5 Ways to create engaging play spaces for children - Dolly and Fred Designs

5 Ways to create engaging play spaces for children

As your little one grows and starts to become more alert in the world it’s time to start thinking about those little steps you can take to help them feel calm and content in the space around them. Creating a stimulating play environment for children to explore in is a key part of promoting healthy development and give you 5 minutes to sit with a cup of tea. We often think about play spaces as being outdoor areas for children to run around and burn off energy in, but indoor spaces are just as important too. In a world where we are all stretched for time and surrounded by technology a space where children can grow, even if it’s just a little corner of your main living space, is important in aiding their development. In this blog, we will explore a few different tips and ideas for creating fun and interactive spaces that will ignite your child’s imagination and promote their growth and development through both parent led and independent play.

Bright and colourful prints

 Single A3 watercolour ocean creature print with name in teal in the middle

Bright spaces free from distractions can often be a good place to start. Often if you are creating an area in your own living space, it’s not always practical to paint the walls or decorate them in the colours your child enjoys. Adding prints and artwork to your walls like this Ocean themed print is a really good idea if you just want to create a cosy little space in a bigger room as well as a way of adding simple decoration to your child’s bedroom and play space. These print’s feature lots of different sea creatures which also helps to make them into a talking and learning opportunity for you and your child as you teach them different sea creatures. 

Tactile wall décor 

Canvas banner with rainbow and child's name on it next to a neutral coloured woven rainbow

Adding texture and fabrics into spaces is a great way to help with the acoustics of a room, soft materials help to absorb sounds and echo’s maybe making some of those noisy toys a little more bearable! These canvas rainbow banners from Evan and Arrows help to add interest to wall décor and are made from soft materials meaning they can be hung at a child’s level or higher on the wall. Personalised with a name they can help children to feel loved and like they belong in the space as they begin to learn their own name.

Wooden toys

I just love these personalised peg dolls from Pegs and Play, not only do they make lovely and durable little people to play with they can also be customised in a variety of different colours making a lovely display for a shelf when they are not in use. The peg dolls are all hand lettered with the name you choose which not only makes them fun but engages your child as they learn to order the dolls and create their own name.

 six wooden peg dolls in a range of colours each with a letter on it being played with by a child.

Displaying toys

One of the easiest ways to get children to feel excited by going to play and becoming absorbed in the space around them is by setting up toys and activities that will draw them into the space. Role play and dressing up toys are often a great way to capture a child’s imagination and play interest. This crown and cape set from A is for Alice is sure to do that, let your little one become royalty as they act out all the events that are happening around them. Not only do we have lots of princes and princesses that they want to be, but with the King’s coronation happening this year these dress up clothes are sure to get lots of use.

 Gold velvet crown and cape with cupcakes set up for a royal party

The use of colour

When creating an engaging environment for children to play in, it is important to be intentional with the use of colour. Too much colour, patterns, and pictures can easily become distracting or overstimulating to a child. Neutral tones with pops of colour provide a more calming environment for a child to be and play in. The bright pops of colour from a few pieces of wall art, or toys will grip a child’s attention and make them feel more engaged in the space. Floor mats, like this one from Munchkin and Bear, are the perfect way of injecting a bit of colour to the floor area in a practical way. I have had one of these in my daughter’s room for over two years, it still looks as good as new and provides a fun space for us all to play in. The mats come in a range of different shapes, sizes, are hard wearing, wipe clean and most importantly comfy to sit on.

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