Every experienced parent know that with children comes a lot of stuff! And, no matter how much you guard against it, it takes very little time for that “stuff” to end up strewn from one end of your home to the other.
We’ve talked to parents and kids, and here are some of the key elements for creating a play/storage space your kids will love!
An Activity Table
No matter how many great games and toys you have, if you don’t have a good activity table and chairs in your play space, your kids will end right back up at the kitchen counter!
Make sure your table is the appropriate size and height for your children now – this isn’t something you want them to grow into. A solid, sturdy flat surface, with legs at each corner – and equally sturdy chairs – will go a long way to keeping kids playing happily in their own space.
There’s no point in having a lot of storage space if your children can’t reach things. Kid-height shelving, and lots of storage bins are a must for a well- organized play space.
There are lots of great cube storage options available at very reasonable prices, and the fabric drawers that fit inside are soft, lightweight and available in many colours to coordinate with your décor.
For children who are not yet old enough to read labels, consider putting a picture on the front of each drawer to show them what’s inside, and where to return toys to when they’re done playing.
Soft, Durable Flooring
There are so many options available today for rugged flooring that can take lots of play and still emerge looking great. Many of today’s vinyl floors are super soft underfoot, and can be loose-laid – making them easy to change later.
Cork floors are both warm and soft – and very durable as well. Carpeting is another option, but requires more maintenance due to the inevitable spills and stains that will occur. If you’re considering carpet – carpet tiles might be the right solution for your home’s play space.
If your room has a hard floor that you don’t want to change, consider interlocking foam flooring – they look like giant puzzle pieces, can be wiped clean, and are super soft, and very affordable.
A Comfy Place to Chill
When the games are over, and it’s time for a break, kids need a comfy place to relax. Bean-bag chairs or covered-foam modular kid-height chairs and sofas all make an easy-maintenance, hard-wearing place to sit and watch a movie or a little TV. For added safety, choose furniture that can’t topple over, and that’s scaled for your child’s height.
A Chalk Board
While you can certainly purchase a chalkboard, and mount it to a wall – there’s an even simpler solution that allows you to create a truly outstanding drawing place in your playroom. Chalkboard paint.
Create a framework with simple molding, add a ledge for holding chalk, and fill with chalkboard paint (make sure you paint at least two coats!).
Chalkboard paint is available in a variety of colours including traditional black and green – and makes a great fun-wall for your children as well as a great spot for parents to post playroom rules.
If your play space is blessed with an abundance of natural light that’s a bonus! But it’s still important to have good, bright white light to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere on even the dullest day.
One safe and simple solution is ceiling pot-lights – on dimmer switches – so you can control the amount of light easily. Pot-lights allow you to position your lighting exactly where you need it, and today’s LED pot-lights use almost no energy.
A Kids’ Gallery Wall
To be truly awesome, a play space has to have a spot where kids can show off their creative efforts. If your storage cabinets are fairly low, adding ledge-style shelving above them makes a perfect spot to display kids’ paintings and dimensional artworks.
Placing art in simple, inexpensive frames and then placing it on ledge shelves gives children a gallery of their own and lets them know how proud you are of their efforts. As new masterpieces are created, it’s easy to change the art in the frames as well.
With a little ingenuity and elbow grease, it’s relatively simple to create a play space your kids, and their friends, will love!
Originally Published by The Chronicle Herald
Alexandra Kelter is a social media specialist with Central Home Improvements. Her column covers many aspects of home improvement, both indoor and outdoor, and will combine trending styles with practical applications all within realistic budgets. Kelter is also passionate about fashion, travel, living by the ocean and her bulldog.