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Have your kids and their toys taken over your Des Moines home? Are you finding hot wheels in the fridge or is your dining table covered in craft supplies? Perhaps it’s time to redesign and create a dedicated play space for your children to call their own. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Do You Have Space?
Take a tour around your home and see if you have any unused space such as a sunroom, basement, or an unused den. All of these can be converted to multifunctional play areas. Basements are great as they tend to have a lot of space and are usually hidden from the rest of the house. Yes, typically there is very little light in your basement, but you can certainly brighten it up with paint, murals, and patterns. In addition, lack of windows means plenty of wall space at your disposal to create separate play areas such as a chalkboard wall for chalk art, a wall of shelves for board games and books, or a wall for a TV for video games or movie nights. Smaller spaces such as sunrooms are the perfect spot to create a fort type atmosphere – add lots of fluffy pillows, beanbags, and blankets and you have the perfect space for reading or imaginative play.
Although having a designated play space for the kids is an ideal scenario, many families just don’t have the square footage to make that happen, but it’s still possible to create multifunctional areas for everyone to enjoy. For example, if you have a kitchen with a dining area attached as well as a formal dining room, consider converting the kitchen eating area into a work space for your children. Add some corkboards to the walls and use them to display artwork or post schedules for the children's home routines. If you have both a family room and a living room, you may want to reserve the living room for adult time and incorporate activity areas into the family room. Create an art corner with easels, or reserve your lower bookshelves for children's books and movies. The key to sharing the space is creating boundaries and teaching your child that they need to participate in keeping it organized for everyone to enjoy.
Now that spring has arrived, the backyard is perfect for kids who have been cooped up during the winter months. Create some areas in the yard for your kids’ activities. There are many options to utilize your outdoor space for your kids – you could build a treehouse or playhouse, add a sand box, paint plywood with chalkboard paint and attach it to the fence, hang a tire swing from the tree branch, create an obstacle course, or put up a tent for fort play. Depending on the amount of outdoor space you have, you could create multiple play stations for them to enjoy.
Raising kids is so rewarding, but let’s face it – it can also be downright exhausting when they have too much time on their hands. Allowing your child to have a space of their own not only makes them more independent but also lends to more creative and imaginative play. What new ideas do you have for your little ones?