Many home daycare providers struggle with a lack of space. They want to use their regular living room space but aren’t sure where to put the toys. A home daycare provider has allowed us into her home to take a look at her set up. She has organized her home in creative ways to help save space. She decided to have a play area in one section of her living room so that the children could play while she prepared meals. The main playroom is set up in her basement where she has more room.
Here is her front entrance space. She has utilized a very tight corner for coats, bags, hats and boots. Her low shelf works as a bench as well.
An upright book stand is a wonderful space saver. It is also quick and easy for young children to put away books.
Child size chairs are a nice touch to a reading area but consider using cushions instead if you want to save more space. They could be stored under the book stand. Thick foam interlocking squares work well to protect your floors. They are easy to clean, comfortable to play on and soft for babies learning how to walk. They also create an obvious visual dividing line for children if you want to section off a play area in your living room.
These shelves are low and accessible for small hands. They also hold many toys on the bottom shelf. She rotates the toys on this shelf and therefore many toys are in stackable bins and containers.
This photo shows how you can use your regular coffee table to create a game or puzzle center.
Many coffee tables do not have bottom shelves. Here is another idea to use this space. Set up a car mat under the table. Children love to crawl into a small space to play. Another idea is to put some cushions under a table and let children play here or read books. A few flashlights are always a hit as well.
Wall storage units are fantastic for small spaces. This storage unit provides low shelves for toys and higher shelves for storage. If you don’t have room for child sized table and chairs, you can pull up cushions to a coffee table. If you have no room for a coffee table consider installing a low shelf out from a wall. Add a few child sized stools and create a nice little activity area.
Here is another popular toy shelf option. For the amount of space this toy unit takes up, it holds a large amount of toys. Also, the different size bins allows you to group the toys into different sets. This makes clean up fast and painless. You can slide a bin out and move it to a different part of the room. You will notice in the photo there are empty spaces where some bins were currently in use. You will also notice the top bins are great for large odd shaped toys. I have one of these toy bins at my home daycare and I’m amazed at how much it holds. The children find the bins inviting to use. This toy shelf is very stable and the design discourages climbing.
This caregiver has a good sized backyard but I wanted to show how she saved space with her play structure. Under the tree house is a sand box. This saves space and creates shade for the children. She used removable floor planks as her sand box cover. It keeps the sand clean and it creates a platform for her children’s table and chairs. The children can have snack outside in the shade. She also stores large toys on the platform to keep her grass healthy. The sand box doesn’t extend the whole length of the platform leaving a space at the end to store sand toys.
Everyone’s space is unique and hopefully this caregiver’s set up gave you some ideas on how to use space efficiently in your home. Have fun creating that special play space for your daycare children. They will enjoy the effort you put into making your play room fantastic for them.