Embarking on tiny adventures isn’t just child’s play, it is a crucial part of early development. When it comes to children’s playtime, toddler playhouses are the perfect venue for fun since new adventures are always right around the next corner. One simple way to turn up the joy in your house this season is to allow your child to help you transform their playspace into a brand new environment for their playtime happenings. Join us as we unveil the secrets to turning your toddler playhouse into a miniature wonderland that will transport your little ones to a realm of endless possibilities.
Toddler playhouses are a staple in many backyards but have recently become more popular as indoor toys for kids. The Make It Cute indoor toddler playhouses are the perfect twist on a timeless classic. They’re durable, fold-flat for easy storage, and provide an awesome place for independent or interactive play. To make playtime even more fun, consider adding simple decorations and props to elevate your child’s play experiences and transport them into a world of adventure.
The benefits of play for young children cannot be overstated as it is crucial for their physical and emotional well-being. As caregivers, we know there are many factors that get in the way of meaningful playtime as we all strive to take care of the neverending to do lists in our households. These factors range from work schedules to extracurricular activities to children becoming bored with a stagnant playspace. In this article, we will provide simple tips to easily reinvigorate playtime in your home and help you to create more meaningful and fun adventures with your child.
Magical Moments in the Making
Have you ever baked with your kids? Perhaps you’ve let them help you set the table or pack for an upcoming trip. The magic that lights up in their eyes as they learn something new and spend quality time with their trusted adult is priceless. The bonding experience that occurs during these types of shared experiences are boundless and help solidify the relationship between the caregiver and child. There is time for conversation, learning and closeness. The same type of connection can be accomplished with involving your child in decorating their toddler playhouse. Involving children in the process can not only serve as a bonding experience, but also help them learn. According to the National Association of Education of Young Children (NAEYC) starting in infancy, children “learn largely by attending to their caregivers’ modeling, how to feel, think, and act.” Completing daily tasks, such as decorating, alongside your child can have a lasting effect on their well being and development. NAEYC goes on to say, “young children develop and function well when provided care in safe, interesting, and intimate settings where they establish and sustain secure and trusting relationships.” Transforming your child’s playhouse together is exactly the type of interaction that will set the stage for their emotional well-being.
Now if you’re thinking, wow, this sounds great but also like a lot of work on my end, we get it! That is why we did the brainstorming for you so that you can just take the ideas and run with them. We’ve come up with a list of scenarios that are sure to spark your child’s imagination and allow their unstructured playtime to flourish.
Rest assured, each one of these ideas is:
- Developmentally appropriate
- Easy to implement
- Rich with opportunities for learning
Personalizing Your Toddler’s Tiny Haven
When deciding which tiny adventure is a good fit for your child, keep in mind their particular interests. Do they enjoy taking care of people? Perhaps the doctor’s office would be a good fit for them. Are they book worms? Create a book nook for them to cozy up in. Whichever way you choose to decorate your toddlers playhouse, you’ll know that adventure is right around the corner.
Check out the following scenarios, along with simple ideas to invite adventure into your home and child’s playspace:
Camping: Set up sleeping bags, grab a Melissa and Doug Campfire Playset and let the fun begin! If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can place this hiking set out as well.
Holiday Fun: Go crazy with a holiday theme! By reusing the decorations you keep for holidays, you can transform your playhouse into a Lucky Leprechaun Castle, Santa’s Workshop or an Easter Bunny’s Basket Making factory.
Farm: Gather your children’s animal figurines or stuffies and toy tractors and you’re on your way to having a hoedown. You can also add a small white wooden fence to finish off the look.
Cave: Gather some brown and gray blankets and toss them inside. Write a sign that says “BEARS ONLY” and tape it to the front of the door and voila, your child is ready to explore the cavernous cave.
Castle: Collect your child’s crowns and magic wands and you’re on the right path. Speaking of paths, you can create one out of pillows to form the illusion of a stone path leading up to the enchanting castle.
Reading Nook: Create a cozy corner for your child to relax and unwind in with your coziest pillows and blankets. You can pre-shelve their favorite books or allow them to pick their favorites to bring inside with them. Providing them with a flashlight can add to the allure as they transport into the adventures inside their books.
Veterinarian’s Office: Repurpose a doctor’s kit stethoscope and your household scale. Include some bandaids, an ice pack and some stuffed animals and you’re all set.
Fairy House: Use dollhouse furniture, or figurines to create a tiny palace for tall tales. Add fairy lights to illuminate the space.
Beach Theme: Head out to the garage and scoop up some shovels, buckets and beach balls. You can set up beach towels and beach chairs right outside the indoor playhouse as well. The best part about this beach day? No sand to clean up afterwards.
Candyland: Open up the craft cabinet and put pen to paper to design and cut out some simple candy shapes to bring this adventure to life. If you don’t have the creative gene, a few white circles with a white and red pattern around the outside make the perfect peppermint candy and a stick with a rainbow circle on top equals a delicious lollipop! Stick them (along with some extra candy canes if you have then) in and around the playhouse for your toddler and you’re all set!
Trick or Treating: Break out the costumes and trick-or-treat bags and let the fun begin! If you’re feeling extra festive you can include a bowl of “treats” as well (clementines, fruit snacks, and pretzels are perfect if you’re keeping an eye on sugar intake).
Doctor’s Office: Use the doctor’s office kit that’s been floating around your house (or source one from your local “Buy Nothing” Facebook group), to create the perfect space for healing all sorts of boo boos. Have a clipboard? Kids LOVE them! Add a couple of small chairs and a “waiting room” sign out front and let playtime begin.
Bonus ideas: Employ a bubble machine, take off into the atmosphere in a spaceship, create a “magical closet” inside of the playhouse by relocating the dress up bin, sail off to sea on a pirate ship, visit the jungle with safari animals, have a fun filled sleepover, or transform the playhouse into the tooth fairy’s lair.
When creating an adventure for your young children, remember that it’s all about using what you already have, or what you might use again, to spruce up their spaces and keep them fresh. Your child won’t judge if the playhouse isn’t fancy or perfect, they’ll just be excited to see their special space in a new way. Keep in mind, a sign taped to the front of the house can go a long way. Simply label the house along with a picture of a keyword or two, and you’re set to go! For example, if you’re wanting to turn your toddlers playhouse into the tooth fairy’s lair, on a blank piece of paper write a sign that says “Tooth Fairy’s Lair” and draw a tooth and a wand, and presto, you’ve managed to create a brand new environment for your child.
Whether you decorate their toddler playhouse together or surprise them with the converted space, the ideas above are a springboard for your child’s imagination and a secret weapon that will keep your child’s playspace fresh and fun. Watch as the magic unfolds in the form of shared moments, laughter, and the spark that lights up in your child's eyes as their playhouse metamorphoses into a new world of possibilities.
We’d love to hear about the adventures you create in our magical playhouses. Please capture those special adventures and tag us @MakeItCuteKids on Instagram for a chance to be shared on our page!