Organize Playrooms and Play Spaces

Organize playrooms with areas for various activities.

Play spaces are an integral part of your child’s growing experience. As they develop, so does their play space or playroom. Most likely, their first play space began in the family room/ living room where they were easily supervised. We can organize playrooms and play spaces to suit their needs.

Consider the location of your child’s playroom

As your child ages, the playroom-living space evolves for them and for you. When you want to entertain more at home, you will want to update your family room/living room. If the play space is located in a main area in your home, you find yourself constantly picking up, putting away and cleaning. Think about other choices in your home to locate the playroom.

Less common but useful locations for playrooms

Basements, attics or other unused spaces in the home can be converted into a playroom. Get creative.

A brightly lit and painted “hobbit hole” can be constructed under the eaves of an attic area. Small children can crawl around, have fun, read and play alone or with a friend. Be sure to make the door large enough for an adult to clean inside.

If a child’s bedroom is large enough, an area can be sectioned off for play space. A small play area can be designed under a loft/bunk bed, using the height of the room for additional functionality.

Be sure to provide plenty of storage for “put away time.” (See below)  To organize playrooms, use labels with pictures of the items to be stored so that a child could accomplish on their own.

Least optimal locations for a playroom

Dark, hidden, isolated areas, that are not attractive, are least optimal for a play space. Play (and work) spaces are ideal when they are inviting and motivating.

An active play space can be organized

Some kids like to put their stuff away after play time, but many others thrive on an actively-used area. The photos you often see of labeled, color coded bins with everything in its place is rarely the actual scene. We may strive for that, but life doesn’t always work that way. Kids can be taught to have “put away” time. Most learn by example. Imagine my delight when an 8 year old boy asked his mom if I could help him organize his play space! He was motivated after witnessing his mom work with me to organize her work space.

Organize playrooms: mess vs. clutter

A play space has clutter when kids outgrow their toys and those materials are not removed. “Clutter” is unwanted or unneeded items.  Seasonally, examine the toys with which your kids are no longer playing and bag or box them up. You can label and store for a short period of time, or to be used for a younger child in the family. Ask your child if they want to donate to another who is less fortunate, and explain the benefits.

Avoid a mess in the play space. A “mess” is a room strewn with small items that can cause accidents. Keep a shallow basket handy to remove items from the floor. Toss the mess into the basket to be used during the next playtime.

Tips to optimize play space

Ideally, an optimized play space includes:

  • Bright, airy, open space for activities with soft flooring
  • Seating area for crafts with storage for materials
  • Shelving for games
  • Storage using floor and/or wall space for sorted toys such as construction, dolls, toy animals, balls
  • Clear labels that can be followed by a youngster
  • Bins for quick pick-up
  • Library/reading area
  • Wall space for hanging/displaying art work
  • Space for grown-up supervision (nanny, sitter, parent, older sibling) to occupy and entertain them with outlets and charging stations

Read more playroom strategies in this Cubby article, written by Alexandra Frost, a mother of 5 kids:

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