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!

consonant Wed 27-Feb-13 17:18:46

a playroom needs to be near the kitchen or wherever you spend most of your time for the kids to be happy in there. we are in the process of resiting ours for this reason... we are reclaiming the old one as a study!

Potterer Wed 27-Feb-13 13:56:28

We have a playroom, it does have a sofa in it. My two are much older than yours but we had a playroom in whichever house we have been in for 9 years.

So with the older ones they understand that a room has a purpose, ie a bedroom is where you sleep, you wouldn't sleep in a kitchen for instance, we don't take food into the bathroom, the dining room is where you eat (well it is in this house, no other purpose) so the playroom is where you play.

The living room is a no toy zone. I am happy to spend time in the playroom with them, but we don't bring toys into the lounge. They are free to have a toy travel round the house with them but it must go back into the playroom. I think it helps that their bedrooms are just for sleeping and chilling in, they do homework at desks in the playroom.

icravecheese Wed 27-Feb-13 13:00:21

oh no sowornout!! What monkeys your kids are! Can't believe they still won't use it when they're teens/20's!!
If I were you, I'd turn it into a little sanctuary for you - kettle, mini fridge / bar, sofa, tv....escape the house and disappear in there.

No doubt they'll follow you in....I guess at whatever age, kids just want to be near their parents!

yomellamoHelly Wed 27-Feb-13 09:49:11

Ours is used, but as others have said it's our daytime living room so I'm always in there with the kids. Have TV in there too (for my sanity / give me a break mainly). Dc tend to follow me round wherever I go, so it's the only way it works.

deleted203 Wed 27-Feb-13 00:11:32

Hooray! Everyone else has the same problem! (I have no solutions, BTW).

Can I just say that we bought our house, pretty much on the grounds of the 'playroom'. Which is a fabulous, ex-stable in the garden that the previous owners converted. It sold the house to me!

How marvellous, I thought. It has a large room with a tiny downstairs toilet and sink. It has carpet, heating and electric. There is a sofa and a TV in there. It has wonderful stairs going up to a lovely carpeted room with a window. What a fantastic playroom it will make for the older DCs (then aged 7,8 & 10). They can have it for their own space, make as much noise as they like. Toys will be out of the way!

Nope. They none of them wanted to play in it. They wanted to be in the house. And they wanted to trash every room in it, forcing me to step on bits of lego/action figures/play doh.

Our playroom sits sadly alone and unused (even now the DCs are in their teens/20s). It is now full of unwanted junk!

Startail Tue 26-Feb-13 23:56:58

it's useful toy storage, but they still clutter up the living room and their bedrooms with toys and play there.

Yfronts Tue 26-Feb-13 23:54:20

can you start sitting in their room when they start playing and then when they are in full playing mode slip out? get them used to being in there

OneLittleToddleTerror Mon 25-Feb-13 10:26:59

We had a playroom when we were teens. I guess it's a little different from your LOs age! We had a sofa, tv and a nintendo in ours. Friends got pool tables..

I think at their age, they like to be around you. So if you want them to play in it, you'll have to sit there and play with them yourself?

jaynebxl Mon 25-Feb-13 06:25:38

I keep paint and play dough for the dining table. We are hopefully moving soon to a house with a playroom. I'm under no illusions, I'm expecting my kids will bring their toys into the lounge or kitchen diner or wherever I am but I am excited that once those toys are finished with they will go straight back in the play room. Also when they have play dates over they will hopefully be more interested in playing in the play room then.

Whirliwig72 Sat 23-Feb-13 15:28:45

Yep we have the exact same problem - I'm currently sitting in playroom which is immaculate, children are in living room disembowelling a box of tissues! hmm

MegBusset Sat 23-Feb-13 15:08:07

I don't actually allow paints in the house at all. Or glitter <mean>. They get plenty of that at school/playschool.

Playdoh is the only really messy thing we have in the house, they are well trained to keep it on the little table in the playroom.

forevergreek Sat 23-Feb-13 15:05:59

But what about the other things in te playroom? I wouldn't want their nice dolls house painted, play dough stuffed in lego etc. ther stuffed toys would be coated in paint and clothes ruined.

Don't get me wrong they can paint and roll in dirt but there's a time and a place. Painting isn't done here without painting overalls and me on hands to wash hands once they have finished, and move paints away. Likewise they go out to the park and some home thick in mud, that's fine, but shoes/ coats/ dirty trousers taken straight off in the hallway and hands/ faces washed.

nickelbabe Sat 23-Feb-13 14:49:44

i agree with Meg - playroom is for mess, rest of house, neat and clean (ish)

midastouch Sat 23-Feb-13 14:38:36

We do not have paints, pens in the playroom thats done at the table--not that i dont trust them hmm-- nor do they take food into the playroom. And as for plalydo i hate the stuff! DS aunt brought him some for christmas it may have accidently got mixed up in the charity bag

MegBusset Sat 23-Feb-13 14:04:14

Playroom is exactly the right place for playdoh, it's not allowed in the rest of the house!

OP we have this problem too, we have a conservatory which we use as a playroom but the toys do tend to drift into the front room. I have given up worrying too much as long as everything gets shoved back in there at bedtime. To be fair it is freezing in there at the moment (only has a crappy electric heater) so I wouldn't want to play in there either.

We do have two armchairs in there (Ikea, £15, wipe-clean!) and in warm weather I sit in there with a coffee while the DC play.

forevergreek Sat 23-Feb-13 13:56:33

Maybe, but yes food, play dough, crayons etc all stay at the table. Playroom in my opinion is for toys/ games/ etc etc, not food, bits of dried play dough, paint smears.

nickelbabe Sat 23-Feb-13 12:35:43

food stays at the kitchen table?
shock

that's why - i have never successfully kept food at the kitchen table in my life.
as kids, we would basically eat dinner at the table, but everything else, especially snacks and breakfast would be eaten wherever we were.
still do that now.
so children inevitably drop food.

am very impressed that your food stays at the kitchen table.

but even if we're not talking food, then a playroom will probably have playdoh, plasticine, crayons, etc. things that do make a mess and are totally acceptable in a playroom.

forevergreek Sat 23-Feb-13 12:20:16

Nickel- if food stays at kitchen table why would it be smeared on sofas? A genuine question, we have no playroom but have white sofas/ white rugs with 2 children 3 years and under. The kitchen is actually open planned to lounge but no food is allowed away from the table. They even return to table to drink their water then put it back without being told ( in non spill beakers). Hands/ face cleaned after meals and bibs worn during. Surely it's just what they learn? Saves cleaning dirty hand prints etc also

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.

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.

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)

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.

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).

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...

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.

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