When you want to create a space for children to play in – that they will actually want to use – it pays to do a little consulting with the intended occupants, even if these are two little girls aged five and two. This is important because at these ages they don’t always play together, and their different activities will have different requirements. Here are a few ideas that have floated to the top in our recent conversations about essential playroom elements.
You can make a useful start by sorting the particular toys and activities that your children enjoy according to their ages. This helps to determine your storage requirements. You can use height to make sure, for example, that toys for five-year-olds are kept out of sight and reach of your toddler. While a five-year-old understands not to put small pieces of Lego into their mouth, a toddler may just find it too tempting. It’s fine to let kids of different ages play together with Lego if they are supervised; however, you might find that the larger pieces of Duplo are easier for small fingers to manipulate.
Provision for storage with shelves at levels that are just the right height will help keep everything where it should be. You can paint it in bright colours and add doors if you like, or pretty curtains. If you decide to use a shelving unit up against a wall, remember to anchor this securely to the wall using brackets on each side at the top and bottom.
Flooring in playrooms is also important. Non-slip is ideal, and floorboards can look smart and clean. Hardwearing carpeting is also available in attractive colours and designs, so if the playroom walls are plain, your flooring can be brightly patterned to liven up the décor.
Windows & Doors
To achieve a light and airy look, you may want to decide to remove doors to create interesting internal archways and set aside curtains to make the most of daylight. One useful idea if you want to maintain privacy and control daylight is to use DIY Shutters for openings. These come in all shapes and colours and can be cut to your exact size requirements. Many have moveable slats or louvres and are controlled by rods or cords – although for safety reasons, cords are not suitable for a room used by very young children.
Tables and seating at the right height for children is very important, particularly for those activities that require concentration – a quiet corner with a big floor cushion is ideal for reading, while art and craftwork needs adequate lighting and, naturally, a display area for finished masterpieces. You can create a den – of a tepee or a DIY frame tent. Younger children love play kitchens, and older ones gravitate towards a puppet theatre for entertainment.
There are many extra ingredients that you can add to customise your child’s play space, providing it doesn’t become overcrowded and cluttered, as it could then become less attractive to your child. Choose pretty lighting, snazzy wall art and a good old-fashioned nursery clock for starters.
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Artist, Baker and Blogger. Mum to my two beautiful, cheeky girls. Muddling my way through parenthood with equally cheeky Husband.