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When your kids get to a certain age it can be extremely beneficial to have somewhere in your home that can be used as a playroom to mentally stimulate them and to allow them to let off some steam.
If you’re currently designing a new playroom in your home then stop what you’re doing and listen to the experts before you commit to anything. Karri Bowen-Poole is a former teacher and mom of three who has designed over 1000 playrooms over the past ten years.
Speaking to Insider, Bowen-Poole shared the following eight tips when it comes to building the perfect playroom for your little ones.
Think About What You Want to Facilitate
The number one tip that Bowen-Poole gives is the importance of considering what you want for your kids before you develop the playroom. For example, some people want their kids to spend less time on screens while others want them to play nicer with siblings.
Once you’ve figured out what you want to facilitate then you will be in a much better position to decide on what to include in the new playroom.
Create Zones in the Playroom
The expert designer says that an ideal playroom is broken up into different zone with each one acting as a hub for a particular type of play. For example, one zone will have blocks for building while another one will have balance beams for physical and sensory engagement.
Bowen-Poole says that “when we create zones, we’re steering children’s behavior without them realizing it.”
Clear the Clutter
Bowen-Poole says that one of the biggest mistakes people make with playrooms is filling them with toys. When people do this, a chaotic environment is developed which is detrimental to a child’s development. If there isn’t enough open space then kids can even be put off from going into the playroom.
Don’t ask for your kids’ opinion
Although the playroom is going to be for your children, avoid asking for their input on what they want in the room. A child’s interest will change over time so their opinion will likely be based on the flavor of the month and, therefore, they will quickly get bored of the playroom.
Bowen-Poole tells parents to trust themselves “to build a space that will serve their innate interests, personality traits, and needs.”
Utilize the Walls and Ceilings
A good way to ensure you aren’t cluttering your playroom is to make the most of the walls and ceilings. Bowen-Poole recommends installing hanging seats and floating shelves to help allow you to better optimize floor space.
Depending on where you live, the weather can have a serious impact on how much exercise your children get. By making sure your playroom encourages physical activity you can keep them away from screens and ensure their fitness is in tip-top shape. One way to encourage movement in a playroom is to include structures to climb, swing and balance on.
Bowen-Poole says that designing your playroom with a long-term strategy in mind means that your toddlers will be able to still use the space as they grow up. For example, reinforcing the ceiling for a baby swing will mean that it can be converted into a hammock when your kid becomes a teenager.
Don’t Overcomplicate Things
There is no need to spend a fortune on the latest gadgets and toys for your playroom. Instead, Bowen-Poole says to “focus on what you want from the space and think about what you’d like your kids to do more of, and make it easy for them to do those things.”
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