Creating a Play Area - DIY!!
A step by step guide for creating a personal play area in your house
~By Silky Malhotra (Specialized in Early Childhood Care and Education) • 15 Minutes Read
Appropriate environments can have a positive impact on the learning and development of a child. There is a scarcity of play-based Montessori schools in India. You may not own Montessori training, but you can surely break the stereotypes and create a Montessori inspired play area for toddlers in informal spaces like home.
Children are curious to explore. They have minimal experience in the world around us, and everything is new to them. This is why they should be given an opportunity to explore and play in a safe and healthy environment freely. A Play-based approach to learning is the best way to make the child independent. It is also beneficial for working parents who have minimal time to spend and bond with their children. Having a play area at home will positively affect a child’s mood too. Here are the steps for creating a play area at home or any institution:
Step 1: Define your boundaries
The first decision you need to take is to recognize and mark the space you have with you. Measure the area. You can purchase a wooden fence to define the play area. It would also cater to the safety of your child. Design the space with attractive and vibrant color as young children gain interest in pleasant colors and sounds. Another good option, if possible, will be to choose a play area near a window.
Step 2: Decide your budget
Now, determine how much your pocket can afford. Of course, the larger your budget is, the better it will be. You can miss out on some steps given below if your pocket does not allow you to spend a significant amount. Another alternative for slow budgets can be that rather than setting up the area in one go, purchase items in installments.
Step 3: Safety is paramount!
Cushion the floor inside your play area. For that, you can purchase the foam alphabet and number mats. They are spongy and child friendly. Besides this, hygiene is essential. These mats can also be washed easily, which can turn your play area to a hygiene one. If you are transforming a walled room into a play area, you can cushion the walls of the room too. Children are active learners, and they sometimes hurt themselves due to this activeness. This step would prove to be useful in avoiding this situation.
Step 4: Play material- the most chief step
You can now purchase a bunch of different soft toys, legos, puzzles, musical instruments, slides, swings, rockers, ball pools, a mobile toy car, and even play stations and attractively arrange them...
Step 5: Storage and organization
Young children adopt habits very quickly as they are in their sensitive periods. A sensitive period is a time when children are at their maximum potential to acquire skills, habits, and development. Other than this, toddlers are visually active organisms. They imitate what they see. So, if they learn the art of organizing spaces during the early toddler age, it would be lifelong learning for them. Purchasing low-level shelves and small and big storage baskets/boxes is a good idea. Categorize the toys and play material according to their sizes or groups and allocate them specific spaces. Involve your children in this step. Once children learn orderliness, you would get in trouble to rearrange the area after his/her play-time.
Besides this, children may sometimes lose interest in some toys which can jiggle-joggle your pocket. To avoid such situations, you can always have toy rotations.
Step 6: Roleplay setup
You can also purchase a set of child-sized tables and chairs and build a tea party area for your kid with kitchen set decoration on it. Doll’s house or black/whiteboard is also a good option. In this way, your child can engage in roleplay too. Even you can become a neighbor or a student in his/her play.