Why have a playroom?
Having a playroom at home can be a great solution to divide living, rest and play areas for your family. This ensures a bedroom remains a calming area to help your children relax at the end of a busy day, whereas the playroom can provide greater external stimulation and interaction.
Before setting out on this room designing adventure however, there are some important aspects of room preparation to consider.
1. Safety first
When setting up a playroom for your children, the first thing you need to consider is safety. You don’t want your children playing in an environment that could harm them. After all, the playroom is where your children will spend a lot of their time. As a result, you have to make sure that everything in the playroom is harmless.
Here are some of the things you should check the room for prior to designing;
- Ventilation – is there a way to get fresh air in the room to avoid damp?
- Points of access – are there child safety locks on the windows, and are these at a safe height from any planned areas of play?
- Existing furnishings – are there any items currently in the room that will remain, and are these safe for children to be around?
- Flooring – what type of flooring is currently in the room? Does it need carpet or rug to provide a soft surface?
2. Sensory considerations
If you have a child who has autism spectrum disorder you may also want to consider ways in which your playroom could support their sensory needs. Do they perhaps crave an area of solitude, where a secret den may be a great item? Or perhaps they love to move around and therefore may benefit from equipment which gives them the freedom to climb, swing and explore. There are also loads of ways you can incorporate tactile play items, furnishings and lights to create an engaging play environment.
3. Decide how you’ll partition the room
When it comes to creating a safe play space for your children, one aspect you should consider is how you’ll partition the room. It’s a good first step to check that you have adequate space for the types of play equipment you want to support your child’s learning and development through play.
Don’t worry if you don’t have much space to work with. There are tons of great space-saving options available, such as corner play units and playroom storage for keeping those toys tidy!
If you do have an extra room, you could separate this into sections using items of play furniture. This could be done by using a play panel or crawl though tunnel to separate one activity play area from another, such as a reading area or den. Just make sure that however you lay the room out, you leave adequate space on the floor for the children to play freely with all their toys and games.
4. Consider the materials
When it comes to designing your child’s playroom, it’s also worth considering the materials that you will use. Choose comfortable fabrics that feature interesting colours, shapes and textures. For the furniture, wooden items may be the right choice where they are in keeping with the room design and offer a sturdy playframe for larger structures. Or perhaps you have younger children to plan for, and therefore you may want soft play equipment.
It’s also a good idea to use materials in the room that are easy to clean. This ensures that you create a healthy playing environment for your children. Consider materials that can withstand moisture and are hardwearing, depending on where they will be in the room, and what activity may be planned for that section.
5. Your child’s age and interests
This is where the planning gets more exciting! Think about what special interests your child has and what they are likely to want to use the playroom for. For example, this amazing playroom design shown below has a feature lego style wall with a TV centred in the middle.
This is a great idea for those children who love this construction toy, and who may also want to use the room for gaming and therefore require the use of a TV. This room also demonstrates just what can be achieved with a small amount of space, as there is a built-in frame for climbing, along with an awesome hanging chair!
It may seem a little like stating the obvious, but when you’re designing a playroom for your child you also need to factor in his or her age. The reason this is important is so that they can get the most out of the toys they have, and for their own safety.
For example, having taller pieces of play furniture that are out of your child’s age range can pose a hazard for falls. This is also worth considering where you may have more than one child using the room, and they are of different ages. You could choose to keep a corner for younger children closed off using a playpen or room divider, and you could then safely give access to play items for older children.
When it comes to setting up a playroom for your children at home, you should always go over the room planning considerations first. During this phase, you should keep in mind the room size and any possible safety aspects that may need addressing, what equipment would best support your child’s learning, play and sensory processing. Plan the layout for an engaging use of space, and of course…keep it a fun area for them to play!
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