How to create kid-approved play areas


Every child needs their own special spot to call their own to play games, study, read, relax and entertain their friends away from the nosy and uncool adults in their lives.

Whether this is a cubby house, rumpus room, granny flat, outdoor area or a cardboard box fort, there are so many ways to get creative when planning out a kid friendly play area.

Here are four ideas to create kid-approved play spaces at your house that are guaranteed to keep the kids happy for hours on end.

Create an outdoor activity zone

Encourage the kids to put down the iPad and get away from the TV screen and video games to spend time outdoors getting fresh air and exercise. The best way to do this is to make your backyard space one of the most fun places to be at your house for a child.

There are so many ways to encourage kids to play outside. String up a tyre swing, buy a swing set, slide or seesaw, use coloured chalk to draw up a hopscotch game, build a rock climbing wall or sandpit, bring in a trampoline, set up a cricket pitch, basketball hoop, badminton net, a mini soccer pitch or AFL goals.

Best of all with all these fun activities right on their doorstep they’ll use up all their energy playing outside and won’t put up a fight when it comes to bedtime.

Make a bedroom fort

All kids love playing hide and seek and having their own little fort to hide out in in their rooms. These come in very handy for sleepovers, nap time, bedtime reading and playtime.

Hang a pretty canopy tent from the ceiling to create a cool spot the kids will love spending time in. The good thing about this type of fort is that once it’s up there’s not much that can go wrong with it and it won’t fall down or sag over time. Top it off with some fluffy blankets, cushions and a super soft sheepskin rug to make the tent extra inviting and cosy.

Teepees are also in vogue right now and make for a fun addition to a kid’s bedroom. These will take a little bit more space and time to put together compared to the canopy tent, but you won’t have to get the ladder out and put a hole in the ceiling.

String up some cheery lanterns or fairy lights from the tent or tepee. They not only look great but function as a night light for any little ones afraid of the dark or those pesky monsters under the bed.

Set up a child’s retreat

Perhaps you have a spare bedroom, underutilised study or rumpus room that would make the perfect place to tuck away a kids only play zone. This can be a great way to give children their own special area to play games, get creative and be noisy away from the other living rooms of the house.

Image: Decoist

Image: Decoist

If you have the space consider bringing in arcade games, a table tennis table, race car track or train set. A child sized table, set of four to six chairs, floor cushions and beanbags are also good additions so you’ll have plenty of seating space for their friends to come over and play too. Don’t forget to add low colourful tubs for easy storage of toys, books, stationary, DVDs and games to make packing up for little ones easy peasy.

Bring in art and craft supplies, Play Doh, pens, crayons, pencils and textas, colouring books, a chalkboard or whiteboard, Lego, a dolls house, dress ups and board games so they always have fun things to do close at hand. Decorate with colourful wall decals and hang up a pin board or blank picture frames so they can display their latest creations with pride.

Cubby house hideaway

Kids enjoy imitating their parents and absolutely love having their own mini-house in the family backyard or playroom.

There are so many innovative cubby house designs available these days, with traditional timber, plastic, cardboard, inflatable and even fabric tent models available.

Image: Mocka

Image: Mocka

Deck out a traditional outdoor cubby house with a chalkboard painted wall for sketching, cute curtains, a slide, shelves for photos and toys, a stool or two, a telescope, pot plants in plastic planter boxes, a watering can, festive bunting and a play kitchenette for all those aspiring MasterChefs.

Get the kids involved in a DIY project one weekend painting their cubby house in the colours of their choice. That way they spend the day getting creative at the same time as putting their own personalised stamp on it.

We hope your little ones approve of the new play zone you create for them. For more home improvement ideas to keep the kids happy check out these six awesome backyard play ideas and decor tips for kids rooms.

Happy cubby house hunting!

The homely.com.au Team

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