Katie Lawless
Katie Lawless
  • Hometalker
  • Lansing, MI
Asked on Oct 9, 2017

Play space



Hey home talk. I’m a mom expecting my third little one any day know. I want my 4 and 2 year old to have a fun space to play and be safe. I have a cinder block unfinished basement. I’m looking for ideas that are cheap to give my kids a play area.
q play space
7 answers
  • Robyn Garner
    on Oct 10, 2017

    I had the same situation when my kids were small and I know how challenging this can be with small kids. I set aside a dedicated area at the bottom of the stairs so they didn't have to venture into the scary basement lol!muI had the same situation when my kids were small and I know how challenging this can be with small kids. I set aside a dedicated area at the bottom of the stairs so they didn't have to venture into the scary basement lol!

    First, put up some fluorescent lights so the basement is bright. Unless the newer bulbs do that for you already. Second, make sure you have a baby monitor down there so you can hear what they're doing!

    I got a very thick area rug to keep them in the designated space and keep them cozy. I painted the walls bright white and put all their large toys like play kitchen, etc. downstairs. For safety, I would (after experience lol!) try to create something that literally blocks them from wandering to the storage things and laundry areas.

    I got some cheap/dumpster dive bookshelves. Keep them LOW so kids don't climb!!! I set up their kids' play table with crafty things that wouldn't make a mess. Crayons, stickers, etc. Be prepared to go up and down to look at their projects all the time.

    You having an older looking basement, I would have hubby paint the entire floor for brightness and cleaning. I'd also look for a comfy sofa to put downstairs that's "just for them".

    If financially possible add: their own music, TV, videos, and very important, a dehumidifier so the basement isn't damp.

  • Sandy
    on Oct 10, 2017

    First get something to put on the floor. I got a carpet remnant and had the edges sewn up so they didn't ravel. Put shelving, toy box, play kitchen or whatever you have to make the "walls" around the carpet. You are basically making a room without walls. Kids love their own areas.
  • Vicky Davis
    on Oct 10, 2017

    Paint paint paint. Super glossy for the light reflection and easy clean. Cover the ceiling with something....sheets stapled up, carpet parts, plywood, foam insulation sheets....keeping in mind the exposed things like power lines.

    LED lighting...holiday lights, anything really. To add to the fun.

    Carpet is good, though rubber flooring would be easy clean.

    Get thrift/dollar store cookie sheets to put on the walls for magnet fun. Paint up an area for chalk. Think outside the box when looking for materials. Even an old hollow core door can be used for a chalk board! Or a table, or both.

    The old furniture idea is a good one too. Oh, and a clothesline for hanging art, wet or dry.
  • Tcs
    on Oct 14, 2017

    I had all boys. You need something to "soften" the walls. Thinking along the lines of gym wall padding but after checking prices I don't think so! Why not buy some foam padding as much as you think you'll need. Not that expensive and could even buy bed toppers. You could spray adhesive and cover the front with some fun cheat cotton fabric and use the same adhesive to attach to the walls.
  • Carey
    on Oct 14, 2017

    When my two children were little, we didn't have a basement, and we had a 3 Bedroom house. Since the kids were still small enough that they wanted to be in the same room, we let them. They came up with their own favorite play space. in the bottom of their closet. They would get in there, partially close the door and I could hear them happily playing in there. Once day, my 4 yr old, came out with her 2 yr old little brother saying, "Mommy, Shawn can count to ten!" "Shawn, Count to ten!" He quickly says, "12345678910!" with a big grin on his face. They had apparently been spending their time in that closet, with her being the teacher and successfully teaching her little brother to count! So even a closet can become a fun place if the kids see it that way!
  • Ano30673539
    on Oct 18, 2017

    I second the fluorescent lighting idea. The plug-in kind are less than $12 a piece at Home Depot. I also second the idea of stapling sheets to the ceiling. We got about 6-8 flat sheets at Walmart for $5 each, put those up, then hung the lighting.

    Also, these floor tiles:

    (If that link doesn't work, just look on Amazon for "foam tiles".) You can get a 6'x6' area for about $28. I used about 4 for my space in the basement. It is SO cushy and comfortable down there now. My littles will even just jump in the air to land on their knees because it's so comfortable.

    We even hung a toddler swing and bouncer from the rafters. It is the ultimate DIY play space down there and the kids LOVE it.

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