As parents, we all want our kids to have a space in our homes that’s completely theirs. A space where they can enjoy and spend time uninterrupted. A space that’s safe- aka a playroom [and keep in mind this doesn't have to be its own room, it can be a play corner!].
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While setting up this play area might seem like an impossible ask especially if you’re trying to stick to a budget, it doesn't have to be.
We got you with some incredibly helpful, playroom ideas on a budget that you can use for inspiration and advice to finally set up your child’s play space!
Ready to get started?
Is it Worth Having a Playroom?
Playrooms can provide an inexpensive place for kids to entertain themselves without requiring too much adult supervision. A lot of playroom furniture, if chosen and utilized properly, can offer children a chance to spend their time constructively and in a fun way while allowing adults some quiet time.
They can also encourage learning and teach your children about the world, and sharpen their gross motor skills and cognitive skills (thinking skills). That’s not all; playrooms also allow kids to expend energy indoors on rainy or cold days and offer a safe space for kids to dress up and enjoy other forms of creative play.
Having a designated playing area (whether it's a dedicated room or just a dedicated corner) for your child can give you, as a parent, some quiet time while keeping the kids busy. In addition, playrooms also encourage problem-solving skills by encouraging role-playing or imitation.
The Benefits of a Playroom [yes, even on a budget]
Financial savings are another great benefit of creating a playroom on a budget [duh!].
Instead of buying expensive furniture or toys (which kids do NOT need), look for ways to reuse what you already have around the house or buy secondhand items from thrift stores or online marketplaces like eBay or Craigslist. You may even find free items from friends or family members who no longer need them.
Additionally, consider investing in open-ended toys such as blocks, dolls, art supplies, and dress-up clothes, which allow children more freedom of expression than expensive toys often do (and they will last longer, providing even more long-term savings).
When parenting on a budget, it can sometimes feel like developing creativity and imagination has to take a back seat. But it doesn't.
We know developing play skills are essential for healthy childhood development. So focus on creating an engaging environment that will encourage independent exploration by providing opportunities for discovery by using materials you already have in the house or natural materials whenever possible (like rocks collected outside). These ideas add an additional layer of interest to the space without breaking the bank.
A Playroom should be a “yes” space!
What is a “Yes” Space?
Simply put, a ‘yes’ space is an area of the house where a child feels completely secure and safe. It is a space where the child can freely explore everything in a relaxed way. For a parent, a ‘yes’ space is the space where you won’t need to constantly hover over your child, telling him ‘no’ or ‘don’t touch or ‘don’t do that.’ This is the goal for any playroom or play space.
What Should Be in a Playroom?
So what should a kids playroom look like? Well, there are a few things to think about when planning a kids playroom. Based on the space you have available in your home, you can opt for a small or large playroom.
Playrooms can also be anything from being an entire room dedicated just for toys to being a section of the family room set aside specifically for your kid to spend his playtime.
There are a few key sections that’ll make up your kid’s playroom.
Space: Think about the space in your house that your child likes the most to be in. Is it a corner in the living room? Is it that small guest bedroom that you aren’t using? Think about accessibility too when you’re picking the space to use before designing your kid’s playroom.
Furniture: This one’s a biggie! Try to keep the furniture minimal yet safe enough to be used without adult supervision. This can mean different things for children belonging to different age groups.
Design: Playrooms do not have to be expensive, your kids will probably enjoy their new space even if you add a special rug or paint some fun colors on the walls! It should encourage them to want to play with toys and engage in creative thinking such as building things and playing dress-up.
How Do You Create a Playroom That Will Grow With Your Child?
If you’re planning to design an inexpensive playroom for your child, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind. Ideally, you’ll need to select elements, furniture, and storage items that grow with your child, and don’t need you to update or remodel every couple of years.
- Set aside some time specifically for planning and invest in high-quality essentials at the beginning.
- Create a list of all the items you want to be included in your child's playroom, including toys, books, storage containers, and other essentials.
- Once you have an understanding of what item will go where it's time to choose your storage bins and shelves
- Choose simple storage solutions that are durable and functional and last for years.
Choosing the Right Toys for Your Playroom
When choosing the right toys for your playroom, look for versatility and durability. Toys that can be used in multiple ways or adapted as children grow are a great choice.
For example, blocks can be used to build towers or create roads and paths; puzzles can add pieces or remove as needed; dolls and action figures can become characters in imaginative stories.
Durable materials like wood, metal, cloth, and high quality plastic will last longer and be able to be handed down from child to child.
