Attention all parents and grandparents!  Now that school is out for the summer, it’s time to think about how to entertain the kids on those occasional rainy days that require indoor play. How many of you have a toy box in the corner of your great room or a cabinet that’s crammed with toys and games?  Do you long for a space that’s set aside just for kids?  A space that is neat and organized? I know how you feel because I’ve been there too.  As a matter of fact, I’m there again.  My 3 year old granddaughter loves to play with the toys that I have stacked in the corner of the room.  And she has so much fun in the make-shift art center in the middle of my family room.  But it would be so wonderful to have a space just for her (and her baby sister Reilly). Dreaming of this brought back memories of my past “career life” – the days when I taught preschool and designed child care centers.  So I thought it would be fun to share with you some play rooms that I’ve found.  They work well because they are organized with a place for everything.

This playroom has several great features – cabinets to store toys and games, a play center, a work center (at the table), and a quiet center on the area rug.  The colors are cheerful, and the large windows allow lots of natural lighting.

I love the large amount of colorful storage in this space.  Everything has it’s own location so it’s easier to convince the little ones to put their toys away.  I always found that if you make a game out of clean up time, the task goes faster.

What child wouldn’t love to play in this space, with the loft reading/quiet area and the little playhouse!  It isn’t easy to be quiet in a large open space.  When you’re designing a room for children, it’s important to vary the ceiling heights to create a nurturing environment that’s perfect for cocooning.  Niches are an ideal location for this.  One of my friends had a very deep hall closet.  They built a wall in the back and added a tiny doorway  for an instant out-of-the-way secret hideaway.  Their grandchildren loved it!

Here is a different example of ways to store toys.  The tilted bins make it easy to see inside, and make clean up easy too.    I just love the tent.  It brings back memories of covering tables and chairs with blankets and hiding underneath to watch TV or read a book.  Being in an enclosed, small space is comforting to children, and usually keeps them calm and quiet. Color and texture, storage and light are a few of the things to consider when you design your child’s playroom. How will you design your playroom this summer?  Don’t forget to include the kids in the planning!