A Place for Play
Playtime is what fills a home with laughter, it is how children develop their cognitive and physical abilities and create lasting memories. Play is actually essential to a child’s happiness. So, it is important that we encourage it and make a place for it in our homes.
The modern playrooms we see all over Pinterest and HGTV are awesome, but not everyone has that much space (or budget!). It’s not important how much space you have. What is important is that your child knows there is a place for them to play.
I want to share some of my best tips for organizing your play space, whether you have a dedicated playroom or not. I’ll also note that a ton of toys are absolutely not needed in a playroom.
1) Plan out your space with activities in mind.
Before you start planning your space, make a list of the activities your child most enjoys.
· Arts and crafts
· Blocks and building
· Sensory activities
· Reading/story time
· Imaginary play
· Puzzles/Board games
· Physical play
Whether you have a big room or a single closet to store things, think about the activities that your child or children like most and then you can incorporate them into your plan.
If you have a smaller space where items need to be stored away, you can make activity bins for each of your children’s favourite activities and store them on a shelf or in a closet. If you have a dedicated playroom, you can make stations for all your children’s favourite activities!
Arts and crafts should be stationed somewhere that allows easy cleanup (ie. not on a carpet), music and story time can be stationed somewhere comfy, with a little table for board games and puzzles, you get the picture.
Organizing your play space this way, encourages curiosity and makes cleanup easy. Children can easily identify the activities they want to do and understand where toys should be returned when they are finished playing.
2) Keep things Within Reach
Older kids can use dressers, or higher shelves to store things. But younger kids do better with baskets and bins at their level. Little ones often enjoy exploring lower level cupboards and shelves, so don’t be afraid to keep toys there for them.
For bigger kids who can store things on higher shelves, get bins or baskets that match the depth of the shelf. For little ones, make sure the boxes/bins you are using are not too large that toys get lost at the bottom.
3) Get Creative with Your Labels
If your little ones aren’t reading age, picture labels are a great way for them to know where things go. You can take a instant pic of a toy in the category, draw something, or print something on the computer. For older kids, simply label in writing so it’s clear where things go.
4) Be prepared for spillover
Any mama knows their kids like to be near them, so it’s not realistic to expect our kids to always stay in the playroom to play, especially if we are not in there with them. I also don’t like to limit play in our home to just one space in the house. The kids often bring toys in the living room and we have a little play space set up in our kitchen so I can see them while I’m preparing things.
II recommend having a bin handy to collect any toys that may scatter themselves throughout the house over the day and make putting them away part of nightly clean-up.
5) Have fun with it!
You know your kids better than anyone. You know what lights them up and makes them giggle so have FUN creating a place for them to multiply those giggles and then have even more fun playing in there with them!
If you'd like help organizing your play space, or any other room in your home, The Family Home is always here to help. Get in touch with us here.
Lots of love,