One of the projects that instantly caught our eye is the fun playroom Monique and her husband, Jayson, designed for their two-year-old son, Alanzo.
"We decided to make a playroom after we went to Japan. Super happy ni Alanzo because even the smallest malls there, kahit grocery lang, they have an area where children can play for free. He was eight-months-old then and learning how to walk," Monique shares with Smartparenting.com.ph.
The couple also believed that playing in the said nooks helped Lanzo, as his parents call him, learn how to walk faster because he used the fences for support. "Noong umuwi kami ng Pinas, nag-design na agad kami ng playroom," the mom adds.
Aside from giving Lanzo a place where he can play and keep his toys, the couple also thought that having a separate room for playtime can help them lessen his screen time. "Two to three hours of watching TV every day, okay na siya. More on activities and conversations with Mommy when we're inside the playroom," explains Monique.
How to create a DIY playroom
Safety is of utmost importance, especially if you have little ones who love crawling and exploring even the smallest of corners in a room.
"I suggest to put thick foams all over the room and please buy covers for the sockets as well," Monique suggests. In Lanzo's playroom, his play area has a padded flooring, with an upholstered play fence defining the space.
According to Monique, the blue upholstered play fence has been a hit among fellow parents. It's a welcome option to the ordinary play fences available in stores today.
"Kayang-kaya po siya ng upholstery shop. We just explained out design to them, and after a week, installation na. You can tell them how thick you want the foam to be. Ours, we made sure na it's thick para anti-untog lalo na at walking stage ni Lanzo that time," she recommends.
Aside from taking inspiration from the play areas found in Japan's malls, the couple DIY-ed most of the playroom's features – from the fun ball pit to the other materials used in the space. The self-adhesive wallpaper, which is available on Shopee, was installed by Jayson. "Shopee is life," Monique muses.
Maximize the space
Aside from a play area and a ball pit, the couple also utilized a corner of the room for storage to avoid clutter. A shelf holds a collection of books, while colorful bins are used to keep toys in place.
"Toy storage is a big yes because they will be trained to clean up," says Monique. "This is the secret why our living room, kitchen, bedroom, and other areas of the house are free from toys. If you have a playroom, always talk to your little ones na, 'oh, no toys outside the playroom ha.' I'm happy na he does this naman," she adds.
Spend your budget wisely
For this DIY playroom, Monique and Jayson spent around P20, 000 to 25, 000. If you're planning to work on something similar, invest in the right items a nd if you can upcycle some of the existing items you have at home, then do so to save on cash. When it comes to furnishing a room for kids, safety and storage should be on top of your list.
Don't forget to clean and sanitize
Kids have a habit of putting things inside their mouths and if you have a ton of small balls in a playroom, you need to make sure these are clean. "Even my husband and I love the ball pit and minsan nakiki-jump din kami. I'm planning to buy more balls para loaded," shares Monique. To ensure everyone's health and safety, she sticks to a weekly general cleaning schedule, which involves soaking the balls in a soap and water solution, rinsing, and wiping each ball dry.
All toys are regularly cleaned as well and she makes use of a disinfecting machine. "Every day din before going to sleep, I spray with Lysol," she shares.
It's true what they say – there's nothing a parent wouldn't do for their child. "If you can do it yourself, then why not? DIY is the key," Monique exclaims.