During the winter months, it can be more difficult than ever to steer your child away from her video games, but a boring basement can be turned into a great kid-friendly space. While it may be tempting to turn the basement into an adults-only space with a bar or pool table, consider that the grown-ups have the entire house to use for any holiday or dinner parties. The basement offers strong noise-control all on its own, meaning that while the kids play, the adults can, too. Here are seven tips for creating a kid-friendly winter basement.
Don’t create a second living room
You already have a room in your house with couches and a TV. Kids need plenty of floor space for their toys and adventures, so avoid filling the basement with sofas and chairs. Add some seating and maybe a table and chairs for coloring and other table activities. Make the space feel even more kid-friendly by choosing miniature furniture made for their size or unusual furniture like chairs that hang from the ceiling.
Pick a theme
If you have multiple children, choosing a universal theme might be difficult. A bright color scheme as the focus could be a good choice, as would something universally appealing like circus or safari. Having a kid-friendly décor theme in mind will help make the space feel more like their own.
Add shelving in one part of the basement to give your kids plenty of space to store toys, books and games — bookshelves or cubbies are great options for this. Organizing toys by type can help make playtime and clean up easier. Including this type of storage will also cut down on the amount of toys taking up space in bedrooms, too, which means less clutter and fewer distractions while they’re trying to sleep.
Consider a climb zone
If you have a large enough space for it, build a small climb zone. This will help them burn off any excess energy and get them some exercise. Add a climbing frame with soft mats beneath for a safe landing spot. As an added bonus, climbing can also help improve your child’s motor skills.
Have plenty of games on hand
Stock up on games. Board games are great for winter; you can use them to bring your family together. Many games for your children’s age ranges are educational, which means they’ll be learning and having fun at the same time. You can also think about video games that encourage movement, like the Wii. Most Wii games are family-friendly and help your kids burn off energy, and it’s easy to spot the ones that aren’t.
Stock a mini-fridge
Make them feel like grown-ups with their own fridge. Although you’ll want them to come out of the basement sometimes, you can stock a dorm fridge with their favorite drinks or water. This is especially useful when you have guests over so you don’t have a bunch of children running through your party looking for fruit juice.
Schedule play dates
With a space this cool, your kids won’t want to wait to show it off. Schedule regular play dates with their school friends, young family members or the neighbors’ children. Turn it into a little party by providing them with a few snacks in addition to their stocked mini-fridge. Having play dates scheduled for them throughout the winter will help keep boredom at bay.
With a tricked-out, kid-friendly basement, your little ones will never want to come out. You’ll love it because they will have space to play and burn energy indoors without destroying the entire house. Have a wide variety of educational, physical and recreational toys available and your kids will never have a boring snow day again.