As winter approaches (and is knocking on our door-temps of 25 degrees in the morning yesterday!), we really were needing a fun place inside where the kids could get their energy out. We have a large living room with lots of toys, but not a place where they could really throw a ball around. I was over my friend’s house a few weeks ago and was checking out her playroom in her basement- it was brilliant! They had an older home like ours, but the space was still useful and fun for the kids. I don’t know why we didn’t think about adding a play area in our basement previously, but I was inspired. So I mentioned it to Marcus and he was fully on board.
We got started almost right away. Because the mister was so enthusiastic, I had to snap a quick before picture, in true blogging fashion. So, warning- it isn’t pretty. But it gives you an idea what it looked like!
On a related note, how do we have so much junk?!
Since our home is on the market and we won’t be here for too much longer (we hope), we didn’t want to put a ton of money into it. So we tried to be as cost-effective but safe, and fun, as possible.
Since our basement isn’t finished, we had to do a few small things to make the area safe for the kids. That meant rearranging everything, clearing an area, moving anything dangerous like chemicals or paint, and padding the support poles. Our first stop was Home Depot to pick up the not as fun materials. We then ran over to Toys R Us. Not because we needed anything in particular, but we did end up leaving with a [eafl id=742 name=”hotwheels” text=”Hotwheels playmat”] and a [eafl id=743 name=”paw patrol poster” text=”Paw Patrol poster”] (my attempts to thwart were futile- I’m not a huge character fan. I mean, they don’t even watch the show. I know, boring mom).
Then came IKEA. Oh IKEA, I could sing of your organizational praises all day long. We made it out sticking pretty close to our list, which is a miracle in of itself. And no meltdowns from anyone, even after three stops and being out all morning. Win!
So after an afternoon of setting up and a couple of days of tweaking, we have a playroom! We have spent more hours here than I can count. Safe to say this was a good investment! I will let the pictures speak for themselves. Now it is a basement, so nothing fancy, but our kids love it just the same!
Let’s get right into it. Our basement stairs are located right off of the kitchen, so it is convenient for me to listen (read:moderate/referee). But, the stairs are also pretty steep and the lighting wasn’t the best. Enter, [eafl id=744 name=”tap light” text=”tap light”]. Guys. I can’t stop singing the praises of these things! For short money, these helped illuminate the poorly lit stairs. We placed it low so the kids can just sit and tap it on or off. Simple!
Also, giant box of mac and cheese #SAHM. Real life people.
We set up a little dress up station for Scarlett at the bottom of the stairs. I knew my girl liked to dress up, but wow. Having the dresses hung up instead of in a basket has brought her dress up game to a whole new level. My mama heart is so happy.
Not the best angle, but right past the wardrobe is my workbench. Honestly this will probably move and will be replaced by the kids’ kitchenette once we get it out of storage this weekend. But for now, it stays. In the corner we did a little reading nook. Scarlett was never much of a reader until this year, and now both of the older kids can’t. get. enough. So a reading nook was perfect!
My husband saw these little floating clouds at IKEA and insisted we buy them. I didn’t oppose. I mean, how cute! (And yes, hanging cords. Our kids are very well-versed in safety and know not to touch them, and the first time they do they are going away. Cords freak me out.)
View from the reading nook. We picked up the classic [eafl id=745 name=”KALLAX” text=”KALLAX”] unit with green and pink [eafl id=746 name=”storage bins” text=”storage bins”]. The ultimate for toy storage! And please note our professional pole wrapping job (pool noodle for the win!).
[eafl id=747 name=”pampers cruisers” text=”Diaper”]changing station. Because two kids in diapers.
My daughter is obsessed with horses. As in she will speak of nothing else. So, Marcus had the great idea of creating a little grass paddock area with [eafl id=748 name=”fake grass” text=”fake grass mat”]. Brilliant! And cool story, the barn was originally made by my mom’s maternal great uncle from old wood from a barn. Then, it was fixed up by her paternal grandpa, and then my uncle refinished it for Scarlett for Christmas last year!
Looking back to the stairs. Tents and tunnels, of course.
You can see we created a “wall” to separate the basement into a play area and storage area. We used IKEA [eafl id=749 name=”VIVAN” text=”VIVAN curtain panels”] ($10 a pair!) and hung it up with twine and screws. Fancy, I know. We had to curve the panels around pipes and 2x4s, so it was the easiest option. And, it worked perfectly! (I have these curtains all over my house. You just can’t beat the price!)
I hope you enjoyed our little tour! I know it isn’t anything fancy, and a lot of what we used we already had, but I hope it maybe inspires you. Do you have a play room for your kids? What is your favorite organizational tool? Does your child like to dress up as much as mine? Dress up for life!
Some items used:
[eafl id=745 name=”KALLAX” text=”KALLAX”] shelving unit
[eafl id=750 name=”garment rack” text=”RIGGA”] garment rack
[eafl id=751 name=”rug” text=”LAPPLJUNG rugs”]
[eafl id=752 name=”HAMPEN rug” text=”HAMPEN rug”]
[eafl id=753 name=”caravan tent” text=”HEMMAHOS caravan tent”]
[eafl id=749 name=”VIVAN” text=”VIVAN curtain panels”]
[eafl id=742 name=”hotwheels” text=”Hotwheels playmat”]
[eafl id=744 name=”tap light” text=”tap light”]
[eafl id=748 name=”fake grass” text=”fake grass mat”]
[eafl id=754 name=”alphabet floor tiles” text=”Alphabet floor tiles”]
[eafl id=755 name=”cushioned floor tiles” text=”Cushioned floor tiles”]
*Affiliate links used. Thanks for supporting my blog!