Reuse what you already have when possible.
Look around your home for items that could double as toys – empty food containers with lids make great stacking blocks; old towels can become capes; kitchen utensils such as whisks and wooden spoons are perfect for pretend cooking. You may also find some forgotten gems at garage sales or thrift stores.
Open-ended toys encourage creative thinking by allowing children to explore their own ideas without being limited by instructions from adults.
Examples of open-ended toys include building sets (like LEGO), art supplies (markers, crayons, paint), musical instruments, dress-up clothes, and puppets/dolls/figurines. These types of toys allow kids to use their imaginations.
Choosing the right toys for your playroom can be a challenge, but it's important to look for versatility and durability, reuse what you already have, and consider open-ended toys.
How Do You Decorate a Playroom On a Budget?
Believe it or not, creating a vibrant and efficient playroom for your kids is possible, with just a few things from the dollar store and about $50-70 to spend. Remember that you don’t necessarily need to spend a lot- playrooms should be decorated in a fun way that will keep children entertained for hours, and that doesn’t mean having to shell out a few hundred bucks.
Here are a few essentials you might have to spend on if you don’t already have them.
A Play Mat
You can pick up something along the lines of a foam mat for just around $20. It's great because there are so many different ways to arrange the tiles and kids love crawling around them! Having a play mat is a great way to provide a safe place for children to engage in gross motor or more risky play.
Pick up some poster boards from the dollar store for cheap wall art and let kids paint whatever they want on them – then hang them up! You'll find that children's art is creative and fun, so don't be afraid to put it on display. It can also be a fun way to inspire them to spend more time doing art and craft activities.
Tables & Chairs
This one’s important because your kids will need a space to sit and have snacks, build, do play dough, or work on a project. Find cheap chairs and kid’s tables at your local thrift store or check the Facebook marketplace.
Inexpensive Playroom Décor Ideas
Don’t let your budget hold you back from setting up a nice playroom for your kids. Here are some inexpensive playroom decor ideas that will help create a fun place for your kids without breaking the bank!
Upcycling is a great way to use materials you already have and turn them into something new and useful. For example, plastic lids from bottles and yogurt containers can become large play blocks for stacking games.
Add in a few fun decorations that will add color and interest to the area. Simple things like feathers tied with ribbon make great additions to any space. You can also try using felt pieces that are glued onto foam balls
What is the Best Paint Color For a Child’s Playroom?
One of the easiest ways to choose a paint color for your child’s playroom is to stick to the basics. Choose colors that your child finds attractive, but remember to keep it simple and not too bright, as it can be overly stimulating. Muted tones are great choices or just stick with a basic white (shades of white will help the room feel bright and airy).
Functional, Inexpensive Playroom Storage Ideas
When it comes to choosing storage boxes and containers for your child’s playroom, opt for open containers or bins. You can pick inexpensive pieces from Target or Homegoods. That way, your kids can see what's inside each bin and can more easily select a toy.
You can also use a hanging organizer to store toys and craft essentials that you don't want your children to have access to without supervision.
Keeping Your Playroom Organized on a Budget
Keeping your playroom organized on a budget can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. With some strategic planning and creative solutions, you can keep your playroom neat without breaking the bank. Here are some tips for keeping your playroom organized on a budget:
Use Storage Containers Strategically:
Investing in storage containers is an easy way to organize toys and keep them off the floor. Look for stackable bins that fit snugly into shelves or cubbies, so they don’t take up too much space. You can also use drawers or baskets with lids to store smaller items like art supplies or building blocks. If you want something more decorative, try using wicker baskets or wooden crates as storage options.
Label Everything Clearly:
Labeling everything clearly will help kids know where their toys belong when it's time to clean up. Use labels with pictures if possible; this makes it easier for younger children who may not yet be able to read words easily. Label each bin with its contents and make sure everyone knows what goes where. This will save time when cleaning up after playing and prevent clutter from piling up around the room over time.
Rotating toys regularly helps keep things fresh and interesting in the playroom while preventing boredom from setting in quickly due to repetition of activities with same set of toys every day.
Try rotating out different sets of toys every few weeks so that there is always something new available for kids to explore and discover during their free-play sessions.
This also encourages creativity since children must come up with new ways of playing each time they get a “new” toy set.
Honestly, toy rotation is not my favorite thing. I much prefer to minimize the amount of toys you have to begin with. Make sure you check out my playroom makeover challenge if you need a quick and dirty way to start decluttering your space.
How Do You Stage a Playroom For a Child?
