4 steps to setting up your play space
It is so easy to get lost in the world of Pinterst and Instagram-inspo pictures of gorgeous play spaces and stunning toy rooms.
That is why I thought I would make my first blog post about how to set up an engaging and purposeful play space for you and your family.
Every space is different. Every family is different, therefore every play space will be different!
Here is what our play space used to be, a toy box, a mat and a blanket. That’s it. No shelves. No expensive toys. Just a box and a baby. It was perfect, it was wonderful and Aidan loved it!
My point is it doesn’t have to look amazing or cost a fortune to be engaging and purposeful.
The toy box was filled with age appropriate resources, books and DIY toys. Every morning I would pull 3 toys out and set them up on the mat for Aidan to discover. He would play purposefully and busily. When he became bored, I would switch what was on the mat. Every few weeks I would rotate what was in the box. The blanket on the floor was his quiet space. He would lay there and rest or read books.
So! How to set up your play space:
1. Find a space in your home.
We have always set up the play space in our main living area. That way we are always there, the kids can play independently and we can pop in and out as needed. This has always provided wonderful opportunities for social and learning interactions.
Make sure there is room for storage and open space for play and movement.
2. Find a storage solution.
I believe open shelves are best for a play space. All a children’s toys are visible, they have their own space and little ones can pack their things away independently.
There is not always the room for shelves so a simple box can work too. If you are using a box I recommend packing the toys away neatly and with all their parts. Setting toys out on the floor for your child to see and have easy access to also helps box storage work well.
3. Make it engaging
This can be done in a range of ways, from pictures ( hung at your child’s eye level) to rugs, to nature, to children’s art work.
Make the space somewhere your child wants to go.
We have always had a big need for a quite space and I think it is important addition. Our first quite space was a blanket on the floor with some pillows, we then upgraded to a little couch. Teepees and canopy areas are also very popular!
4. Choose toys carefully
This is the most important step! A range of toys need to be included in the space. I usually try to stick to five groups,
- fine motor (hands and finger work)
- gross motor (big muscles – jumping, throwing)
- art and music (crayons, paper and musical instruments)
- open ended toys (blocks, animals, people)
Ensure the things you choose under this category are age appropriate and achievable for your child. After all, the whole point is for them to have fun!
If you are stuck on what is appropriate never hesitate to drop me a line and I will share some of the things we have done, there are heaps of ideas on my instagram page too!
This is what our play space used to be, our computer corner. As Aidan and Evie grew the box was not working for us any more. We made this change and have not looked back!
Over the weekend, tag #playtribe over on instagram so I can check out your play space. I will be sharing my favourites!