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Perfecting a Playroom

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  by Jennifer Jones

Cheerful children's playroom with wall mural

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Creative play is an important part of a child’s development. Your child can learn important skills, while having fun in their own home when surrounding themselves in the ideal playroom environment. Setting aside a room for play can be a great way to encourage learning and expand their abilities. Children who enjoy a simple, yet organized playroom are often calmer and gain self-esteem by becoming more self-reliant. A playroom should be imaginative and provide kids with many activities to keep them engaged.

Divide the room into separate spaces for reading, construction, dress-up, kitchen play, art, etc. Creating an area for each activity makes it easier for the kids to focus and keep track of their things. Multiple areas of interest will make the room more versatile. Another key to a successful playroom is to make it a place adults will also want to spend time. A comfy, adult-size couch can be perfect for enjoying your child’s puppet and theater shows. Or, add in a cozy chair for quiet reading times.

soothing children's playroom

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Playrooms can be built around one or more themes depending on your child’s interests. In order to create a pleasing environment for them, be sure to ask your children what they would like to have as a theme. Some parents suggest painting the walls a neutral color and adding posters or wall decals to customize the room. Others like to paint scenes on the walls like castles, race cars, ground and sky. Murals and stencils can be used to tell a story and often inspire things to talk about with your child.

Divide the toys into multiple piles and rotate them every so often. Keep one of those smaller collections out at a time, store the rest away and rotate them out as a whole collection. All the toys will seem new again. The key is to get as much out of the way as possible, while leaving a good variety of toys available that the child will really use and appreciate.

Successful playrooms include a wide variety of furniture including bean bag chairs, a sofa, tables and chairs. An easel for artwork may be a welcome addition, as well as some corkboard on the walls for displaying finished projects. A chalkboard or white board is a good source of entertainment for the little ones and can be a wonderful learning tool. Oversized cushions and lots of pillows create a quiet place for reading. Also, enriching the space with beautiful or sentimental things is an interesting way for the child to learn how to value things important to adults.

 

playroom with western theme

 

playroom with western stage coach

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Flooring for a playroom should be easy to clean up and safe for children. If you’re going to use carpet, make sure it’s super stain-resistant. Ceramic or vinyl tiles are ideal for craft areas. All-cotton fabrics and rugs resist mildew and clean up easily, which means they are healthier for children.

Shelves and bins are very popular in playrooms because you can combine toys and supplies into different groups. Toys that are arranged neatly on low-lying shelves with plenty of space between them are more enticing to children, easier to see and easiest to clean-up. Baskets, enamel bins, and garden containers set into armoires with the doors taken off make for beautiful, practical storage for toys and craft materials. Some playrooms use wall pegs with colored, drawstring bags to categorize toys and supplies. Others utilize storage benches that serve a double purpose.

When it comes to lighting, natural lighting is the best way to ensure that the playroom does not appear gloomy. Decorate the windows with colorful drapes or blinds, so they may be closed for the quiet times of the day. Many parents combine the natural lighting with out-of-the-way fixtures like recessed can or track lighting. Some might choose a ceiling fan with a light kit that provides added air flow.

Creating a playroom in your home is a great way to set up a fun, playful environment for your child that will allow you to include educational items as part of their playtime. It will provide them the opportunity to develop their imagination and participate in the configuration of their personal space. Also, a playroom will allow parents to keep all of the toys and other items in one area instead of having them scattered all over the house. Whether an upstairs attic, a finished basement, or a bonus room, you and your children can create a great space for them to play and learn.

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