Everyone loves having their own space to hang out in, kids are no different. Having a play space enables kids to explore and have fun, whether that’s by reading books or building towers, saving the princess or designing Barbie’s next fashion show. Even if you don’t have the space to devote a whole room to a play area, that doesn’t mean you can’t have one.Here are a few ways to incorporate a play space in the corner of your family room or your child’s own room.
Encourage quiet time by placing a chair or even a few pillows on the floor in the corner of the room. Even kids who aren’t reading on their own will benefit from a spot to flip through books. Whether you have a bookshelf or just a book box on the floor, make sure it’s easily accessible for your kids to grab a book and put them back when they’re done. Only put a few books out at a time to make clean-up easy and replace with new books each week, whether they’re from the library, pulled out from storage or grabbed from a larger book collection you have in the house. An easy to use lamp is great for rainstorm reading.
Play Table or Mat
Even a small side table in a bedroom gives your chid a place to play with their dolls and build with LEGO. If you’re really tight for space, using a drop-down table can help; it pops up only when you need it and lays flat against the wall when not in use. A play mat stored in the unused space under your child’s bed can work too. Pull it out to play and push it back under the bed when you’re all done. This is great if your child has just finished creating the fortress of the century and doesn’t want to dismantle it just yet; sliding the foam mat under the bed keeps the fortress intact but it’s moved out of sight.
Storage buckets ensures toys stay together (i.e., all of Barbie’s shoes and outfits in one bucket and the Star Wars action figures in another). Buckets for each item makes it easier for kids to put things away as they know where each item goes. Labeling the buckets helps too. If you child can’t read, labels can consist of a picture of the item in that bucket with the word, such as a LEGO brick and the word LEGO below it. Storage buckets with lids make them easy to stack away on the floor of the closet or under the bed and it keeps the dust out.
Wipe-Off Magnetic Board
Magnetic wipe-off boards can be great multi-purpose tools in a play space and they don’t take a lot of room: kids can play games like tic-tac-toe or draw pictures and just wipe the board clean when done; they can use magnetic letters or other magnetic play sets; the board can also be used to display a child’s favourite piece of art and can be changed every day.
You may have amassed a large Fisher Price collection but don’t want it to over take your child’s bedroom. Pick one item to be used in the room and store the rest away in a closet or basement storage area. At the start of each week pick a new toy to have in the room and store the original. This cuts down on clutter and your child ends up discovering an old favourite all over again.
These are just a few ways you can incorporate a child’s play space in a small corner of their room. By limiting the quantity of items and making them accessible to the kids, you also make it easier for them to take responsibility for keeping their space tidy and organized.