6 Tips on Creating a Play Zone

6 Tips on Creating a Play Zone

The family room is where real-life social networking occurs. It's the happenin' location for every member of the family, large and small, young and old(er). These days especially, as we spend more time at home, the family room has to meet everyone's needs—whether you are working, working out, homeschooling, watching a movie, playing games with friends, or...using it as a playroom for your munchkins.

Many of us don't have the square footage for a dedicated playroom for our kids. We spend time together in our cozy family room where there's a whole lotta livin' going on! Truth be told—though we all need periods of quiet, alone time—there is something warm and inviting about observing our children playing right in front of our very eyes...something reminiscent about allowing the kiddos to dance and play in the same room we are paying bills, writing up our newest proposal, or just trying to have a moment with our significant other. Family time, in the family room, is IMPORTANT! But how do you make that space work for everyone?

Here are 6 tips on carving out a play zone in your family room:

1. Create literal zones. You may not have a lot of room, but kids are little...and they really won't care how small their play zone is. You can:

  • Divide the room using furniture—strategically place chairs and couches so that there is a sitting or relaxing area, and a play area...keep it warm and friendly.
  • Use a corner to create a hideout. Liven it up by adding some fun, kid-sized furniture (dad...don't sit on that unicorn chair, please...we know you're thinking about it!)
  • Get cozy—use the space behind furniture to create a private haven for your kids. They love to hide behind the couch—let's make it a place to play!


2. Use furniture to your advantage.

  • Sofas and loveseats make great hiding places for gymnastics tumbling mats or play rugs...just slide them under when not in use (out of sight, out of mind).
  • A coffee table or ottoman can showcase your reads, and they're also great places for drawing, doing homework or playing a game with the family. Choose furniture pieces with storage features that can keep art and school supplies accessible, yet out of sight.
Use a colorful rug

3. Use a rug to designate—"THIS is where we play!" A fun design or bright colors will add life to your family room (as if the squeals of children playing aren't enough). Bonus—it makes clean-up easier if you ask your children to keep their toys and playthings confined to the rug area.

Nix the coffee table completely

4. Nix the coffee table completely. Yes...it is just for a season. And no...you won't be sorry. For those fly-by growing up years, clear the room and let the family room floor become a dance floor, a wrestling mat, or a building station. When the kids get older, you can put the treasured heirloom coffee table back in for Family Game Night.

What about storage?

5. What about storage? I would wager a bet that every one of us has stepped on a tiny block late at night and done the silent painful dance as we bite our tongue in agony! There are so many creative and attractive ways to store playthings these days; we don't have to be limited by plastic bins that can become an eyesore.

  • Use a bench with space to store baskets holding kids' toys. Give each child their own basket; or separate toys by type for easier clean-up.
  • Pull double-duty with an attractive storage trunk which also provides extra seating.
  • Ottomans are great places to hold blankets, books and puzzles.
Clear out a spot

6. Lastly, if you DO have a little more room, clear out a spot for indoor tents, inflatable play spaces, and customizable forts. These temporary play spaces allow BIG play right inside the family room, but break down and stow away small. Best yet—they allow your kids to feel like they have their own private haven.

Share your family room play zone solutions with #hearthsong today!

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