One of my most popular posts ever is my Play ( and learn) Room post where I walk readers through all the elements I think are essential for a playroom. The playroom in that post is designed for a young toddler and preschooler, the post explains what toys we had in our playroom and why they are important for learning. Here’s the thing my playroom looks very different now that my toddler is a preschooler and my preschooler is in 2nd grade. I am not ready to give up on this room though, it’s a happy room and with a few changes and a good clean my kids are completely in love again. This post is about how to set up a playroom your kids will use once they have outgrown your existing one. I knew I had to share the changes with you.
In this post a lot of the toys my children use and love are listed with affiliate links.
In the original post ( read it here) I listed these elements as the must have for a good playroom for very young kids :
- Table and chairs to create on.
- Dress up
- Practical life
- Musical instruments
- A comfy place to look at books
- Art on the walls.
Here is how I have changed the room as my kids have aged. The main elements haven’t been deleted just adapted.
Our block area no longer has Little People Builders , wooden, or Tegu Magnetic Wooden Blocks instead our toys have turned from these wonderful basics to the next step with Gears
, Automoblox , HEXBUG , and Color Clix . All of these toys allow my kids to build at their own level which is important when you have a 4 year old and an almost 8 year old. They also let them build and play together. Having them all out and ready lets them use the toys however they want. This weekend my daughter made a gear machine to spin her Magiclip Princesses
and see which could stay on and which would fall off. No prompting just access to the right toys. One toy that has been a favorite from day one and is still is LEGO
and DUPLO ( yes they both still play with it). The Duplo is in the playroom but Lego is in their bedrooms where they can protect their creations from demolition.
Our book nook is pretty much the same although most of the board books are gone ( a few favorites remain) and more non-fiction and chapter books have made their way on to the shelves.
One notable difference is our craft table. The table is the same but now it’s filled with art supplies within reach. The only thing that I don’t have out and available are liquid tempra and sharpies. Once my daughter is past her finger paint to whole body paint stage I will have it within reach. The sharpies… I’m just not ready yet. I have art daubers, markers, colored pencils, crayons, glue, googly eyes, buttons, gems, scissors, paper and more all out ready to be used.
Our kitchen area is filled with a lot more food, tea sets, and crocheted sushi. But we play grocery store with the cash register and shopping cart ,using the kitchen as the produce section and working on everything from manners, building confidence and math while we play.
The instruments have been moved to my toddler classroom where they are enthusiastically used! If your kids don’t use toys get rid of them no matter how awesome you think they are. You can pass them on to a friend or just put them away for a while and see if absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Some of the things we have added is the easel and a writing center on the top of the drawers that hold our Duplo, puzzles, and more. The writing center is a place to play with letters with pencils, markers, and even stamps. Our travel chalkboard and small Magna Doodle are more tools for writing. The easel gets used for drawing, writing, and even as a place to hang paintings to dry. You might recognize our cutting station which is used often and a great way to use scrap paper and broken beaded necklaces. It’s also a fun challenge.
The space hasn’t changed dramatically but what’s in it has evolved slowly.
Do you have a playroom? How has it changed as your children have grown? Tell me about it in comments.