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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

If you have the space in your house, your children will love the idea of having their own playroom. Having a playroom doesn’t mean that you can’t play with your children elsewhere in the house, nor that the child can’t, for instance, sit at the kitchen table and draw while you cook. However, it does mean that your children have their own space, somewhere that you can transform into a fun, stimulating environment and which the children can make into their own. From the parent’s point of view, you can shut the door on those noisy games while you take a phone call, and you can keep most of the mess of play and creative activities confined to one room.

So you have a room in mind, how do you go about making it into a fun playroom? Also, as most of us are on a tight budget these days, how do you do it without breaking the bank? Here are some tips.

Why go out of you way to create a new room with storage for the toys your child no longer plays with? Creating a new play room is a good opportunity to convince your child that it’s time to get rid of those toys that are broken and the books and toys he or she has outgrown. Broken toys will have to be binned, but ones with lots of play left in them can be given to friends or the local charity shop. You can also sell higher value items online.

Floor Covering
If the room already has some form of floor covering that is acceptable, learn to live with it. If it needs new floor covering, it’s best to avoid carpet. Think of all those crayons, paints, plasticine and sticky drinks that will end up on the floor. Better to go for modern vinyl flooring, which is reasonably priced, hard-wearing and comes in fun designs

Go for painted walls in simple, bold colours and make sure that the paint has a wipeable finish. If you’re artistic, why not try a simple mural? If you’re not, a few posters of your child’s favourite cartoon characters or animals will add interest. While you’re decorating, don’t forget the electric radiators. Use proper radiator paint, but make a virtue out of a necessity by transforming your electric radiators with bright, primary colours.

Storage and Furniture
Homemade shelves are easy to make and are great because you can use them to store books, toys, games and boxes of craft items so that they are tidy but remain accessible. For other storage, rather than spend lots of money on new items, see if you can adapt surplus bookcases or furniture from elsewhere in the house. A couple of coats of bright paint can transform an old chest of drawers However, it may be worthwhile investing in a child-size table and chairs if that’s something you don’t already have.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who know children need to play.