This post may include affiliate links and I may earn commission if you make a purchase through these links.

Why You Need to Make Organizing your Play Space a Priority

You’ve probably heard the words, “I’m bored” or “Please play with me!” more times than you can count from your child. It’s not that I don’t love to play with my three little wildings, but sometimes mama has to get her stuff done too! How we organize a playroom (or play space) should be a priority. It will save you time in the long run! 

When you see how much “stuff” your kids have to play with, you may wonder how they can possibly be bored or need you to facilitate their play.

Chances are their play space isn’t organized to facilitate purposeful play. We know that the environment is a teacher and that we must organize a playroom in order to maximize learning through play.

What is purposeful play?

First, what do I mean by purposeful play. Purposeful play is how children develop the cognitive, social and emotional skills that allow them to succeed in life! Although play is open-ended, your kids can still participate in purposeful play when you have an organized playroom or play space with the right toys and tools. 

What areas should I have in my play space to promote purposeful play?

Encouraging your children to play independently and in a way that promotes their learning, you’ll want to have areas in your play space that focus on both cognitive and social and emotional learning. Here are some spaces I recommend. Note that you do not have to have a giant room to make this work.

You can organize these play spaces in different rooms, such as your child’s bedroom, the living room, or the dining room table. For example, when we’re not using it for eating, my kids often find the dining room table to be their designated art space. 

Calm down space:

First, the calm down space promotes social and emotional skills. Your kids should have a cozy space to relax, meditate, and think. This space may have pillows, bean bags, or even a fun tent!

Reading area:

Make sure your child has access to books to help their cognitive development. Reading encourages imagination and is a form of play! The reading area should be comfortable. I know my kids would rather sit on a comfy pillow than read at a desk and hard chair. 

Physical play space:

Your kids need room to run, tumble, and get moving! Have an open area with a play mat and/or things to climb on. Let go. Your kids may fall and get a few scrapes, but this purposeful, risky play also improves gross motor skills. Let your kids get moving!

Sensory space:

This is of course important if your child has sensory issues, but a place to explore the senses is essential for all kids! Check out toys like kinetic sand, rice, pebbles, and the ever popular slime. Teach your little ones how to clean up the mess, and you’ll be thankful for the purposeful, independent sensory spot.

Building space:

Bring on the blocks! There are so many toys you’ll find online or in stores that are deemed as “educational”. Often, those toys are anything but. However, blocks and Legos that are often considered “toys” are more beneficial than most of the so-called educational toys. Blocks not only help with fine motor skills, they also encourage imagination. Get your little engineer imagining and building! The building space is ideal for a flat surface.

Here are some of our favorite building toys and other open ended toys that encourage play.

Pretend play area:

Why not get a trunk or a plastic container and fill it up with costumes and props? Your kids will love to pretend that they are princesses, police officers, animals, doctors, different characters from books and movies, and more! Even if you are working or doing something else, make sure you listen to your kids as they pretend play. Some of my best memories are from the stories and scenarios I hear my imaginative kids come up with!

Art space:

Let the art space get messy! It’s simple enough to have newspaper or a plastic covering accessible for your creative kid. Cover a dining room table or usable space, and give them access to paint, crayons, markers, paper, and more. Unrestricted creativity leads to imaginative kids.

Invitations to Play

Organizing your play space in a way that invites play will help your children find materials and engage in purposeful play. Inviting your kids to play doesn’t mean that you are participating in the play. Invitations to play simply means that you are organizing a play space and giving them access to materials where they can see and use them. Your kids are more likely to play independently if they don’t have to interrupt to ask where things are. Let them explore, play, and learn!

I know you are excited to organize your play space! This is a quick overview, but to really create a purposeful play space, I invite you to join us with our purposeful play space course.

Interested in getting your little one to play independently?

Check out my Purposeful Playspace e-course to learn how to create a space for your children that invites them to play in ways that are more engaging, purposeful and independent.

Want more information about how play impacts your child’s development?

Check out my e-book: Simply Play: Everything You Need To Know About The Most Important Part of Childhood

Love this post? Check out some of the articles below.

Eight of the best kids outdoor water tables Perfect for toddlers & older children!

This post may include affiliate links and I may earn commission if you make a purchase through these links. If there’s one summer outdoor toy that’s guaranteed to keep the kiddos busy for hours, it is definitely the outdoor water table. This little toy doesn’t take up a lot of space and can be an…

How Do You Help Your Child Develop on Their Own?

How do you know how your kid is developing? And what’s the best way to help them develop on their own? That’s what we’re chatting about on The Play. Learn. Thrive. Show this week.

Why Should Your Kids Play With Open-Ended Toys?

When your kids play, do they play with open-ended toys or traditional toys? There are lots and lots of perks of open-ended toys. That’s what we’re breaking down on The Play. Learn. Thrive. Show this week.

How to Get Your 10-Year Olds On Their Toes: The Best Outdoor Play and Activities

This post may include affiliate links and I may earn commission if you make a purchase through these links. Getting kids active is a challenge for parents and teachers alike. Most 10-year olds today are all about video games, iPads, and Netflix – but too often, they’re stuck indoors. It can be challenging to get…

Nature Activities Your Children Will Love

This post may include affiliate links and I may earn commission if you make a purchase through these links. Nature activities are a perfect way to spend time together as a family and help your children appreciate the natural world. Getting outside is also essential for social, emotional, and cognitive development. So making outdoor time…