So, you’re lucky enough to finally have the space to store all your little one’s toys! Since you now have the space, it’s time to get planning and designing. But where to start?
We’ve put together a guide for anyone looking for advice on how to create the perfect playroom for their child. Read on for organisation and design tips to ensure a beautiful play space your little one can enjoy for years to come!
When it comes to the idea of a playroom, you might be asking yourself, ‘Isn’t that what their nursery/bedroom is for?’. When you’re tight on space, of course finding storage solutions for toys and baby bits in their nursery is the priority.
However, if you have the luxury of space - whether it be a spare room, or a corner in the living room that doesn’t get used - it's worth considering how you can most efficiently stay on top of all their ‘stuff’, while also creating a fun space designated for creative play.
Playtime is so important for your child’s development, as it gives them a chance to express themselves creatively while building the foundations for crucial cognitive and emotional skills.
Having an area dedicated to this can help better establish boundaries and differentiate between bedtime and play. In the same way it’s not recommended to work from your bed as an adult, your little one needs that separation to better establish their routine.
Before you do anything, clear out the space. While it might seem obvious, a blank canvas is easier to work with and will give you a better idea of the space you have. Creating an organised space for your little one to play in is far more difficult to do when it’s already full of clutter. Take the opportunity to sort through items. Donate, gift, or throw out anything you no longer need.
This is also a great time to sort through your little one’s toys. What have they grown out of, what has become neglected? This can be emotional, especially for first-time parents. However, instead of focussing on all the items you’re letting go of, think of the end goal of your little one’s functional playroom and all that it will bring them.
This is where the fun begins. Look at your budget and prioritise the aspects of the room your little one will benefit from the most. This is also the stage at which you can start thinking about colour schemes, too. If you’re looking to create a room that will grow with your child and stand the test of time, it might be worth keeping things fairly neutral. Introduce pops of colour through accessories like wall prints, playmats, and other objects that will lend character to the room.
Think about how the objects that fill the space will be organised. For example, a desk space for crafts can double up as a great organisational storage point for things like pens, paper, and paint. A magnetic pinboard can serve as a great space to display your little one’s artwork. Hooks on the back of the door can be a great solution for holding dress-up items and costumes.
Make a list of all the bits of furniture you want to fill the space and make sure it’s all within your budget. To cut costs, see where you can DIY or repurpose certain items - is your partner any good at carpentry? Building your own shelving, or even a simple low desk could save you loads, and make the room all the more personal and special. Empty jars full of fairy lights can add a magical touch of decor, a vintage gifted biscuit tin can store crayons and trinkets while adding a quirky ornamental touch. Have a root around at what you already have if you're on a tighter budget and get creative!
A soft play space complete with baby gym and sheepskin rug can easily be turned into a reading corner when your little one grows into toddlerhood. Introduce blankets and pillows, or go all out with a Teepee play tent for the ultimate cosy corner that can double up as a play den and a reading nook.
Consider how to prolong the use of your baby’s tummy time mat as a centrepiece of the room, or just a general cushioned play space.
Introduce sensory aspects such as a play clay station at their desk, or a nature tray where they can bring home treasures from days out, such as shells, leaves, and pebbles. These can either be used for sensory play, or even as part of a craft project as paint stamps and stencils. This is a great way to bring the outdoors in, and introduce an early appreciation for the outdoors in small ways.
For your little one to get the most out of their playroom, it needs to be a dynamic, functional space that will suit their changing needs as they grow. Much in the same way as their nursery and sleep space adapts to their growth, so too should their playroom.
The divide between sleep and play is so crucial. Whether it’s the separation between a whole playroom or a play corner, having that distinction is important for your little one’s sleep patterns.
Whatever the size of the space you’re working with, focus on what you and your child need from it. That might be toy organisation, a space for creative play, a place to read in peace, or a combination of these things. Most importantly, your little one’s playroom is personal to them. If they're old enough to understand, why not get them involved in the creation and decor process? Whether they get involved or not, have fun with it and enjoy the process of making it a special space where they can learn and play.