Creative space for your preschooler
We’ve taken a look at the rooms and play areas of other preschoolers to see what they like and what four-year-olds are playing with. We’ve asked their parents for tips and ideas for crafting a creative space that allows children to play, learn and rest.
How to equip a preschooler’s room
How can I make my preschooler’s room functional? First of all, any room has to be safe and appealing for its occupant. Beauty and comfort can even be ensured in small spaces. See below for tips from our friends on arranging a child’s room. What does a child’s room need?
- A comfortable bed with room for teddy bears, dogs, rockets, dinosaurs and other favorite stuffed animals and toys – in addition to your child! You can plan space for playmates too.
- A table or desk where your child can play creatively. Make sure that there is proper lighting, that your child maintains good posture while working, and that spills of paint or glitter are easy to clean up.
- Maybe you’ll decide to let your child use part of a wall for creative pursuits? Transformed into a blackboard with special paint, this area allows little artists to draw and erase with ease.
- A play space on the floor is the perfect place for large-format puzzles, coloring books, blocks, dancing, theater and many other games.
- Cabinets and shelves should be safe and easy to access for children, making it easy to sort and store toys, books and treasures. This also gives you the opportunity to teach your child about keeping their possessions in order and putting things back in their place from an early age.
- Room for sports? If there is space, install ladders, a swing or a hammock and add other equipment that works well in your home.
- A kitchen, dollhouse or teepee … Maybe your child wants that very interesting lamp, dream catcher, or the wall stickers they saw at a friend’s house? Select your dream room furnishings together.
Toys for a preschooler’s room
Once the furniture is arranged, the carpet is laid out like an arena for creative games and your child’s favorite bedding is prepared to lull your child to sleep, it’s time to bring in your favorite books, decorations and smart toys. Read about the favorite toys of preschoolers we know, as told by their parents!
“I cannot imagine a child’s room without books, games and puzzles. We consciously eliminated interactive toys, computers and tablets. Instead, we prefer to invite friends and cousins over to play,” says Alex, mother of Stephanie (age 1.5) and Lucy (age 4). “The girls are playing more and more together. Of course, the games are invented and supervised by Lucy, who, for example, arranges puzzles, and Stephanie, who wants to accompany her every moment, adds figures to the board or destroys the puzzles.”
“My sons love a variety of construction toys. Their room is dominated by blocks, strategy games and books. We are still planning to build a gymnastic ladder. Each of my sons has their own shelves for books and art works, and boxes for their favorite toys. We teach the boys to stay organized and it works. Until they pull out blocks or puzzles, of course,” laughs Simon, father of Paul (age 7) and Peter (age 4). “We like creative toys that can be played in larger groups. I am happy to join in the fun myself.”
“Crayons, paints, playdoh, beads – my daughter loves everything that is creative! My grandfather gave her a box for screws, where she sorts her beads and sequins,” reveals Monica, Iga’s mother. “On the wall is a poster from the Observation Puzzle Space and hand-painted pictures, and the table is a mess, reflecting her artistic tendencies.”
Smart toys – the best birthday gifts for 4-year-olds
Of course, we asked our children about their favorite puzzles and watched while they were playing (so we know firsthand which toys make great gifts for 4-year-olds!).
See how Paula (age 4) arranges the What in the World Animals Around the Globe Puzzle. When asked about her favorites, she immediately lists African animals such as elephants, lions, giraffes, zebras. The puzzle comes with a poster full of interesting facts about animals (do you know if the zebra is white with black stripes or black with white stripes?), and figurines that help you remember which animal lives where (we know that tigers live in Asia, not Africa) and above all inspire lots of fantastic games.
Elena (age 4) loves jigsaw puzzles and has long been capable of assembling puzzles with a larger number of pieces. Recently, she received the educational Suuuper Size Puzzles My Body as a gift. “She is having a great time and I can teach her something new in the process,” adds Emilia, Elena’s mother. “What she likes most about the new puzzles is that they can be assembled any way she wants.”
Suuuper Size Puzzles My Body, Mix & Match Robot Lab and Mix & Match Trains are unique products because they can be arranged in many ways – all the pieces fit together interchangeably. Moreover, some of them are two-sided. Playing with them fosters creative freedom and exploration of your child’s favorite topics. “What I like about these puzzles is that they turn a child’s room into a real workshop,” says Simon about the games of his sons and their friends. “I don’t know where they get so many ideas from, but I’m just glad that we managed to create a place where games like this take place every day.”