With the whole family spending more time at home than perhaps ever before, it can
feel challenging to keep children engaged and learning when they might be feeling the
loss of their normal routine of school, activities, and playdates. We’ll share some great
ideas for turning the chaos of a child’s playroom into a well-structured space with
designated activity centers that utilizes toy rotation. The result is a room that will
encourage your children to play in imaginative, new ways, and that you might just be
able to get excited about as well.
Encourage children’s love of reading by creating a cozy space in the playroom
specifically for that. Try putting a bench beneath the window in the room, setting up a
child-sized chair in the corner, or filling a small nook with a comfy mat. Be sure to
outfit the space with fun pillows and soft blankets that will help make reading a
relaxed and happy time. A nearby bookcase or shelves on the wall for all of their
favorite reads completes the area.
Dressing up allows children to express themselves, explore different versions of who
they might want to become (think outfits for police officers, firefighters, doctors,
etc.), as well as aids in letting their imaginations run wild. Try placing all of their
various costume pieces in a large trunk. You can really set the scene by adding a
mirror to the wall and hooks for them to place their outfits in between changes.
Separate baskets or wall shelves for props, hats, and accessories help to further
organize the space.
No playroom is complete without an arts and crafts station. A small table with chairs
(consider adding extra for when friends are allowed over again) is a great start. Lots of
small organizers and pencil holders can help keep art supplies from feeling cluttered
and can be laid out directly on the table. An easel next to the arts and crafts table for
painting and drawing takes this activity center to the next level. A hook for nearby
aprons helps to encourage them not to ruin clothes with paint, markers, and the like.
Motor Skills Station
Classic toys like cars, trains, and tool sets help with fine motor skills. You can set up a
section of the playroom a rug that has “roadways” on it, a table with train tracks laid
out, or a toy workbench for all of those tools they acquired. Legos or any type of
building blocks are also great for this specific station.
If there’s enough space in the playroom and you are okay with encouraging
movement and exercise indoors, a movement station is a really fun aspect to include.
Think jump ropes and a yoga mat; or, if you’re really adventurous, add a rockclimbing wall, a slide, or monkey bars inside for little ones to burn off energy even
when the weather isn’t nice or the seasons turn cold for a true highlight to the
We all know it happens— children have a plethora of toys, and we still hear
complaints of “being bored” and “there’s nothing to do”. Oftentimes this is actually a
result of being overwhelmed with options. Adults also have trouble deciding when
there are too many appealing choices (does the last time you went to your favorite
restaurant ring a bell anyone?!). So, in addition to designating spaces in the playroom
for specific activity centers, it can be helpful to institute toy rotation as well.
In case you haven’t heard much about this method before, instead of having all of the
clutter out at once, it entails curating a selection of toys to be displayed for a certain
length of time (organizing them into activity centers helps focus play as well), and
then put the other ones in storage so they are out of sight and out of mind of your
little ones. This helps old toys feel new again once they come back into rotation.
No need for the out of rotation toys to feel as though they are taking over the rest of
your home though— try large, closed, opaque boxes and bins, and store them away in
the closet of the playroom, or, if there is no closet, perhaps on out of reach shelving.
There are so many fun, easy ways to organize a child’s playroom that don’t have to
break the bank, but can encourage new ways to approach play and learning. Simply
arranging toys by type in different areas of the room with organizers such as baskets,
shelves, and chests is a great start. Try some of the ideas listed above or explore
others based on grouping (additional ideas include games, stuffed animals and dolls,
musical instruments, etc.). You’ll turn chaos into creativity, and cultivate a space that
expands your child’s imagination, but won’t give you a headache just by looking at it!