Redefining the Playroom

Has your playroom become the dumping ground for all the random kids stuff? I’ve received so many questions about how I organize my kids’ toys that I thought I’d give you a tour.

We live in a New York apartment, but luckily with some thoughtful space planning, we turned a 10×15 bedroom into a multipurpose room.
It’s now the:

Playroom. • Home gym. • Music room. • Guest room

My kids are now 7 and 12, so we no longer have baby toys which takes up a lot of space. Also, part of my vision as a parent is to replace toys with more creativity and imaginative play using things we have around the house. So making cars out of shipping boxes, forts our of bedding, and scavenger hunts, have reduced the amount of toys we have.

In the video, you saw that my kids still have some toys from their childhood. I practice the KonMari Method with them, so they are the ones deciding which toys to keep. We do this every few months so anything they haven’t played with in a while gets reviewed. I respect whatever choice they make as long as they can explain their reason. This allows them to feel a sense of power and control, which actually will help them to let go more easily than you trying to sneak away toys.

The one toy that we have the most of is a decade worth of LEGO. We love not only building the sets together, but we make practical things for the house (centerpieces for holidays, stands for our phones), and my 7-year-old and I spend our daily special time making up stories with LEGO using certain sets as backdrops.

By using the 10×10 LEGO Baseplates, we are able to easily move the theme we like for our story, and just as easily put them away. Plus they are super cute to look at!

We keep our oversized books at the bottom of this shelf so my son doesn’t have any trouble taking them out.

When COVID-19 and the various storms were coming down hard on New York, we needed a solution to keep the kids active indoors. We already had a compact rowing machine, but it was a little difficult for the little one to use. Then we noticed people were converting their bikes into stationary bikes. And that’s been the best decision ever! Since I’m about the same height as my 12-year-old, I got the bike too and love it! And we use a special visual timer to keep track of how long to spend on each activity so everyone gets a fair turn.

These exercise machines faces a TV that give us the option of putting on a workout video.
Uptown and downtown of our LEGO City

What once took up about half the room of the boys’ LEGO City, now only a strip up against the wall on this 2-tiered rolling coffee table. This has solved the problem easy vacuuming, the kids can sit on the floor and play with the pieces closer to eye level, and it’s just a wonderful display of their creations. The casters allow us to wheel the city to the kids’ bedroom if we needed the extra space when we have visitors and this becomes a guest room.

The rug design helps to make the room look larger than it really is. And the yellow curtains brings an element of fun energy to the space.

Since the rowing machine can stand up, we can double the play area on the rug in just minutes. Turning this this multi-purpose room into an area that promotes fun and creativity.

When planning how to best organize your playroom or spare room, expand your thinking to how to use your space as another parenting tool. Focus on what will make this room easiest to clean up for the kids. What tools do they need so they can become more responsible? How versatile is it to move things around? Can the children play safely in here by themselves? Or what rules need to be put in place so everyone can enjoy the room?

If you need help planning your playroom, or need help with your organizing with the parent-child relationship in mind, contact me to set up a complimentary 30-minute call to find out what’s possible.

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