One of the (many) things on my list of priorities while house hunting was to find a home that had a contained play space. We found that and then some. Decorating what is now the playroom was the first project for me once we moved in. The challenge was making it look fun and inviting while being functional. Easier said than done when it comes to a room that is in constant use by little people with evolving interests and needs. The kids will always be growing and changing and their play space will have to reflect and encourage that development. Unfortunately, my need to constantly fix, edit, change and re-organize stuff has made the playroom project an endless source of frustration for me. The beads, stickers, paint, costumes, trains, puzzles, essentially all the things that kids want to play with, were either being played with, needing to be cleaned up or just left out to drive me crazy. “Playrooms are supposed to messy and disorganized ” my husband says. Deep breath. We had talked about the idea of moving the playroom to the basement which is actually a good-sized usable space but I had two concerns. What to do with all of the things that are currently being stored down there and do I want the girls alone in the basement while I work upstairs? Here’s the solution that I think will lead to everyone’s contentment. The playroom as it is now will serve as a place for games, dress up clothing, chalk board wall and concealed storage for not-in-use toys. The basement will become the free-for-all zone where we put the arts and crafts, work/play table, play kitchen, kid furniture, trains and beads, beads, beads!!! I swear there are a million beads in my house. Basically, the ground floor room, that I have to look at on a regular basis, will be an organized and functional play space where I can theoretically work on my computer. The basement playroom will be an open space to do arts and crafts, “cook” and serve food from the play kitchen and jam on instruments all without sending me into a dither.
As far as my concerns. The creation of a second play area is forcing us to reevaluate our things and to do some purging. We probably don’t need to keep the majority of the stuff we have stored down in the basement and it’s yard sale season anyway so…that’s the first solution. The girls are now at an age where they can play together without causing too much damage to them selves or each another. I would not have done this a year ago but I think they are ready for a little independence and I need to let them have it. It will be good for all of us. Here are some amazing play areas that have inspired me.