Inside: Playroom ideas, storage, and design ideas for kids. Affiliate links are listed in this post. Read more in my disclosure policy.
Help! What do you put in a playroom?
It was time.
It was weeks after Christmas, and the room looked more like a walk-in closet than a playroom.
Duplos lingered into the hallway, and pictures were beginning to hang sideways, mostly due to me haphazardly nailing them to the wall.
Now, I wasn’t about to fully Marie Kondo this room.
But I was about to go in strong. My goal was to get rid of things that have been lingering for years and have the room become more intentional.
Two kids ago, there was a rhythm to this room that had been lost. It was time to get organized.
Time to seize the day!
Time to press restart on the playroom organization.
And give this room a much-needed makeover.
Do all families need a playroom?
They certainly do not!
I intend to help you organize ideas, share uses for storage and inspires design wherever that may be. Take this post and make it work for you and your space. We made the living room into the playroom.
RELATED: You’ll want to check out the details from our Art Cart.
Let’s talk about why this playroom idea matters to me.
Back in 2001, I was a young, impressional new educator teaching Kindergarten.
It was my first year teaching, and so naturally I also attended every birthday party and ballet recital that I was invited to. (ask any other teacher and they will probably tell you they do or did the same)
These kids had my heart.
But it was a little boy’s home that made the everlasting impression.
It was a simple home, that overflowed with life. Kid artwork was everywhere. Bright colorful pastel drawings, right alongside a modern couch with clean lines. After a quick visit, I declared:
“When I have kids of my own, the house will feel like it is also theirs.”
This was not to say that making it their own meant there was no organization or design. I appreciate an inviting space that makes me feel happy to live in. You know, one that brings me joy. (Thanks, Marie!)
So here we are. Almost 20 years later and I am still thinking about that home that was filled with so much life, and I am wanting to create one of my own.
Redesigning this room was about allowing my kids to feel included knowing their things were valued as much as mine. Upon moving in, I took a space designated as a formal living room and made it a room for all.
It was a room for them to gather together, to play, and create.
I can also see this room being used for the next 10 years. We can soon add a long wooden desk along the sidewall to create a homework command center.
Build a room to grow in, love the home you’re in.
RELATED: Read how to minimize screen time with more play here.
What do you put in a playroom?
The Big Playroom Items:
Playroom Couch – a place for parents to gather, curl up with a book, or allow quiet time. Having a sofa in the playroom is an important way to help make the room look like a piece of your home, rather than a room stuffed with toys.
RELATED: See my storage solutions here.
How do you organize a playroom?
Something I want you to remember:
Hang what you want children to visit low.
Keep their height in mind and place it at eye level.
Hang the alphabet, numbers, maps, where they can walk right up and touch it.
If children cannot see it and touch it, they will not use it.
Sounds obvious, but this important tip easily gets overlooked
I hung our Alphabet Activity Cards to add color and inspire ideas. The boys love to look at the cards and pick an activity to dive into.
The alphabet charts, numbers, and the map are at eye level for them to touch as they visit.
Middle Exploration Wall:
Alphabet Activity Cards – 50+ ideas for your back pocket.
Window Side Wall:
Art Cart – SEE ALL THE DETAILS HERE.
Large metal transportation storage bin. Here is where we keep all of our trucks, cars, trains, etc. We all call it “The Transportation Bin”.
Inside we have:
The Playroom Storage Cabinet
This corner used to have an IKEA bookshelf.
It was stuffed with puzzles, books from my teaching days, and toys spilling out everywhere. I needed a space that would allow me to reorganize the things we needed and use in a way that was also functional for our home.
The playroom storage solution:
I used a local carpenter to create this custom made storage closet.
It was one of the smartest moves I’ve made for our home. It is functional and will be timeless for the years to come.
The children are welcome to use anything from this playroom cabinet.
In fact, this entire room is up for grabs anytime they desire and it is always encouraged.
Creating a play space to dive into is the way to spark creativity, and also help children understand how to respect their space.
The more they use this playroom, the more they understand where things belong at cleanup.
The more they are able to dive in, the more independent play will blossom.
What is inside all of these playroom storage bins?
How Can I decorate a playroom on a budget?
Start slow, take your time.
Take a close look at your playroom inventory and which toys make the best open-ended toys rather than one and done.
Begin with storage. Find a shelf at Hobby Lobby, or Home Goods to stack everything
Try and sell some old toys on Facebook market. You can use that money toward storage solutions.
Add a fresh coat of paint
Search Facebook market and neighbors for toys they have outgrown. Terrific finds for this are train tracks, wooden blocks, and transportation toys!
Phew! This is a lot. Take one idea at a time and make the playroom your own.
Kitchen Play Area:
The kitchen area is a home run with all three of my boys. It needed to be a corner of its own to welcome and invite pretend play.
Back Left Corner:
This space was created to encourage learning with transparent and translucent manipulatives. I also found this important sign to hang as a welcoming into the playroom. We try to repeat this often.
Speak kind words, receive kind echos.
Do all families need a playroom?
They certainly do not!
I intend to help you organize ideas, share uses for storage and inspires design wherever that may be.
Hang what you want kids to revisit at eye level.
Offer manipulatives/supplies/toys that are open-ended and encouraged creativity.
Encourage and welcome the mess. If everything has a spot, it can easily be put back.