Ready with everything you plan to set up in your child’s playroom? Start out by setting up the key items first like the furniture and the decor. Clean the area thoroughly.
Next, move on to arranging the items. Remember that less is more when it comes to the items the playroom will have.
Set up your child’s favorite toys and puzzles in the space such that it looks inviting. The idea is to make the space look comfortable and interesting.
Arranging a Small Playroom Ideas
Arranging everything in a small playroom space can be tricky, but it isn’t impossible. Here are some of the best inexpensive playroom ideas that can help you utilize the space that you have available, in the best possible way.
- Consider creating an overhead storage system made of bamboo or wood strips. This can help if you’re looking to design a playroom for the long run.
- Use wicker baskets or clear, stackable containers. This will help you make maximum use of the vertical space available to you. Set them up in a specific corner as opposed to all over the space. This can be a designated storage area.
- Make use of the space under the bed if you’re setting up your kid’s playroom in his room.
- Let one specific corner be empty- let that be the space your child can relax and unwind and engage in the activity of his choice. Remember that it is important to let the space be open and inviting as opposed to crowded and full of options.
Arranging a Big Playroom Ideas
Got a big space to work with? You’ve got tons of options for inexpensive playroom ideas.
Start by arranging shelves and cubicles in a way that shows off your kid's toys.
Set up the furniture pieces in such a way that your children can easily move them and use them without getting hurt.
Open shelves can be an excellent investment you could make while setting up your kid’s playroom, especially if you’re on the hunt for cheap toy storage ideas.
If you don’t have the budget to make the investment, you can also consider buying preloved kid’s furniture or even regular open shelves at a thrift store and then update them by giving them a fresh paint job.
Arranging a big playroom should be fun! Arranging a big playroom might seem a bit daunting, but remember, it is all about utilizing the space you have in a mindful, efficient way.
Encouraging Independent Play in Your Playroom
Encouraging independent play in your playroom is an important part of helping children develop their creativity and imagination.
Providing opportunities for exploration and discovery can help them learn problem-solving skills, while allowing them to take risks in their play helps build confidence.
Giving children time to experiment and create encourages self-expression. Always keep in mind that PLAY is the WORK of the child.
No matter your budget, you can create a playroom your child will love!
FAQs about Playroom Ideas on a Budget
How do you decorate a playroom on a budget?
Decorating a playroom on a budget can be done with some creativity and planning. Start by assessing the space you have available and determine what type of items are needed to make it functional. Shop around for second-hand furniture, toys, bookshelves, storage bins, etc., or look into repurposing existing pieces in your home. Consider using wall decals or removable wallpaper to add color without breaking the bank. Lastly, don’t forget about lighting – natural light is best but if not possible then consider adding lamps that can be switched off when not in use. With these tips you can create an inviting and stimulating playroom for your little one without breaking the bank.
What does every playroom need?
Every playroom needs items that promote learning, creativity, and exploration. Puzzles, blocks, art supplies and books are all great options for stimulating a child’s imagination. Toys that encourage physical activity such as balls or tricycles can help children develop motor skills. Additionally, comfortable seating and storage solutions will help keep the space organized and inviting. Finally, parents should consider adding some sensory-based toys like sandboxes or musical instruments to provide an opportunity for tactile exploration. With these essentials in place, a playroom can become a safe haven of fun where kids can learn and grow through creative play.
What makes a good playroom?
A good playroom should be a safe, inviting space for children to explore and develop. It should have plenty of storage options to keep toys organized and out of the way when not in use. The room should also include age-appropriate toys that encourage creativity, problem solving, physical activity, and social interaction. Finally, it’s important to provide comfortable seating areas so parents can join in on the fun or supervise from afar. With these elements in place, you can create an environment where your child will thrive.
Do kids really need a playroom?
Yes, kids do need a playroom (but it doesn't have to be a dedicated whole ROOM). A dedicated space for play encourages creativity and helps children develop essential skills such as problem-solving, communication, and collaboration. It also gives them the opportunity to explore their interests in a safe environment while providing parents with peace of mind that their child is engaged in constructive activities. Furthermore, it provides an area where families can bond together through fun activities like board games or arts and crafts. Ultimately, having a designated playroom allows both children and parents to enjoy quality time together without distractions from other household tasks or electronics.
By choosing the right toys, creating an engaging environment, encouraging independent play, and keeping your playroom organized, you can create a fun and stimulating space for your child without breaking the bank. With these tips in mind, you can start planning your own unique playroom ideas on a budget that will bring joy to you and your child.