The elements elements of a Play Room…toy storage, a rug, some hard floor surface, a table and a sofa…

  • Open shelving with smaller, loose items housed in tubs and baskets means a child can see easily what’s there, while everything has a dedicated place to return to when not in use.
  • A table is useful for arts, crafts and homework.
  • Two tables in a family house are extremely convenient, meaning that projects and homework etc need not be tidied away every meal-time.
  • Younger children naturally gravitate towards adults, so try and facilitate at least some toy storage and play space in or as close to the kitchen as possible.
  • The younger the children, the larger the toys, it seems! We stored large items in their bedrooms, where possible, to avoid the whole area being overwhelmed with plastic.
  • While open shelves accommodate frequently used toys well, some closed cupboard space would be useful for infrequently used items and to prevent these from gathering dust.
  • Place the play area near the main garden or external play area where possible.
  • Where the family computer is to be housed here, make sure it is visible from the kitchen area to facilitate parental control.
  • Older children will require more privacy – and parents their sanity! Plan for/allocate a separate room where they can gather with friends, if possible.

Our Play Room / Play Areas…

  • The main play area sits within our Kitchen/Dining/Family Room, opening onto the main garden.
  • The terrazzo floor is good for lego, cars and trains, while the rug facilitates soft play.
  • Toy storage centres around an open shelved unit from Habitat which measures 157cm wide x 33cm deep x 111cm high.
  • Loose items are stored in this unit in large plastic tubs. Multi-drawer plastic units from Muji, which also have dividable inserts, have proved invaluable for storing lego and other tiny items. They each measure 26w x 32h x 37d.
  • Arts and crafts activities are facilitated on the table in the central area, with materials stored in a mobile unit and in the drawers under a wall-mounted desk.
  • The family computer is located on this desk, optimising adult supervision of internet use etc.
  • A low bookcase of birch ply stores children’s books and craft kits. This unit is on castors for optimum flexibility. It was designed to act as a divider between the living area to the front and the crafts/dining area in the middle. It is extra deep, meaning that additional, hidden, book storage is accessible from the opposite side also. It measures 200cm long x 20cm deep x 75cm high.

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