Emmy is a busy little lady these days! Like most toddlers she wants to get into everything! So when she started getting into big brother’s legos and big sister’s tiny Shopkins, I knew it was time to create a safe and fun space for her to play. We have a little room off the girls bedrooms, their bathroom and laundry area. It’s small, actually more of a ‘pass-thru’ room, but I knew it would be a great little area for Emmy.
For now I’ve set it up with a little kitchen and reading area, with a soft cozy rug and plenty of room to play. Eventually I think I’ll add a play table and chairs, but for now this works great! I store only toys that Emmy can play with safely in this area. Thankfully we have additional cabinets nearby where I can store the rest of our toys!
She absolutely loves her kitchen! It’s small, but the perfect size for a toddler. I think some of the bigger kitchens can be frustrating for little ones because the fun stuff is out of reach! Emmy can reach both the cooktop and sink and already loves to play pretend. There’s just enough cabinet space to store some cute play food and cookware. I keep a basket nearby for her tea set and additional toys.
I also love that there is a place for us to cozy up with a book. We always read before nap and bedtime, but I love to encourage reading throughout the house. I love the pops of pink from this darling Target Opalhouse pouf and one of my favorite prints from Sarah Jane Studios. I bought this balloon print when my big girls were babies and I still love it just as much!!
The other great part of this is room is that it’s right off the laundry room! As a mom of 4 I have a LOT of laundry. Argh, not my favorite thing to do….but it certainly is easier to get done when Emmy is happy and busy nearby.
When my big kiddos are home they love to play with her in here too! Because it’s a gated, safe area, I can have peace of mind when they are all playing together. Amelia and Charlotte are both little mommies in training already, it’s so fun to watch them take care of Emmy. They set up tea parties and cook four course meals together from this tiny little space!
5 tips for creating a small play spa
1 . Minimize the toys and keep it simple! I’ve realized over the years that kids really don’t need very much to stay happy and entertained. In fact I think sometimes too much is just overwhelming and they don’t know what to do! This space houses just a few types of toys…play kitchen, tea set, a few baby dolls and books. These are the types of toys that Emmy enjoys most!
2. Pick a few good baskets! There are sooo many beautiful basket options out there and they really are the best for storing toys. Not only do they look pretty, but they make clean up a breeze. Plus young kiddos can easily participate in the clean up routine!
3. Constantly refresh and toss/move unnecessary toys. They tend to just show up, right?!! My kiddos are always coming home with something…gift bags from birthday parties, trinkets from the treasure box at school….they just appear! They have a special box in their rooms where they can keep trinkets they love, but in general the rest of them are tossed within a day or two and aren’t missed. I also make sure to move any toys that belong elsewhere back to their designated spot!
4. Don’t forget to leave space to play. It’s easy to keep piling in new toys in the open areas, but I think it’s actually more important to leave open space. I love my kiddos to be able to sprawl out, bring out their toys, and create those pretend play situations that are stimulating for little minds.
5. Create a clean environment. I love to diffuse oils in our little playroom to make sure my littles are breathing in clean and beneficial air. I pick oils depending on the day, but two favorites are 2 drops citrus fresh + 2 drops lemon for a clean and fresh scent, or 3 drops thieves + 2 drops lemon for a little immunity boost. Each of these can be found in a Young Living starter kit and I love our desert mist diffuser!