In this guest post, grOH! Playrooms co-founder, CEO and Creative Director Anne Gillyard shares a simple rhyme to keep in mind when designing any playspace. As a professional playroom designer, Anne knows a thing or two about creating intentional and thoughtful spaces that the whole family can enjoy! Read on for her Playroom 101 tips and stay tuned for more advice from the grOH! team.
Is your family ready for a playroom transformation? grOH! has a tried-and-true mantra we want to share with you: Open Floor, Sort and Store, Less is More!
This one can be tough, but is an important first step! Most of the time, the fewer furniture pieces in a playroom the better. In your playroom, start with pushing your furniture to the wall. If you have any large toys (i.e. a rocking horse), create a “parking spot” for that toy to return to at the end of the day. If your playroom is incorporated into a main living space, consider relocating a coffee table or ottoman.
The goal is to create an invitation to take up space and have productive, creative play.
Sort and Store
Say goodbye to the toy box and start an epic toy edit! To begin, start with a pile of every toy you have. Yes... actually EVERY Toy. Assess if each toy is developmentally appropriate and serves a purpose in your kiddos’ playtime. If not, donate.Sort everything by toy or toy type. Each toy, even if it’s displayed, will have its own bin, its own zone, or its own home to aid in setup and cleanup. This will increase focus, independent play, and creativity.
Let’s talk bins: Open, opaque bins! No lids…seriously, NO LIDS, and opaque bins only! As we like to say: see no clutter, hear no clutter, speak no clutter. You'll need 4-8 bins with ONE type of toy per bin. A bin for dinosaurs, a bin for cars, a bin for blocks, etc… your kiddos will remember which bin is which and what goes into each bin. Plus, sorting is an early math skill development! WIN/WIN! Place these bins next to your play area.Here is the thinking behind “no lids.” Lids create additional barriers to our kiddos’ play. Our entire goal is to foster independence and allow kiddos the environment to initiate (and cleanup) play themselves. Lids also lead to STACKING. Stacking may seem like a small-space solution, but is in fact a big grOH-NO! The toys on the bottom of the stack will not be played with as much becauase there are too many barriers in the way.
Less is More
After your grOH-mazing Toy Edit and incredible organization, you are on your way! Creating a successful environment for your kiddo means limiting the amount of “stuff” and integrating a toy rotation.Now that you have sorted toy bins, there is likely a surplus of toys. But never fear, a toy rotation is here! Store the rest away from your kiddos’ line of sight in a closet or under a bed and see how their play changes. A rotation keeps clutter at bay, but more importantly, reinvigorates your kiddo’s play when you bring something back into the playroom!
A successful play environment supports your kiddos in developing life-long skills like independence, teamwork, and responsibility but also fosters creativity to help their potential reach beyond imagination. Utilize our mantra – "Open Floor, Sort and Store, and Less is More" – in your home and you’ll be astounded at the progress your kiddos make in their play. Learn more about grOH! playrooms at their website and social.