7 Easy Ways To Create A Fun And Functional Playroom

Stacy Randall
by Stacy Randall
Credit: Shutterstock / Ground Picture

A dedicated place for kids to play can be a lifesaver when it comes to keeping your home organized and tidy (not to mention calm). When things get messy, simply shut the door or draw the curtain to hide the chaos. But if the playroom isn't functional, toys and mayhem soon start seeping into other parts of your home.

Paring down playthings, creating zones, and using kid-friendly storage that’s within your children’s reach help make a playroom functional. Use furniture and materials that are easy to keep clean, and implement proper precautions to make things safe. Having a simple clean-up routine helps maintain a tidy and manageable space for everyone.

Can your kids find what they’re looking for, have enough space to play, and put things away easily? If so, then you have the primary ingredients for a successful playroom that encourages children to stay and play.

7 Tips For Creating A Functional Playroom

Are you creating a brand-new play space for your children (it’s a great option for a spare living room)? Or is your current playroom in desperate need of a redo? These tips make it simple to fashion a space that makes playtime a breeze and staying organized even easier.

1. Use Kid-Friendly Storage

When you can’t find something you’re looking for, what happens? You get frustrated, pull a bunch of stuff out and make a mess, then finally give up and do something else. Well, your kids do the same thing when they can’t find their toy of choice.

Organizing toys, books, stuffed animals, and other items in a way that makes sense for kids makes playtime fun instead of stressful. Use kid-friendly storage so it's easy for children to identify the location of things.

Clear bins and open-topped baskets are ideal for a dedicated playroom. These items allow children to identify the contents immediately. However, if you’re creating a play area in a shared space, it makes more sense to want to hide the kid clutter.

If you decide on opaque containers, use labels on everything. Make sure the labels are age-appropriate. For example, if your children can’t read, use picture labels. If they can read, make sure the words are clear and concise so kids process them quickly.

2. Pare Down Playthings

Organizing your kid’s toys is essential to making a playroom functional. But if your children have too many toys, it becomes overwhelming to manage it all. Even if your kids don’t show it, having too many things crammed into the space likely makes it more difficult to play and relax.

Therefore, work with your children on decluttering their toys. Go through items and separate them into piles, choosing which ones to keep and which ones to donate. Broken or damaged items need to go.

Once you have the remaining items, assess how many things are in the space. If it still seems to be too much, consider rotating toys. Only put a few things from each category (stuffed animals, building toys, music, dolls, vehicles, etc.) out at a time. Every few weeks, swap out the items for ones you keep stored away.

3. Set Up Zones

If your playroom is one big room with a bunch of stuff in it, your kids may struggle to make sense of it. Creating zones in the space gives children clearly defined areas for different tasks and guides them when they’re trying to decide what to do.

Examples of zones are a cozy reading nook, an art station, a building zone with blocks and similar items, and a role-playing space. The role-playing space might be a toy kitchen, restaurant, grocery store, doctor’s office, or beauty shop.

Within each zone should be the items kids would use in that space. For example, the book bins go in the reading nook, the blocks and magnetic tiles are in the building zone, and the play food is in the role-playing area. In addition, make sure to leave enough open space for kids to move around, tumble, spread out, and play.

4. Keep Things Within Children's Reach

Unless you want to be a part of every play session and clean-up time, make sure kids can reach their stuff. It doesn’t do anybody any good if the playroom is meticulously organized, but the toys are on high shelves.

The playroom is for the kids, therefore, the kids need to be able to reach whatever is available. Save upper shelves for closed storage that contains backstock items, extra art supplies, or the toys you rotate. But anything that’s currently in rotation, needs to be accessible to the kids.

This simple tip makes it easy for kids to play, but it also makes it easy for them to clean up for themselves. It also helps children take more responsibility for their space and belongings.

5. Make Things Safe

It doesn’t matter if your kids are two or twelve, everything in the playroom should be age-appropriate and safe. Install the proper child safety equipment based on your kid’s age.

Some things to keep in mind are:

  • Secure tall or heavy furniture pieces to the wall.
  • For very young children, avoid using tall shelves that could become climbing equipment.
  • Cover electrical outlets and secure cords.
  • Use furniture with rounded edges, or use corner protectors.
  • Don’t overload bins with objects, so they don’t become too heavy for kids to handle.
  • Avoid using storage that’s taller than your children, so they don’t pull objects down on top of their heads.
  • Pay attention to the flooring, using rugs or cushioned surfaces as necessary for your children’s age and mobility level.

6. Use Easy-To-Clean Furniture And Materials

A playroom is meant for play, exploration, and fun. But if you spend every second your kids are playing worrying about them making a mess, it’s not fun for you.

Remember, for a space to be functional, it also needs to be easy to maintain. Otherwise, it’s likely to remain in a constant state of chaos.

Therefore, when designing the space, be mindful of the materials you use. Get furniture that is easy to clean. Easy to wipe surfaces for tables, chairs, and shelving are ideal.

Any soft surfaces should also be easy to clean. Consider using washable rugs, furniture with removable cushion covers, etc.

7. Create Simple Clean-Up Routines

If you stick to the above tips, you’re on the road to a functional, successful, fun playroom for your kids. But to keep it that way, creating a simple cleanup routine is critical. If you let things pile up, picking up becomes more of a chore. It’s always harder to pick up a mountain than a pebble.

Therefore, start building good habits with your kids. Teach them to pick up items from one activity before moving on to the next. At the end of each day, spend a few minutes tidying up the space. Return things to their proper homes, throw away trash, and wipe surfaces.

Giving Kids A Playful And Practical Playroom

One of the best things for children is having time to play and be kids. A dedicated playroom is an incredible perk because your kids get their own zone. Plus, it makes it easier to keep the rest of the house tidy.

But even if you don’t have a separate playroom, it’s still possible to give your children a dynamic play area. These same principles can help make a shared space a functional play spot for your kids.

Use storage that makes it easy for children to identify and access their things. Set up zones for various activities to define clear boundaries within the space. Make sure things are safe and easy to clean, and create simple habits with your kids that help maintain a tidy room.

Keep playthings to a manageable amount, so children have space to play and breathe. These few simple steps give your kids a practical playroom that’s fun for them and stress-free for you.

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Stacy Randall
Stacy Randall

Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.

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