Home is synonymous with love, care, and happiness. We spend our valuable time with our own family at home. In the pandemic situation, our home has become “the school, the office, the gym, and the party hall”. A play space at home will let them have quality time.
A fun space will keep our kids engaged and provide both physical and mental relaxation to our little commandos. It will give them a break from their online classes and do healthy and happy activities rather than playing video games, online games, etc… We can also feel relaxed and occupied by accompanying them in their play. It can be a good warm-up and freshening exercise.
Make a home-play area for our kids with our magical ideas. Little patience, time, and interest are the essentials to set up a play area at home.
Which space to redesign?
A small space in the living room or kid’s room or backyard can be used to build a play area. We can also redesign the entire kid’s room with the existing furniture as a play area for the kid. A name board or welcome board to the fun arena like “Welcome to Nishu’s play area” or “Hemu’s Fun zone” can be made by various DIY concepts. You can also find many fascinating customizable name boards online.
Magic 1: Mats
Mats are the first essentials on the floor for a play area. It keeps the kids away from bruises and cold floors while playing. The play area is made amicable for eyes and hearts by decorating it with mats. Attractive interlocking mats are available in different sizes and patterns. 3D Cartoon printed mats, alphanumeric mats, grass mats, and fluffy foam mats are a few to name. They are anti-skid, waterproof, and foldable.
Eco-friendly mats are also available nowadays in interesting designs and shapes. The price of mats starts from INR250. In order to create a natural ambiance for the kids, artificial grass carpets can also be used. This gives them the outdoor look and feel. It creates freshness in the mind to play. The mat will remind their space and let them be responsible to take care of the things available in their play area. This also restricts them to use their allotted space for play.
Magic 2: Tent House
Tent house is the old magic, yet a beautiful one. A saree or pillow-mat tent house is a nostalgic memory of everyone’s childhood. Play Tents make the kids imagine and enjoy creating a home for themselves.
To make a tent house, an old saree or a dhoti, or a mat across the wall is the minimum need. If you can spare a few bucks, many ready-to-assemble play tents starting from INR 700 are available. Play tents increase their fun in every pretend play they love to do. It gives them the pleasure of owning a home and creating a space of their liking.
Magic 3: Pretend Play Corner
You can choose a corner in their play area and put a corner table for them to use. They can use it for all their pretend plays, be it kitchen play, blocks building, dressing up play, clay play, shopping, billing play, doctor play, or repair shop play.
Most of the time the pretend plays end up messy so instead of messing up the entire place, they can use this space and clean afterward. Having a separate corner for pretend play will increase their pleasure. Nowadays stand-alone kitchen pretends play sets, make-up sets, fire engine sets, shopping malls and etc… are available. But this will be a reusable multi-purpose corner that will suit all the plays. We never know how much a small corner table and a chair would engage them.
Magic 4: Ball pool
A colorful trick to engage kids for hours is the ball pool. It will interest children from 9 months to 3 years. The younger they are, the more they are engaged by it. When younger it will help kids to recognize the colors and the shape easily. While they grow up they may use the ball tent to play catch and throw ball games.
Magic 5: Slide
Slides are fun play everyone enjoys irrespective of age. My elder son and I are the play partners in outdoor slide play. An indoor slide can be fun up until school-going age. Slide available online starts from INR 1600. You can also prefer pre-loved slides and resell them after your kids outgrow them.
You can keep the ball tent at the end of the slide so kids can fall into the ball pool while sliding. It will increase their fun. Indoor slides come from many heights. The tallest one can be used for a long.
Magic 6: Artistic Corner
This would be the most loved corner for your kids. Colors are the happiest part of childhood. Having a splashing corner is something your kid would love to and it will engage your kids for a long time. There are many ideas to create an artistic corner. The first one is a very fun idea that will best suit kids from babies to preschoolers. You can paste a laminated white color sheet over a side of the wall and put a washable mat below so they can splash and paint and wipe it away.
You can also keep a long chalkboard for them to color in a corner. It will interest the schoolgoers to draw and write. A table with a rack and chair for sitting and coloring is another idea to engage the older kids.
Magic 7: Rocking chair and See-saw
Is there someone who doesn’t love a rocking chair? From babies to adults everyone loves to be rocked. Rocking chairs suited to age are available even in funny designs such as rocking horses. However, rocking chairs can be unsafe with many kids around since they may end up crushing their fingers or falling down from them. Adult supervision is essential while playing in rocking chairs.
Another well-known fun play is See-Saw rocker. They start from INR 1500 in online stores. This play will help families with many kids to engage themselves easily and happily. You can also prefer pre-loved ones at a lesser price. With a single kid, Yeah! Most of the time we will be the ones to push the rocker. The giggles at the ups and downs will always be priceless.
Magic 8: Sand Play Corner
An excellent immunity-building fun play is sand play. This would be the most engaging corner of your kid. But it is preferred to be kept in the back yard or portico or terrace. Get a sack of sand and fill it in the sand corner with cement fencing. The cement fencing aids in playing inside the allotted space and avoids spillage. If space is a constraint, we can make small sandboxes at home by reusing cardboard boxes and a bucket of sand.
Sand play promotes physical development and muscle building while digging, pouring, sifting, and scooping the sand. Eye–hand coordination aids the children to manipulate accessories. It also promotes social skills. The sand play sets are available for INR 200. You can also encourage your kids to use old spoons, bowls, and figurines.
Magic 9: Trampoline
A trampoline brings unimaginable happiness to the kids. It is hard to keep yourself quiet without a big smile on your face while jumping in it. If the play area is in the backyard or terrace, a bigger trampoline is a bonanza in their play area. However, it needs adult supervision and is preferred with fencing. For indoor, it is available in mini sizes for smaller kids. The price for a new one starts from INR 2500 and a pre-loved one can be lighter on the wallet.
It improves the motor skills, coordination, and energy levels of the kids which in turn builds alertness. It promotes a healthy cardiovascular system by increasing your heart rate just in 10 minutes of play. This ends up building a strong immune system.
With these ideas, we can create a fun world in our home and let our kids have all the fun just at home. It will be their most loved space in our home and would give tons of happiness to our little musketeers. It is a great and fun way to show them “Anything can be done within a small area by our own creativity with balanced effort and cost”.