With so many amazing playrooms and design for little ones floating around on Pinterest, it’s hard not to feel inspired. Take these rooms for example: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (as you can see, I have a slight obsession with Teepees!). However, as much as I would love to create a little playroom for Eva, it’s just not viable in our three bedroom townhouse. So instead, I’ve taken elements of various playrooms and created “spaces” within our living room as well as being “creative” about storage.
1. A Reading Teepee/Corner
Eva loves her teepee — she not only reads in it, but loves to play hide-and-go-seek as she closes each of the velcro straps before ripping it open again! I try to rotate her books often — keeping some of her favourites and adding new ones to explore. This has been was one of the best purchases we have made, in fact, since we’re in the process of changing Eva’s room we’ve decided to move it there.
2. Toy Kitchen
Eva’s little Ikea mini-kitchen has been the perfect toy to promote imaginative play and practical life skills. Not only does she love to pretend to cook, eat food or sip tea, she loves to pretend wash her toy puppy dog in the sink too.
Taking advantage of the space under the television, is a collection of puzzles and small toys. These puzzles are fantastic for promoting critical thinking, patience and problem solving skills. Eva has complete access to these items and will often actively seek them out.
4. Music Box
I’m the first to admit that most of the time I keep this box hidden in the cupboard, but every time I bring it out, Eva loves to sit and explore every musical toy — shaking, banging, ringing. Whenever this occurs I have to remind myself of the benefits of playing music.
5. Art and crafts
Eva has a table and chair set, easel and craft cupboard in the kitchen. This cupboard it filled with various activities — play-doh, stamps, paints, stickers, various types of paper, puzzles, craft supplies, busy bags (boxes) and a number of early learning reference books.
6. Blocks and Toys
Blocks are excellent for promoting fine motor skills as well as spatial awareness, although I have to admit Eva doesn’t use them very often and only when Johnny or I introduce them. On the other hand, Eva absolutely loves these plastic toys. They would have to be some of her most played with toys. She loves lining them up, laying them down to sleep and matching them with pictures in books.
At the moment, Eva loves to pretend play — dressing up like a dinosaur or bunny rabbit. She will also make us dress up too and chase her around the house. Although we don’t have the space for much more, I would love to expand our collection as she gets older and begins to enjoy imaginative play more.
Both of these last two boxes are kept in Eva’s cupboard; however, like most toys, I try to rotate them as often as possible to keep Eva interested and engaged.
I hope this post goes to show that you don’t have to have a designated room for play, but rather prove that you can integrate play within your home without it looking too much like a childcare centre!