Planning for Play
Back when we designed and built our home, we adopted a motto from the Shakers: “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” We were sure to include plenty of closets and cabinet space. Flash forward to parenthood and we realized we didn’t plan for play, which has led to a lot of clutter. So, I’ve decided to turn the empty room over our three-bay garage into a playroom for our son Joshua.
I can’t stop thinking about how I want to set up this playroom! I’ve spent hours perusing websites for ideas, especially Play At Home Mom. There is a lot of space to work with, so I’m planning to set up different areas. We don’t have a lot of money to spend, so I’m mostly going to work with what we already have, make and build what I can, enlist my husband’s skills (he’s a builder by trade), and make a few smart purchases. Here are my ideas so far:
- Book Nook – Relocate Joshua’s book shelf and books, find a comfy rug, add pillows and blankets for cuddling up. We also have a little rocking chair that I’m planning to paint, but I’m not sure what color yet. I like the idea of painting it red, but I don’t know if I can be quite that bold!
- Play House - or fort, or castle. I’m on the hunt for the perfect cardboard boxes for the job. I’ve been saving some long, skinny boxes that I think would make great towers, but I need to find big ones. I love the idea for a cave of stars from Play at Home Mom, but I want to try to do it with constellations.
- Sensory Play - Our homemade light box plus a felt board, magnet board, and musical instruments. I plan to make what I can and use the toys that Joshua already has for this.
- Table and Chairs - A kid-sized set would be perfect for working on projects, reading, and eating snacks. My husband could build these, but this is his busy season at work so I’m on the hunt for a good bargain.
- Toys – Joshua has a ton of toys to relocate and I want to leave some open space for riding around his tractor, pushing his dump trucks, building with blocks, fixing things with his tools; maybe I can convince my husband to build some cubbies to help keep them organized.
- Other – in the long term, adding a dress-up area, an art area with an easel for arts and crafts, maybe a stage area. I’m not exactly sure and Joshua’s interests will guide us.
I’m hoping this will help to reduce the craziness of toy clutter, or at least move it to a play room instead of being front and center in our living room!
How did you design your child’s play area?
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