Where Kids Rule - The McMullin Design Group - Kid Friendly Design

Where Kids Rule – Playroom Dos & Don’ts

Posted by Bridget McMullin on July 24, 2019

Interior Design - Basement Design


Basement playrooms are an interesting animal depending on where you’re at in the journey of parenthood.  New parents tend to get extremely anxious about their three-year-old playing on another floor in their home while the seasoned parent (usually one with a second child) is happy for the peace and quiet.

Without a doubt, the overwhelming accumulation of STUFF by that small human being you call your child will soon overwhelm your home. So, the basement is sure to become a needed bit of real estate for you to regain your sanity.  Many parents believe they can organize their way out of the accumulation nightmare that can come with young children, but the truth is, stopping the accumulation of TOYS is the real battle.

The University of Southern California Los Angeles did an anthropological study regarding our consumption and our homes. One of their observations was that most families complain that they have no space, yet the number of toys owned by children takes up a large portion of that space. When given a value, toys usually represent a large fraction of the monies that families claim they need to live better. And American children buy 40% of all toys manufactured. Think about that…  REALLY THINK ABOUT IT!  Our children’s toys are making us poorer.

But wait!  “I didn’t buy all of them”, you say.

Sure, but all those toys take up valuable real estate, both in your home and in your mind.  They add to overall clutter which has been proven to create anxiety for most people. Maybe the toys aren’t making you financially poor, but they may be making you mentally poor.

What do I take away from this?  First, we need to consider limiting not only the space but also the number of things in any playroom.  This is not only better for the environment (WIN) but also financially better for the family (WIN, WIN).  By creating dedicated creative play spaces, we teach children the value of space, keeping that space clean and organized, and how to care for our things in a meaningful way. These lessons will be important one day  when your children will have their own apartment, office, or home.

Play is one way that children learn about the world.  By approaching a play space thoughtfully, one might even find some hidden sanity in all those Legos!

Who knew our child’s playroom and the environment were so interconnected!


Interior Design - Basement Design

Interior Design - Basement Design


So here are some tips to help cull the explosive expansion of your child’s toy collection…

  • Limit new toys to ten a year. Our need for consumption comes from the never-ending choices we have. Children are overwhelmed when we give them too many choices and we also teach then to devalue what they already have.  By limiting the toys available in a play space, kids use their creativity to cross play with what is available to them.  By limiting we also teach them to care for what they have.
  • Create a space that make organizing and SEEING easy. Keep toys in clear containers and label them, so the child learns to relate items with the words. Your goal is to encourage self-clean-up.
  • Aim towards creativity! Create bins that encourage creation. With a dedicated space, messy art projects and creative activities are a bit easier and there’s less need for an immediate clean up.
  • And with that creativity, what can you do to recycle? Kids love cutting up old magazines and creating objects from old things…think of sock puppets!
  • With that said, carpet tiles are a great solution for messy rooms. By using carpet tiles in this kid’s playroom, we hid lots of sins AND allow for replacement when needed.
  • Give your kids experiences instead of things!