Calling all people with playrooms....how to get the kids to actually play in it?

(43 Posts)
icravecheese Fri 22-Feb-13 16:23:57

We are fortunate enough to have a largeish playroom (16ft x 7ft) which is basically a glorified toy storage room....the kids just seem to drag stuff out of it & into the lounge to play with.

I have tried to put in lots of storage, some tables to sit at, a blackboard, Ikea play kitchen, Barbie house etc, but unless I'm physically in there with the kids, they rarely play in there on their own.

Is it just my kids or do others find similar happens at home? What else can I do to entice them in there (& stay in there)? Ages are 6, 4 & 17mnths. If they're not going to use it as a playroom then I'll do something else with it!

ISeeSmallPeople Fri 22-Feb-13 16:24:41

Lock them in grin

FunnysInLaJardin Fri 22-Feb-13 16:25:23

a TV. That was the only way to keep my DC from gravitating towards the front room where the tv is

Waferthinmint Fri 22-Feb-13 16:25:39

Oi, the barbie house stays in the playroom or I'll confiscate it - usually works for me.

ChasingSquirrels Fri 22-Feb-13 16:27:41

they are very young - they want to be with you.
I put on an playroom extension when mine were 4 and 7, it is part toy-storage and part room to play in - but it is mainly used because it has double doors into the lounge and so when they are playing there they still feel like they are in the same place as me.
They are now 10 and 7, it houses the PC, the Wii, a large storage bookcase with various toys and games, an ikea kids table and chairs (but only cos I had no where else to put it) and the lego collection which ds2 plays with daily.

Watching for tips, the TV sounds like the best idea hmm

BuiltForComfort Fri 22-Feb-13 16:29:44

I used to have a playroom but have converted it back to a dining room /study/ playroom now as it was getting no use unless I was there too. IME dc want to be where you are! I suspect this only stops when they suddenly want to be on their own in their rooms ... Sorry not to be more help!

icravecheese Fri 22-Feb-13 16:37:05

Loving the locking in idea grin

But I guess you're right squirrels, I'm aware that they do just want to be with us at the mo (obviously don't expect 17month old to play in there on her own, but actually she's the only one who sits in there on her own, chewing bits of Lego!)....

Might try tv when they're abit older. The older 2 play beautifully together usually when I'm in there, but as soon as I leave room, even just to make a cuppa, their game finishes & they follow me, mooning around in lounge saying they're bored. Grrr...

Flossiechops Fri 22-Feb-13 16:37:38

Mine are 9 & 8 and still won't play in there. We even had a second sky box put in there in the vain hope they would use it. Nope they much prefer to be the main lounge all the time! Waste of space I think!!

MarianForrester Fri 22-Feb-13 16:43:27

Another one with the same problem! Maybe I should just change its use, from the sound of it.

forevergreek Fri 22-Feb-13 16:56:43

Growing up we had a playroom. It had a large corner sofa in and my parents used it as the main room in the day whilst we played. It meant that the Playroom door could be shut at the end of the day and the house was toy free.

Could you do something similar? Once they are also used to he idea over a few months then toys generally don't really get removed.

icravecheese Fri 22-Feb-13 17:01:01

Thanks forevergreek...I have thought about putting a sofa in there, so it's like a 2nd lounge stuffed full of toys (& keep main living room as adult evening lounge)....might scour Ikea website for cheap sofas....

roundtoit Fri 22-Feb-13 17:05:06

i had sofa and tv in my playroom and same as forevergreek used play room till the children were in bed then just shut door on all the mess and moved in the lounge.

ISeeSmallPeople Fri 22-Feb-13 17:06:57

Ours has glass doors. They can see me I'm not that cruel

Sofa with you on it is the only way. day dreaming of what you can turn the room into when they stop playing with toys, & prefer girls or computers, & how much you will have to spend when you've sold the non chewed Lego

FunnysInLaJardin Fri 22-Feb-13 17:09:29

we also have 2 huge bean bags and a small chair and table set. We also say that they are not really allowed in the main front room as that way it keeps gronwup and tidy for when we want to use it after they are in bed. We would never say they can't go in there but do say it's a grownups room and that they should play in their playroom.

agnesf Fri 22-Feb-13 17:12:28

In our old house we had a playroom which was also quite big and we basically banned the kids from playing in the lounge and did not allow any toys in there. We did this from when they were babies. So it did get used esp as it had a door out onto the garden. However they often ended up playing with friends in their bedrooms.

Now we have moved and have no playroom so they are stuck with bedroom or lounge if they want to Xbox.

AllDirections Fri 22-Feb-13 17:14:10

I found that I had the same problem so when we moved to this house I did what forever has described -

Growing up we had a playroom. It had a large corner sofa in and my parents used it as the main room in the day whilst we played. It meant that the Playroom door could be shut at the end of the day and the house was toy free.

I also put a tv in there with some extra digital channels and a desktop pc and it works a treat. My front room is boring now stays tidy and quiet grin

annalouiseh Fri 22-Feb-13 17:30:02

put in things they know there not allowed
Dh phone smile
tv controller etc
then the DH.... then lock and go out

midastouch Fri 22-Feb-13 17:36:05

No advice, sorry. We have a room in the cellar we use as a playroom for DCs --idea being that i could shut the door on a playroom and ignore all the crap all over the floor- but the same things happens in my house i end up with most of the playroom in my living room, and at the end of the day i have to find my floor again.

MousyMouse Fri 22-Feb-13 17:38:17

I'm just very boooroing mumsnetting on the ipad so they go there and pull everything out the shelfs play nicely for a bit.
they also have limited screen time and know that they are not allowed toys in the lounge...

MrsAmaretto Fri 22-Feb-13 18:02:21

I have a cheap ikea sofa in ours, son will stay in if I'm there (2.5 years).

dikkertjedap Fri 22-Feb-13 18:04:12

We have a sofa in our playroom, so one adult sits on the sofa if not actively playing and reads a book or just watches.

fabbadabbado Fri 22-Feb-13 22:25:09

TV. Had to get Virgin in other room thing with Cartoon Network to complete it (and tell them it was no longer available on the TV in the living room)

nickelbabe Sat 23-Feb-13 10:36:12

We had a playroom in our house - it was the conservatory.
So it had the added advantage of being the route to the garden, too.
And it housed the washing machine and pantry, so Mum was always to-ing and fro-ing. It had a huge glass window into the house so we could see everything that was going on in the house.
But we only really used it in the summer.

nickelbabe Sat 23-Feb-13 10:39:57

don't scour Ikea for a cheap settee- it's soooo going to get food mushed into it - go to a charity shop that specializes in furniture and buy a couple of cheap big chairs or settees from them.
They're usually very good quality and last forever!
and usually about a third of the price of even the cheapest new one.

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