Play Time, Anywhere: Creating a Space for Your Kids

We have a bonus room/playroom in our home, but it's not the most organized, and could use a new look.  I also want to create reading nooks in my children's rooms.  Today, I have a guest post on how to help me with my goals.  I love these two rooms.  Since I am a travel writer, I'm really drawn to the maps.  As you probably guessed, my son loves maps, too.

When space is a precious commodity, a playroom for the kids is wishful thinking. But just because you can't devote a whole room to the kids doesn't mean they can't still have their own space. You just have to think outside the box — or the room.

Small Fun Space
Find a nook where children's activity will easily fit in. Tuck shelving beneath a stairwell and stash toys and games on shelves surrounding a small play table against the wall. Or take the door off a walk-in closet and decorate as a mini-playroom with light and bright colors to make the small space seem larger.

Source: via Hinessightblog on Pinterest

Reading Nook
Place a pretty padded window seat with storage below a low sunny window. Use colorful window treatments to make the area feel child-friendly, and fill the storage area in the window seat with books and toys. Add a few soft microfiber pillows on which to curl up with a book. Encourage the children to read on their own, but also find some room on the window seat to stop what you're doing and read to them.

Multi-Use Rooms

Set up a room for double duty. Fill a guest room's closet with children's toys, games and activities. When you have no guests, the kids can play within the room, cleaning it up faithfully each night in case it needs to be used. When you do get guests, let the kids take some toys out to a different part of the house or play with the toys in their bedrooms.

Kid's Corner

Let the children take part of a room for fun and games. Place children's seating with storage in a corner of the living room, family room or dining room. Decorate to complement the living room while still capturing the fun of childhood. Consider a rug that separates the play area from the rest of the room but isn't a permanent change. Be sure to keep the children's activities away from high-quality window treatments or furniture that could be damaged by active play.

If you have a large stair landing, set up a child's table and chair set, a toy box and a couple of small bookcases. Decorate with sunny wall decorations surrounding a chalkboard. If you have room, add a beanbag chair. Tuck in a few stuffed animals to make the area inviting.


Designate a couple of shelves in a bookcase for storage of kids' toys, games, books and arts and crafts materials. Keep these items in covered containers in the bookcase. Let the kids play with the items wherever it's convenient, whether that's on the coffee table, kitchen table or in a blanket fort under the dining-room table. If you have doors on some of the shelves in the bookcase, that's ideal for storing children's toys, as the toys will be stashed away when the kids are sleeping and the room becomes an adults-only zone.

When your kids are playing, drawing or reading near you, whether in the same room or a cozy nook down the hall, you're able to keep an eye on them, and you have the opportunity to interact with them more than if they were shut up in a separate playroom. Perhaps having to grab space wherever you can find it isn't the ideal situation for keeping active kids occupied. The more interaction you have with your children the better, especially when they're very young. Any home has pockets of space that can be filled by children and their fun and games. Leave the door open to creativity and you'll find a great spot for your kids to enjoy themselves.

Kimberly, has some great ideas.  And here's one last photo I picked for inspiration.  Hmm..should I tackle some projects in 2013?

Bio: Kimberly Howard Kimberly is a graduate of Purdue University and lives in the Chicago area. She is a freelance journalist who specializes in K-12 and higher education.

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