If you’re lucky enough to have the space to give your little one(s) a playroom, it’s something that’s well worth doing. As well as giving them a place of their own to play in, it also gives the grown ups some much-needed breathing space. In this mini-guide we’ll be going over the essentials of children’s playroom furniture in the UK and the ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ of setting up your playroom.
Do you actually need a playroom?
Setting up a playroom gets rid of at least SOME of the clutter that you’ll be tripping over as you try to make dinner. And every parent knows what it’s like to come into the living room on a night, completely knackered and be faced with a pile of toys to clean up. It is a central place where the toys can go back (or ideally stay in there – although they do tend to creep out!)
What kind of furniture do you need in your playroom?
There’s a rich choice when it comes to different kinds of playroom furniture on the market today in 2019. From expensive elegant modern pieces to more affordable but equally as appealing more normal stuff. But what bits of furniture do you actually need in a play room?
I’d say keep it simple when they’re young – you can always build upon and change bits as they get older. Get a few basics and you’ll be fine.
#1 – A GOOD table and chairs set
I can’t imagine our little playroom without having somewhere for the children (and sometimes the grown ups) to sit. A decent table and chairs set doesn’t cost a fortune and can form one of the main bits of furniture in your nursery. There’s some FAB themed and painted sets.
TIP: Go for one with 44 chairs, if you can fit them in. Even if you just have one child now. In the future, they’ll need space for friends and visitors to sit on – especially at tea parties.
#2 – As much shelving as you can fit in
Floor space in a playroom is at a premium. There’s some excellent free-standing shelves available to buy, but why not use potentially wasted space up on the walls? Get some decent, deep shelves installed and you can chuck anything you like up there. It’s amazing how fast you run out of places to put toys and having shelves is a great place to put them.
#3 – Book storage
You’re spoilt for choice again here, with some great options for storing books. The free-standing shelves are a good choice here, as are the units with little compartments where you can put books without worrying too much about standing them up. You’ll likely want to store books that are too young, as they get older, as they are the ones that take up the most space.
#4 – Platstic or canvas drawers / buckets
We would have been completely swamped without a couple of rows of these babies! These are great for storing:
- Annoyingly odd shaped toys
- Lego & other building blocks
- Action figures and dolls
- …every other toy that tends to ‘spill’ everywhere.
Getting some of these doesn’t take up much of your floor space but you’ll be so glad you’ve got them. Get a unit that holds them and you’ve also got an essential surface to put stuff on.
#5 Play tables, kitchens and dolls houses
Perhaps some of these will be best kept for a Christmas or birthday present, but it’s still worth considering where they’ll go NOW. There’s some brilliant building block tables you can get, and also a range of really good play tables – ideally with drawers. We bought my little girl a fantastic dolls house that stands in the corner of our playroom. My little boy keeps wanting to change it into a BAT-CAVE but has so far been restrained…
Rotating toys in your playroom – something to try…
One of the things that my wife heard about, that has been pretty helpful, is to have a rotation of toys in your playroom. It’s impossible and overwhelming for children to play with all their toys at once. Putting a portion of them in storage in a cupboard somewhere, rotating in fresh toys and benching ones that aren’t being used can really help. It ensures the kids stay engaged in their toys and that you’re saving a lot of space at the same time.
TIP: Have at least one dedicated playroom furniture shelf or space for art stuff. When they need a paint brush in a hurry or something to draw on, it’s a stress-saver not to have to root around for it!
City play mats are great fun
You can get these pretty cheaply. It’s a roll out rug that has roads and a city printed on it. You can drive little matchbox cars around and pretend you’re driving to nana’s house. They look amazing and add a lot of character to a child’s play room. They can also be rolled up and stored at one side. Bringing them out now and again seems to work best with my little boy to prevent ‘toy blindness’.
You don’t need to fill EVERY square foot – leave some play-space
One thing to remember when you’re planning your playroom and looking for ideas for furniture is to leave some empty space. Kids love space just to flip about it and do … kids stuff. Mine are currently playing Ninjago (after seeing the new Lego movie recently) and it’s a good job they’ve got some room. They jump all over the place.
Do you need loads of space for a playroom?
No! Children don’t seem to mind if they’ve got a huge playroom, or a more modest box room. Some clever use of shelving and getting the right furniture can go a long way. A lot of parents use a converted single garage. Our first home we didn’t have a room to spare, so set aside a section of the living room. It was great. My little girl played there every day and had the best time.
What are some of the best UK children’s playroom furniture?
Here’s some hot playroom goodies that are online right now.
#1 – Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Multi-Activity Playroom Furniture UK Table
We got one of these play tables for our play room and it’s been one of the better things we’ve bought. They can build anything they want on there and it will be there the next day. There’s a handy drawer at the front that, although not huge, lets you store figures our the wooden railway parts. It’s also really well made.
It’s a brill bed because:
- Solid wooden activity table
- Pull-out drawer
- Ideal for building or wooden Brio style railway toys
#2 – Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing Art Easel
Another good playroom furniture purchase we made for our playroom, although it came later as a birthday present. Easels are a great way to use limited space as they don’t need a huge work space to have a large area for the child to draw on. And these multi-function ones are even better. You can use chalk, paper or the whiteboard. And this one is double-sided too.
- Multi-use easel – great for artistic kids
- Sturdy wooden frame
- 2 can use at once
#3 – Room2Build Kids Building Block Toy Box
If you’re looking for a way to contain the ever-growing flood of lego in your play room then this might be what you’re looking for. It’s a unit that cleverly not only stores lego, but also displays it. The surfaces are compatible with all kinds of lego and it encourages children to build AT the table, rather than all over your house!
This Bed Features:
- Somewhere easy to store lego
- Kids will love building on it
- Compatible with any commercial lego style bricks
#4 – Kids 3 tier toy storage boxes
This was another really good purchase for our playroom that we’ve used for YEARS! Having these little compartments to toss any toys that were on the floor makes cleaning up at the end of the day at least a bit less painful. They’re great for toys that tend to get left on the floor like smaller cuddly toys and cars.
- 9 storage bins that lift easily in and out
- Easy to clean
- Children love playing with it
- Nice bright colours
#5 – Treehouse Furniture Charterhouse Oak Playroom Double Shelf Storage
One of the best space savers in the playroom we found was anything where the shelves extend UP! Into space that would otherwise not be used. This playroom double shelf set is a perfect example. It’s got plenty of places to store books, toys, art stuff and everything else!
- Bright and modern design
- HUGE pull out drawer underneath
- 8 shelves
- Small foot print WxH
#6 – Wooden book storage
Having enough space to store the books you have now, plus the ones that you’ll accumulate over time, is essential. This Compact wooden book storage is great because it’s super-easy for little fingers to grab the book they want and has loads of vertical space to store things. It’s also got a bright, fresh design.
Why this bed is awesome…
- Doesn’t take up much space
- Easy to drop books in
- Fabric compartments is kind to books!
Got a question?
Please ask in the comments.