As we are all still spending a large amount of time at home, I wanted to share our playroom with you all. Really, it’s less about what is in my playroom and more about a few strategies/storage containers that have worked well for us.
When we moved into our little home, the garage was semi-finished. The floor was tile, but a giant metal garage door was still there. After about 6 months, we had the garage door removed and a large triple window put in. It made all the difference and brings in so much light! The space is still semi-garage feeling (concrete walls and hard tile floors) but we have done our best to soften it and make it welcoming to little friends at play.
Let it be known, our playroom is far from pinterest. I do, however, LOVE IT. I love the bins from Target. I love the awesome Land of Nod rug (sadly it’s been discontinued but this one is similar) we found on facebook marketplace. I love the blue laundry hamper I got from Walmart in college.
It also doubles as our guest room. And where I workout. The other half of the room has our peloton bike and my “office.” Needless to say, we are using this space to the utmost!
It is small, but it is functional.
Take stock of how many and what kinds of toys your kids love to play with. Is it small legos? Art supplies? Baby Dolls? Knowing this can really help you map out your space. This might also help you decide if you need to get rid of some items or start a toy rotation. I talk all about the toy rotation in The NTK Home Reset!
Take stock of the large, bulky items you have (think kitchen or train table) and decide if you need to get rid of some or make a rotation for them. Maybe you only keep out 1-2 larger items at a time and rotate them every few months. We keep ours on the top shelf in the laundry room.
Have one or two larger bins to be used as a catch all. Here is where a colorful laundry hamper works wonders, but we also love these laundry hampers that double as toy storage or these types of bins from amazon for larger items like stuffed animals or big legos.
Decide on and invest in a storage solution. You have a lot of freedom here in what you decide! Maybe it’s bins or shelves from Ikea. Maybe it’s a shelf like the one I have from Target. You get to decide if you want to have things contained in bins or on a shelf. Personally, I love bins. They keep things separate, but still allow for quick “just throw it in the appropriate bin” clean up.
We love our cube storage, but I have found you also need one larger catch all bin (see the blue laundry hamper photo later in the post) so you don’t get a huge headache trying to find a place for those larger, awkwardly shaped toys.
I discovered this half size bin from Target (sadly it is no longer available) that comes with a lid and we LOVE them. They have doubled our toy storage! I thought I would only have 9 bins in our cube storage, but now we have 12 thanks to this handy half size! We also have multiple of the larger size also shown below. Target also has bins that are not clear that come in lots of fun colors. We opted for plastic because they are easy to clean!
We opted for this 9 cube storage from Target and these cubes. They are awesome and come in the full 13″ size and the half size. You can also opt for cube storage that holds 2 cubes, 4 cubes, 6 cubes, 8 cubes, or 12 cubes!
*BE AWARE* when thinking for the cost, also account for the bins. They can easily end up costing more than the actual shelf!
Some things in our bins:
Choose a cozy rug that hides stains well. AND a rug pad.
As I said above, we found our rug secondhand and we absolutely love it. It is colorful, soft, and hides spills! I also highly suggest a good rug pad to make the space extra cozy for little bums (and yours!) to sit on.
Make sure there is a chair and a coffee table…for mom! I love the luxury of getting to sit on a couch or chair and sip hot coffee while the kids play. Yes, the space is mostly for them. But I like to be able to enjoy it too. Leave a book or magazine on the coffee table as well should a quiet moment present itself.
We opted on a side table that also holds bins to up the storage a bit. These two bins hold all of John Robert’s puzzles!
Keep things in a place they cannot easily access that require adult supervision. For us, that’s the top drawer of the file cabinet. Paint, crafts we haven’t gotten to yet, tons of extra paper, and other off-limits supplies are all up here. Please note the “fill 25 water balloons at once” thingy and confiscated princess wand on the top of the cabinet as well!
Consider investing in an OK to Wake or Hatch Clock or visual countdown timer: these can be a great tool if you want to set a timer for a rest time or independent play. I think the countdown timer (shown below) is the best for rest time/independent play.
Use binders and page protectors to ensure that important directions don’t get ruined or lost. I place the instructions in a binder just like a book, then tape the top of the page protectors so the directions won’t fall out.
Before you go out and buy a bunch of bins, see what you can use around the house! Maybe a laundry hamper or old basket would do the trick.
If you are tight on space, opt for anything you can find with storage! Ottomans that open up and side tables with space for baskets or drawers are great options.
Remember, this room is meant for PLAY. Make it as fun and free as you can. Tape artwork to the walls, make forts, make a mess!