Finding space for toddlers to play can sometimes be difficult. Not all homes have an extra room that can become the “playroom.” In our home, we created a play area for our daughter in a corner of our living room. Someday, we may have a room just for playing and I’ll be able to share all of my playroom storage ideas with you. Today, I’m sharing our play area organization. The space isn’t very big and I typically like to live by the “less is more” motto.
Don’t mind my little photo bomber! She was ready to play!
Our daughter used to have a lot of toys. I mean A LOT. Way more than she could ever need. Typically what ended up happening was she would get something off of the shelf or out of one of her bins and toss it on the floor. Then, she would move onto the next thing and do the same. She never really played with toys, just ended up throwing them on the floor and making a big mess.
Prior to Christmas, I slowly began taking toys away and putting them in our basement. She didn’t even notice. But I noticed that she was actually playing with the toys that we left for her. She had too many choices before and it was overwhelming to her. Christmas hit and she got new toys, but they were specific items that we had asked for that would help her learning and independence. Now that we have gotten rid of the baby toys and transitioned to toddler toys, she is enjoying her things much more.
This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small percentage of each sale made using my links, at no cost to you. For more information, see my disclosures here.
Play Area Organization: Piper’s Corner
This is Piper’s play corner. We have tons and tons of books that eventually get strewn across the living room. I like to do a clean-up with her when we transition during the day (before snack, before a seated activity, before lunch, etc.). She does a really great job staying out of the bins on the top shelf. Every once in a long while she will pull out some DVDs or photos that we store there. One of those bins used to be on the bottom shelf and it was constantly getting opened up, so we made some adjustments to our set up. This seems to be working much better.
We store all of her kitchen “stuff” in or on her play kitchen. I didn’t want to have to find additional storage space for those items and it actually works very well. The food cutting set on the top is one of our seated activities that we do. We sit next to her and assist her with it. She asks to do that activity 4-5 times each day. She really enjoys it and is really improving her cutting skills. Be sure to check out the food cutting set if you have a toddler or even preschool-aged child.
We keep two baskets of her food up on top of the kitchen as well as the dish rack with all of the silverware. When we give her access to all of it all the time, it just gets tossed around the room. It goes back to what I said above about “less being more.”
Box of Random Things?
Yes, we have a box of random things. Sometimes it is held in this basket, other times it is in an extra bin or even in a box. It is literally just a bunch of random items that Piper likes to play with. You can see in the picture that there is no rhyme or reason to it. At the bottom, you can see a bag from Christmas. She carries it around and says “shop” and will put different items in it. There are a couple random balls that she likes to carry around, a phone from an old toy, a book that is sort of flimsy so we don’t put it on the shelf, and a half yard of mermaid fabric. In the pictures above, you can also see a soft farm book in there. She had stolen it before I could take a picture. Like I said, it’s all random, but she plays with all of it.
Play Area Organization: TV Stand Toys
We store some of her toys on our TV stand, too. She does a decent job of leaving stuff alone but she really enjoys shutting the Xbox off with her belly. While it is pretty comical, it can be a bit frustrating.
The pound-a-peg activity, finger puppets, and geometric stacker get the most use during playtime. We sing songs for each of her puppets and she thinks it is just the funniest thing. I didn’t want to have an entire storage bin for 10 finger puppets, but we didn’t want them just floating around either, so we ended up using a trail mix container that was empty and it works perfectly. She is also working on screwing the lid on and off, which is a great skill to have.
All of her musical instruments are stored in the Melissa & Doug tray that came with her instrument set. When we do music play, we pull out the entire tray and let her get out as much as she wants. She really likes the xylophone that she got for Christmas. The rainstick is also pretty cool. It is long though and she has bonked me in the head with it a couple times.
Next to our TV stand, we have Piper’s potty. She is doing a great job with potty training, so we keep her little potty where it is easily accessible. You can also see her felt-board and the box that stores her felt pieces. We pull that out every once in awhile to play with it. To learn how to make your own felt board, you can check out my DIY Felt Board post.
Play Area Organization: My Recommendations
These are the things that work well for us and our space. We recently added a small table on the corner of the rug so she had more “counter space” to work with. She likes to sit and read books there and do her seated activities there. The table is a good height for her to stand and work at or sit at.
Organizing a play space can be difficult, especially if you don’t have a ton of space to work with. My recommendations are…
- limit the number of toys that you offer your child
- keep some toys in a closet or in the basement and rotate those toys in and out
- group similar toys and store on the same shelf or in the same bin
- set expectations and boundaries for your kiddos (clean up toys before moving onto another activity, these bins are Mom and Dad’s, etc.)
I would love to hear some other ideas for play area organization. If you have tips or tricks to make our space work better, or have found something that works super well for you, I’d love to hear it! Please feel free to share in the comments below!
Pin for Later!
Play Area Organization Tips