Family room design with toddlers, preschoolers, and younger kids requires a different approach than it does with older kids. Physical abilities as well as attention span become greater factors. While family togetherness may be your goal, just being in the same room may be all you can achieve.
Use the 5 keys listed in Family Room Design Essentials but adjust for little bodies and short attention span. Be sure to include safety and childproofing too.The littlest ones need separate activities to enjoy (without the family room becoming toy central) and still be close to the adults. Assign a corner for active play like a tumbling area, climbing wall, playhouse or theater. Leave plenty of clear floor space for little ones to play while adults watch a movie, read, or relax.
Safety is needed with toddlers and furniture can be a hazard. Avoid sharp corners by using an ottoman instead of a coffee table.
Slipcovers protect sofas from sticky fingers….or lengthen sofa life if already damaged. Low storage, cushions on the floor, and easily moved furniture make this room kid-friendly. Locate storage containers or shelving where the youngest can reach for putting away their toys Also have storage out of reach for items you don’t want touched like electronic equipment. When mounted on the wall, TV’s are not hazardous to toddlers who love to climb. Kid-sized seating is a must. It won’t be used for long periods of time but it will keep them occupied.
|Stack foam blocks like bObles in one corner. Tots will get hours of activity and parents will get time to relax.||Store books at an easily reachable height…to use and put away when finished.|
How have you designed a family room to work when the kids are little? We would love to hear your comments and all comments will be read!
More on Family Room Design Series see:
- Family Room Design Essentials
- Family Room Design: Tots to Kids
- Family Room Design: Tweens to Teens
- Family Room: Kids’ Media Central
- Family Room Noise Control