Is Your Play Room Setup Working for You? Or Causing Problems?

playroom setup square

Many home daycare providers welcome new children into their daycare group every year. Once the new children are in your care for a few weeks you can tell if your playroom setup is helping you or working against you.

I just changed around my playroom to reflect the new ages of my group and their interests.  I’m LOVING it!  It reminded me how much an influence our environment has on children’s moods.

The playroom setup also directs the children’s attention to creative play options rather than inappropriate behaviour.

I had a big open space and it was inviting a lot of running and boisterous indoor play for a few children.  Re-direction and repeated verbal instructions were not proving effective for my group so I used the furniture to cut off the major running highway in the playroom.

Re-arranging the playroom is something I do on the weekend and is never associated with negative consequences.

The children see a great new playroom with a change of toys and new areas to play in on Monday morning. I like to keep the tone at daycare as positive as possible!

Here are five ideas to make your playroom setup work for you.


1. Divide up Large Areas of Space

I used this toy shelf to divide up the open space into two different sections.


The children can access the toys from either side of the toy shelf.


A big basket is a great way to hold these large foam blocks.


2. Create Spots for Quiet Play

The ‘quiet spot’ under the leaf canopy had turned into a rowdy fort area that all the children squeezed into. Putting one chair in this spot with a bin of books turned it into a solo area.


3. Use Pillows during Circle Time

I spread out these large pillows at circle time to help some of my kids recognize personal space while sitting in a group. Each child is encouraged to stay on their own pillow while we listen to a story. You could also use small cloths or foam squares.

4. Encourage Independence at Tidy Up Time


The cars and car mats toys were a problem during clean up time. The children needed my help to fold the car mats each day and stack them on the shelf. Putting the car mats away is easier now, they go in a basket and it slides under a table.


This helped eliminate my assistance in folding and stacking the mats during tidy up time.  So quick and easy!

5. Use a Tray for Small Toy Creations

My older kids play with lego when the younger ones are napping. Before the babies get up from nap, it’s time to clean up the lego and store it safely away.  The older children find it difficult to break apart their lego creations to put all the lego blocks away. Using a tray makes this process easier because the children can save their lego creations on the tray for another day.


We use the tray to safely transport the Lego creations up from the carpet to a spot that is out of arm’s reach of the toddlers.


Take a look at your daycare group this year.  What ages do you have?  What developmental stages are they in?

What kinds of activities would hold their interests?  Can you use this knowledge to your advantage and set up some areas in your playroom to support those interests?

I’ve gathered together over 100 playroom ideas to give you some inspiration.  You can check them out on my  Amazing PlayRooms Pinterest Board.

Sometimes Pinterest ideas can be a bit over the top (building a full pretend bakery shop with PVC piping?), that’s never going to happen at my house.  However, I do like to look at different ideas on Pinterest and then scale them down to something more manageable for my home daycare.

I hope you find some ideas to help make your daycare room a great place to play.

Interested in watching a video tour of my playroom setup a few years ago? Click here to watch.

Happy Room Re-arranging Everyone!


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  1. Leslie Gerrior-Kropf says

    I just found your website and I just wanted to let you know how helpful it is. I love your ideas and I appreciate all of the information and helpful hints. I’m sure I will be checking in often. Thank you, Leslie.

    • HowToDaycare says

      Thanks for the comment Leslie! Email me if you ever want a blog post on a specific topic. 🙂 Jana

  2. @HowToDaycare

    Numerous home childcare suppliers have new youngsters in September. Once the new youngsters are in your tend to a bit you can regularly tell if your den set up is helping you or conflicting with you.


  3. Taylor Hughes says

    Good Article.

  4. I don’t run a home daycare, but I do homeschool 4 kids, and I find your ideas really helpful for that, too! Can I ask where you got your great car mats? We have a large roll of vinyl flooring printed with roads and buildings that we roll out on the driveway during nice days, but it looks like your mats gave different themes… which would be a big hit.