Much as we love our little ones, keeping them occupied can sometimes be a chore. One creative fix is to build a playroom for them. It keeps them out of your hair, but at the same time, it offers peace of mind, because you know exactly where they are, and they remain within your reach. Giving them a dedicated play space can be helpful in other ways. Knowing it’s a room of their own offers autonomy, independence, and self-esteem.
Let the kids know they’re in charge of keeping their playhouse clean and safe. They have to tidy up when they’re done, and lock up to prevent intrusion. Involve them in the design process, and give them hands-on tasks like assembling storage items, decorating their playroom, or painting the walls. It helps them feel important and ‘grown up’ but still preserves their childish enthusiasm. After all, it’s a playhouse.
Evaluate the shed
Before you embark on your project, do a thorough garden shed inspection to see if it’s suitable. If it has any leaks or jagged edges that might hurt the children, these will need to be repaired and sanded. If there are any pests or hazardous materials, they have to go too. Write up an inventory of necessary shed work. Clean it out thoroughly and air it, discarding any clutter that may have accumulated in it.
If the shed is in a really bad shape, consider tearing it down and installing a new one. You can buy a flat pack garden shed that can be assembled in hours. You could take the DIY approach, working with the kids to set up the shed. All you need is a power drill with the right bits, and you’ll finish in less than a day. Alternatively, ask your shed supplier to install it at a small fee, then you can do your own décor.
Think About Storage
The interests of your kids come into play here. What activities do they enjoy, and what are their personalities like? Each of them should have a portion of the shed that feels like their own, so if the shed is large enough you could partition it. If not, just set up a nook for each child, and a communal space where they can play together. Your storage options will depend on the kids’ preferred pass-times.
Many prefab or PVC suppliers sell storage shelves that can be installed in the shed. They’re sturdy, lightweight, and easy to assemble, so they’re safe for rough and tumble kids. You can also buy wooden trunks or Rubbermaid storage containers for your kids. Every child should have their own dedicated storage area. Teach them to respect each other’s property and not go into someone else’s trunk or shelf without asking.
Build in Natural Light
Another cool option for flat-pack garden sheds is the skylight. It keeps the playroom bright during the day, lifting the kids’ moods, and cutting down the electricity bill. At night, they can use the skylight to gaze at the stars. It can be a fun place to hang out after trick-or-treating, eating their candy and telling scary stories in the starlight.
While you’d like your playroom to be self-contained, you probably don’t want it to be too independent, so you might not install a toilet or running water. Otherwise you’ll lose your kids in there for days. But you can connect it to electricity, extend your WiFi or hotspot, and put it a mini-fridge for snacks and cold drinks. Just make sure they still need to ‘come home’ for dinner and bathroom breaks. That means no microwave.
Your kids will probably have their friends in the playroom, so put in some easy-to-maintain furniture. Colourful beanbags and poufs can be good, but you’ll have to teach the kids to vacuum and keep them dust free. Another option is vinyl seats with throws and shawls, but again, the kids are in charge of laundering their own linens.
The sofa-bed is a convenient option, but use it with caution. You don’t want the kids ‘playing’ longer than you’re comfortable with, especially as they get older. It needs to be fun for a few hours, but not so homely that they abandon their own rooms for the playhouse. You definitely don’t want them in there overnight, so go easy on the amenities and insulation.