Creating a playroom is easy enough if it is being designed for just one age group of children; however, it becomes a little more difficult when it has to serve the needs of toddlers and teens alike. Fortunately, there are many decorating styles that have a wide appeal and will ensure that all the younger members of the family spend some quality time together.
A multi-age playroom
To cater for children of several different ages, a playroom needs to be effectively zoned. Toddlers will need an area that is colorful to attract them. Their section could also have some decoration on the wall, such as a mural of trees or mountains. They will also need furniture that is the right size for them, such as a small table and chairs. Include plenty of storage solutions in this area, such as bookcases, which can hold various sizes of storage boxes that are perfect for packing away toys and crayons.
Slightly older children will still be able to make use of the small furniture but will probably require and expect some form of entertainment, including a television and perhaps a music center. Older children will almost certainly use this as well, so ensure that there is sufficient seating to accommodate all. Beanbags are particularly good for this, as they are easily movable and very comfortable.
Children approaching their teen years will definitely need to have access to a computer to carry out their homework. If a desktop computer, this will need to be contained within a unit, perhaps a cupboard or lockable workstation or desk, to prevent toddlers causing damage. Bigger children will obviously need more suitable seating, such as a sofa. A sofa bed would be a particularly good choice for this age group, as the playroom could then be used for sleepovers.
Items for all ages
Everyone loves to play games, so a multi-age playroom could include a football table or a pinball machine. For musically inclined children, consider giving them a keyboard to play on, whether the toddlers just want to bang on the keys or the teens want to have a go at creating their own music.
Think of their education and fill the bookcases with books for all ages. Put books suitable for the toddlers on the bottom shelves within easy reach, and the books for the teens on the topmost shelves. Put seating next to the bookcases to encourage the children to sit down and read.
Get the kids working together by placing a toddler-sized table alongside a full sized one. Provide drawing materials, such as colored pencils, crayons and coloring-in books for the young children, and artist brushes and paints for the older.
Keeping it safe
One thing a multi-age playroom needs to be above all other considerations is safe. Storage plays an important part in this. Educate older children to put their stuff away when not in use to avoid toddlers harming themselves on things like scissors.
Avoid leaving exposed radiator pipes that can burn inquisitive fingers, and always box in cables so there are no trip hazards. Ensure there are safety locks on the windows, and any cords for window dressings should be tucked away, or in the case of blinds, replaced with poles.