There is no contesting that play is vital for children, but why not make it fun for the whole family? Whether you’re needing a space to tackle the post-school jitters or just wanting to invest in a fun environment that everyone can enjoy together, installing an in-house play area can be the customizable creation your family needs to make the most out of their time together. Here are some tips to turn a lackluster space into the new favorite part of your home.
Identify & Declutter
Find an underutilized area of your home, indoors or out, that is temperate and spacious. It’s important that the area be safe, away from any large, hanging, or unmounted fixtures, roads, driveways, or water hazards, and have plenty of overhead room. Take your region’s climate into consideration when planning your space. Note that an indoor area might be ideal if you experience heavy winters and would like the space to occupy your snowy days as a family.
Areas of consideration might include a spare bedroom, finished basement, or even an office which could be split for parents of little ones who can work and monitor their children simultaneously. If your family is considering a new home, you might even be able to identify a space when viewing homes that already offer these features. Be sure to secure your budget with a mortgage preapproval before you find the perfect house. Knowing what you can afford in a home will make it that much easier to budget for projects and installations in the future, and will make it much more likely for your offer to be accepted over others.
Next, you’ll want to declutter the space you’ve chosen. The ideal environment will have plenty of open flooring, and—if inside—access to an entire room or multiple walls for storage and mounting. Don’t just relocate your messes. Take the time to sort, donate, sell, recycle, and trash the necessary items, furniture, etc. It could take some stress off of your shoulders and even show you items to repurpose for the play space. Give the area a good clean afterward, wiping down things like the walls and baseboards. It’s always best to completely refresh the space. Doing so could save you some hassle if you decide to repaint.
Don’t forget to allow your kids to get involved in the project. Including them can garner a sense of accomplishment and help them value the space enough to take care of it better.
Affix Your Foundations
As with any major project, it’s important that you sketch out a plan of action, create a budget, and consult the necessary professionals. Even if not permanent, find ways to mount furniture from falling and know how to properly install weight-bearing features such as indoor swings. Safety should always be a top priority with these kinds of builds and selecting the right flooring options and play mats could mean the difference between a minor bump and a doctor’s visit.
Choose features that are sturdy, built-to-last, and weather or rust-proof. Make sure your design includes a storage area for any loose equipment to hang on the walls or be put away in organizers. It’s okay for the environment to be more functional than fashionable as you’re bound to see a little wear and tear in any play area.
Your at-home place space is meant to be unique to your lifestyle and family. It can accommodate any age and doesn’t necessarily have to include traditional playground formatting or equipment. So long as the proper installation and safety features are implemented, the world is your oyster. Even better, you can create any play space on a budget tailored to your family’s spending habits and design a room that can be easily rearranged and revamped at any time.
Some major features to consider are an indoor rock wall, a maker’s space for crafting and building, an ultra-plush lounge area, or even a fort-style room that tunnels or slides to a different area of the house. The outdoors holds the potential for features such as a treehouse, playground, and backyard camping space ready for pitched tents, movies, and s’mores.
Whatever you choose to create will encourage more time together as a family, more play, and more memories. Have fun with it, make the space your own, and remember that you’re never too old to play on a playground.