Organize your Playroom the Easy Way!
The one thing friends forget to tell you about having kids is the incredible messes they're capable of making! They also forget to mention that children NEVER put a toy back before they play with another one. This results in a giant heap of toys in the middle of the playroom floor after playtime. Then when you try to reason with a child about the importance of putting toys back, you always seem to be fighting a losing battle.
The only way to combat the giant, ever-growing toy pile is to set-up your playroom with full-proof storage solutions that make cleaning easy. If you provide a place for every toy, your child just might put every toy back in its place. Using simple storage solutions is the key. Low shelves and drawers within your child's reach; drawers and bins organized by type of toy and chests or cubbies for quick and easy clean-up is essential. Also, create designated theme play areas to make your playroom more exciting.
Why is an organized playroom important?
- Your child will want to play more often in a clean space
- It will help encourage your child to be responsible for his own things
- Your child will learn organizational skills
- Less toys will get lost or ignored
- Toy damage will be limited
- Best of all, less stress for everyone!
Your room size and amount of toys will determine the number of storage units you'll need to create the optimal organized playroom. Organizing your child's toys and playroom items is the first step. Put all stuffed animals together, all active toys in one pile, games and puzzles in a corner and bundle craft items in a group. This can be done on the playroom floor or in a separate room.
Ask your child to look through the piles and put unwanted toys in a box or bag to be given away to charity. Let your child know that the toys will go to children who less fortunate. This will make him feel good about this process while decreasing the enormous toy collection to a reasonable size.
Separate the room into theme playtime sections. This could include story time corner, craft table space, puzzle and game play zone, pretend play nook, favorite's corner or whatever theme your child enjoys. Children will get excited if you dedicate a place for specific play themes.
Create a "Favorites Corner"
Ask your child to name his favorite toys and put all his favorites in one pile. This will help you create a "Favorites Corner" in the playroom. Dedicate one corner spot with a corner bookshelf or cubbies where you store all of your child's favorite play toys and clear enough floor space to create a fun play area devoted to his favorite things.
Create a "Story Time Corner"
Choose an area with enough room for you to read books together or your child to lounge while reading to himself. Place a small or large bookshelf close by, stacked with all his favorite books. Put a cozy rug or bean bag chair to promote a relaxed reading space. This is a great way to get your child excited about reading. If you plan to spend a lot of time in there you might consider a cozy chair for yourself or feel like a kid again and lounge on a second bean bag chair.
Create a "Puzzle and Game Play Zone"
Your child will play more games and put together more puzzles if he has a specific game and puzzle play zone. Keep games and puzzles organized in cubbies, a toy chest or locker. Keep all of the games in one area in the play room. Decide if you want to play at a table or on a cozy floor mat or carpet. You might even consider hanging shelves for game storage. Having a designated game playing area will entice your child to want to play more often and playing games together is a great way to bond.
Create a "Pretend Play Nook"
If your child loves train sets, a pretend kitchen or his puppet theater then designate a spot just for pretend play. Place all pretend play items in one area and arrange each for easy access creating pretend play stations. If you don't have enough room to set-up all of your child's pretend play items then put some in storage and swap items each month.
Create a "Craft Space"
A creative kid is a happy kid so a craft space is a great idea. A kid's table and chair set with built in storage is just what you need. Stock the shelves or cubbies with paper, crayons, markers, scissors and glue to promote your child's creativity. You might also consider some hanging compartments to store additional craft accessories. You don't have to go overboard with craft supplies. Starting off with the basics will encourage your child to come up with his own creative ideas. You'll be amazed at the things that kids can create with just paper, crayons, scissors and glue.
Storage for Everything Else
For random play items we recommend getting wall shelves, a dresser, armoire or an additional bookcase. If you choose a tall bookcase or shelving unit, make sure to get a footstool so your child can reach the higher shelves. To make things really easy, get topless plastic bins that fit on each shelf. Label each bin with the types of toys that go in that bin. If your child can't read, you can take a picture of the designated toys and tape the picture to the front of the bin. This way your child can simply pull down the bin of choice, grab a toy, play, then put the toy back. "A parent can dream, can't they?"
If you plan to include a T.V and stereo in your playroom then a media center is a good choice. Choose a unit that offers some storage drawers or shelves to hold your child's favorite DVDs, CDs or video games. Placing wall or floor cubbies next to the media center is a great way to store additional audio or video items.
Scheduled Clean-up Time
Obviously, it's not typical for a child to want to clean-up so we recommend scheduling time, every day that is designated to playroom organization. You can incorporate this into your child's bedtime routine or make cleaning the playroom mandatory for your child to get story time or game time each night. If you get your child used to cleaning up when he's young then you just might bypass those teenage "I don't want to clean my room!" arguments.
If you're working with limited space then we recommend having your child select his favorite play items and giving others away to charity and putting the rest in storage. If your child begins to get bored with his toys then swap toys in and out of storage every few months. You might also consider just creating a few theme play spots including a favorite's section and a combined book and game area.
Play is Important
Play is important for so many reasons. Playing games and pretend play with your children brings you closer together. Play helps your child develop independence and to learn problem solving skills. It also enhances a child's imagination and concentration. Play will help your child develop essential skills needed for life and learning.
Cocalo Sugar Plum Bench Seat w/ Storage by Levels of Discovery
Primary Puzzle Book Shelf by KidKraft
Firefighter Table and 2 Stool Set by Levels of Discovery
Country Pine Huntington Armoire by SouthShore