There are few certainties in life: death, taxes, and—if you have children—toys. Many, many toys. The sheer amount of stuff a tiny person can accumulate is really quite baffling. Infancy brings the bouncer, swing, and activity gym—and as a parent who’s got it together, you think you have it under control. But then comes toddlerhood, bringing an avalanche of toys. Play is super important, sure, but it doesn’t mean your living room has to look like the stock room of a Toys “R” Us.
If you’re living with children, your entire house is probably more or less kid-friendly, but there’s nothing wrong with designating one room the “playroom” to keep toys from creeping throughout the entire house. If you don’t have any spare rooms, consider coopting a less-used room (the formal dining room, perhaps, or an office) in an effort to save your sanity. Even a large closet can become a fun, tucked away play space to help manage the visual clutter of toys.
Fight clutter and adorn your playroom’s walls by making much-loved toys part of the decor. Matchbox cars, when sorted in rainbow order, look chic displayed on their own custom shelving unit. This solution is far more functional than storing cars in a basket, which kids are basically guaranteed to dump out entirely each day, looking for “that one car.”
A place for everything, and everything in its place. For easy clean-up (once you convince your children they need to clean up their toys, anyway), make sure each toy has a designated home. A large cubby storage unit provides ample options for sorting and storage. Use your height to your advantage and claim the top row of cubbies to create charming vignettes or stash items you’d rather the little ones not get into without supervision.
Look for furniture that does double-duty. A large coffee table can be a train table, a game table, or an art table. And when your children outgrow the playroom stage, it can go back to simply being a coffee table.
Designate a portion of the playroom as the library. Books have a way of multiplying, too, albeit in a much more appealing way than small plastic toys. A dedicated book bin keeps books tidy and off the floor. Indulge your future librarian by sorting books by author or genre, or even color if you’re feeling Pinterest-y.
via Project Nursery
Create a cozy nook for reading and dreaming. Who wouldn’t love curling up in a custom teepee to read for a spell or take an afternoon siesta? Teepees are quick to DIY and delineate space in the playroom, which is helpful for heading off inevitable sibling squabbles.
via The Copen Haven
Let them climb the walls, since they’ll probably do it anyway.
You’ll be the coolest parent on the block if you install a rock climbing wall in your playroom. It’ll give your kids a chance to burn off some energy during the colder winter months, and the climbing holds add a fun pop of color to the room.
Celebrate your budding Picassos with an art gallery. When it comes to filling the playroom walls with original art, let your kids do all of the hard work for you. There’s nothing more delightful than children’s art work, so use that to your advantage and set up a rotating art gallery. A wire curtain system allows plenty of room to display masterpieces.
Encourage thespians and vocalists with their very own stage. A playroom stage is simple to construct and opens up all sorts of possibilities, from family talent shows to elaborate one-child plays. Don’t forget the karaoke machine.
You’ve got mail. The playroom is sort of a world of its own, so it makes sense that it would have a separate mailing address. A mailbox can encourage games of pretend or entice youngsters to practice their penmanship. At the very least, it’s a clever hiding spot.
Room for a different kind of play. Tweens and teens won’t have quite so many toys for you to trip over, but they still need their own space to hang out with their friends. Rather than trying to squeeze storage and organization out of every square foot, focus on a few key elements (a drum kit, a basketball hoop) that best represent how your teen spends his or her time.