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How to Create Multifunctional Play Areas for your Kids

Wouldn’t it be nice if your home was large enough to have a separate play area for the kids, an area for you to watch television, and a separate area for everyone to coexist and still be happy? Well, maybe in a dream world, but in the real world, most homes have to be creative when thinking of areas for the kids to play.

Quite possibly, the main gathering areas, such as the living room and family room have to accommodate the kids, the older siblings, and the parents. Here are tips for creating multifunctional play areas that the whole family will enjoy.

  • Expand upon what you already have: In many homes, you already have the ‘bones’ for a good playroom.  Consider using the main walls of your living room or dining room that have plenty of space for kids to be imaginative with.  Wide-open walls can be used for bulletin boards, lining up easels for art projects, or can be painted with chalkboard paint for the ultimate in non-stop creativity for your kids. If you are handy with do it yourself projects, consider building built-ins for desks for adults and children to utilize while other family members are using the wall chalkboard.
Petri Oeschger / Getty Images
  • Turn unused space into a playroom: If your home has storage space or rooms that are not being used to their full potential, consider transforming them into multifunctional play area and congregating space. Basements, storage rooms, and unused dens or offices are good spots to transform. The advantage of these areas are the ability to take playful, whimsical wall colors, fun furniture, and combine the space with adult sized furniture, and storage, and the space instantly can house all ages of the family. Use one wall for a television and video game area, and the entire family will enjoy using this space at separate times of the day.
Eri Morita / Getty Images
  • Combine education and play: For many homes, the ability to have a separate studying quiet area and an activity play area is not realistic.  Combine the two functions, and separate at what times of the day you house the separate activities. Desks for kids that have computers and organized space for school work and activities, can later be used for board games and crafting projects. Consider using desks that have plenty of top work surface space and can take advantage of vertical wall space as well. Organization stores have great ideas for hanging baskets, shelves, and colorful bins to keep kids’ belongings close at hand, yet out of parent’s way!
Vostok / Getty Images
  • Share the space, but still make it fun: If you live in a small home or an apartment, find ways to share the space with your little ones, but still, make it fun. Opt for neutral tones and use organizational decor to add color, and creative inspiration. Colorful rugs, accessories, and wall decor can make your child feel like they aren’t giving up being a kid! If your main area has to be used for adult entertainment at a later time, opt for family-friendly furniture slipcovers, and transitional color palettes that will make your home still feel sophisticated. A neutral palette of chocolate browns mixed with blues and greens can feel grown-up or kid-like, depending on what decorative accents you have in the room.

Having a multifunctional playroom in your home can keep the sanity between all family members. Since children don’t play 24 hours a day, it is realistic to house a playroom in the same place where you have common household activities. For open floor plans that have a great room, instead of individualized space, consider housing louder play areas closer to the kitchen area, and quieter play areas closer to the bedrooms. This will help your household maximize the benefit of combining multifunctional playrooms, and make you happier at the end of the day.

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