Do you have children in your home?
Whether you are planning on selling your home or not, if you have children, many of you can appreciate a functional and organized play space.
And, if you are planning on selling, you may know the headaches of trying to maintain a tidy home with children. It can be hard to strike a balance between being in show ready condition and keeping kids happy and entertained.
That is where Be In Wonder Design can step in.
Owner, Vanessa Silva is a teacher who plans, designs, and organizes children’s spaces to spark wonder, inspire creativity, and support early learning. With over 10 years experience as an Early Childhood Educator and Kindergarten Teacher, her credentials and hands on opportunities have provided her with the knowledge and insight into early learning and children’s development. With years of classroom experience as well as time at home with her own boys, she has gained insight into how children play and interact with each other as well as the type of environment that stimulates optimal play and learning.
With that having a young child myself I HAD to sit down and chat with her, and get her insight on how homeowners could create a functional space that would not only work for their families day-to-day but if they are selling – create a space others will LOVE and be INSPIRED by. And, bonus when they did move – they could easily carry the items/design into their next space.
Q. Why is it important to have a play space for children in a home?
A. Having a play space for children in a home is important for many reasons. Your children are a part of your home. They too deserve to have a space where they feel honoured, represented, and valued. What better way to do this than through their playroom where their most prized possessions, accomplishments, photos, and artwork can be beautifully displayed. A welcoming space that truly nurtures their strengths and interests not only builds their confidence but also creates an invitation to learn, grow, be in wonder and be productive throughout all aspects of learning and playing.
Q. Why should someone create an ‘organized’ play space for children?
A. Playrooms often become a dumping ground. Having children means that you accumulate a lot of stuff and most of the time it is not by your own doing. Between birthdays, special events, and holidays, loved ones mean well but the gifts become overwhelming especially when you have multiple children.
When I work with clients who have cluttered playrooms I often hear them say things like, “My kids have so many toys but they don’t actually play with any of it“.
An organized play space is not only aesthetically pleasing to the eye but it also supports your child’s learning. Having an organized playroom creates a sense of calm and it allows children to focus on the toys and materials that are displayed. In turn, children are able to use their imagination and creativity to properly engage with their toys. It also promotes healthy habits in children as they gain a sense of independence and responsibility when tidying up after themselves. Your children will not be the only ones who benefit from an organized play space, I promise!
Q. Do you have any tips for parents who are or will be selling their home in the near future and need to be able to clean up a space quickly? How could they achieve that?
A. If you are planning to sell your home in the near future and are swamped with toys, the first thing I would suggest would be to declutter and purge. Go through all of your children’s toys and materials and begin sorting them into different piles. For example, donations, garbage, and recycling. This is the perfect opportunity to get rid of any toys or materials that are broken, missing pieces, or no longer serve a purpose. There is a wonderful company in Toronto called Tiny Toy Co. who upcycle preloved toys. Their goal is to minimize plastic within our landfills and are a great cause to support. Once you have purged and decluttered, I would suggest purchasing some storage bins. The plastic ones on wheels that come with drawers are perfect as you can easily store them in a closet and roll them in and out as needed. You can even take it a step further and label each drawer with a picture and name of the toy that is inside. This way you can keep your children’s favourite toys on display while minimizing the clutter and rotate them as necessary to maintain your children’s interests.
Q. How could a homeowner strike a balance between creating a functional space and still present the space in a way that attracts buyers?
A. When it comes to creating a functional space for your own family while still presenting it in a way that attracts as many potential buyers as possible, I would suggest keeping the main colours in the room bright and airy. You want to create an inviting ambiance that allows any potential buyer to envision their own life in that same space. For example, painting the walls in a neutral tone such as Silver Satin by Benjamin Moore allows the space to feel bright, soft, and welcoming. It also allows the potential buyer to visualize how the space would work for them as they are not distracted by bold and bright colours.
Q. If a homeowner is decluttering and knows they should pack up some toys (but can’t pack them all up), what types of toys should they leave accessible for their kids to play with?
A. If a homeowner is in the process of decluttering and packing up toys for storage but are needing items for their children to play and be entertained, I would highly suggest keeping books, materials that are easily tidied up, and open-ended toys on hand. Open-ended toys are my go-to when designing playrooms for children as they allow each child to enter the play process no matter what stage of development they are at. So if you are a family with multiple children of different ages, this allows all children to be able to engage in the process of play and creativity as they will use the materials however they wish. Some of my favourite go-to open-ended toys can be found here.
Q. What are the top 5 items you suggest incorporating into a play space?
A. My top 5 items that I suggest incorporating in a playroom include:
- Open and accessible storage to promote independence.
- Smaller storage bins to sort toys and minimize dumping.
- A cozy corner for downtime.
- A space that fosters your child’s creativity (ie. art, dramatic play, or LEGO).
- An area to display photos, artwork, and accomplishments.
By blending beauty with function, Vanessa plans, designs, and organizes inviting spaces that naturally encourage children to be in wonder, be creative, and engage in endless open ended play. By implementing the most effective educational and organizational strategies into your home or business, children of all ages are able to play, learn, and develop to their utmost potential.
We invite you to browse through her website beinwonderdesign.com, shop her go-to items here and contact Vanessa with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Nesting everyone!
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