your little one is on the floor and doesn’t sit in a chair they might fall out of.
Then, for kids about 2-4 years old:
I love the small wooden table and chairs sets! This small set will fit in many areas.
I know, because we had a tiny play space in our living room, but this set worked perfectly for us.
As your kids get bigger:
Time to consider a larger table. I like this one at Ikea.
A table is great for coloring, Play-Doh, arts and crafts, and more.
Other items that might be nice to have for furniture:
If you have space you might also want comfy reading chairs for adults, bean bag chairs, or little toddler reading chairs.
What is a Good Size Playroom
The right size playroom is the size that makes sense for your home. Your space may allow for a section of a living room or bedroom space.
Or, your home may allow for an entire room to be devoted to the kids’ play area.
The truth is that your kids will enjoy the space, no matter the size! Especially if you play there too.
Small Playroom Ideas
If you plan to have a play space as a section of a living or bedroom, that can totally work.
Use the following ideas to help set up the area.
1. Rug to Define Space
Use a rug to define the play area. There are so many options out there.
It is fun to use the kid design rugs, with letters, numbers, or even roads.
If you are like me, you may not want your living room to be overtaken by the kid’s flooring décor! I used a cute rug that I liked.
Both work! No right or wrong here. The main reason for the rug is to define the play area and have a nice soft surface to play on.
2. Toy Cubbies, Ikea cubes, Baskets, Bins
All the above ideas for storage remain the same in a small space, you just have less of them.
You may find that you alternate which toys are kept in the play zone and which toys are stored in other rooms of the home (like bedrooms, garage, etc.)
3. Furniture in or out of the space
Using a small table, you can set it up right next to the wall or back of other furniture. This allows it to fit in the space and you still have room to get around it.
If your space just doesn’t allow for a table, that’s fine. I would set up a table somewhere that your kids can use for art time. Or even do these activities at the dining table.
Kids learn so much by coloring, drawing, and using hands-on materials like Play-Doh!
When You Have a Large Space for Your Playroom
When you have a larger area or even a whole room available for a play space it is still important to define the area. This way, the whole family knows it’s a kid-friendly space.
Honestly, the set-up is remarkably similar to having a small space, except you will be able to accommodate more toys in the room and for sure you can have a table and chairs in the room.
The other thing to consider is additional furniture, like bean bags chairs and other chairs.
You can also have fun items such as castle tents, teepees, or other chairs.
In the larger space, tents and teepees can be set up all the time. In a smaller space, the tents may just be up for a little bit at a time.
Here is an example of how to set up a whole room play area:
1. Line the walls with Ikea cubes. You can do varying heights to go under windows or to create shelving your kids can reach.
Organize the toys within the cubbies.
2. Use the cubbies for storage and as part of the play:
My girls love to play with dolls and play nursery.
So, the cubbies have caretaking items for “babies.” Next to these cubbies are their toy pack-n-plays, toy highchairs, doll strollers, etc.
Set up an area with a theme that your kids love! So, if your kids like to play cooking then maybe have a toy kitchen and the cubbies to store all the kitchen supplies. You get the idea.
3. I also have some of the cubbies set aside for schooling items, workbooks, craft supplies.
4. Set up a table and chairs in the center of the room.
4. At the end of the table consider an easel that has a whiteboard and chalkboard like this one.
5. Have a large open floor space next to the table. Use that area to set up car road rugs, or teepees, castles. This area is also the same area for blocks, playing with toy houses, using imagination!
Have Fun with the Décor
The decorations for a play area can be just about whatever you want. Have fun with it! I think soothing images, playful images, pictures of family are good ideas.
I also like having the chart items that relate to the kids in this space.
For example, we have a section of the playroom wall that has the Reward Chart, Chore Charts, and House Rules. They are decorated in a fun way and are just there as reminders.
It is also fun to have the kids choose a calendar and have that hanging on the wall in their space.
We use their calendar to keep track of exciting days that may be coming up, like birthdays and holidays. Of course, you can also teach about days, months, and years.
What to Do in the Playroom
Play, of course! However, the playroom can be a versatile area.
Play with kids
This is a perfect place to have fun with your kids. Play with toys, blocks, or do crafts. Read stories! Enjoy hanging out as a family here.
Let Your Kids Explore on Their Own
A playroom is also a wonderful space to let your kids play without the adults. So, make sure you have created a child-safe zone! Think baby or toddler-proof if that applies.
And, probably reserve certain crafts and tools for when you can supervise if your kids are young!
But, allowing kids to play for a little while without the adults is beneficial for growth and development.
A playroom is a place to play. However, this is also a wonderful space for learning.
Many toys foster learning, so playing is learning a lot of the time.
But, take advantage of this space to play learning games with your kids. Things like doing puzzles with letters, building with blocks, or coloring are all examples of games to play that promote early learning.
You can also use the table in this space for home-school or homework.
Go Make the Space!
Ok, now you’ve got some general ideas on setting up a playroom! Go for it. You won’t regret it.
Remember, you don’t have to spend tons of money. If you stick with some of the basics above, you can set up an inexpensive playroom.
Let me know how it goes in the comments below!