Put your burgeoning actor in the limelight by creating a simple playroom stage. Whether your young star likes to sing, tell jokes or act out her latest masterpiece, a stage that puts her in the spotlight will fuel imagination and foster creativity. You don't need extensive building skills to create a place where your child can shine.
Define the Space
A well-designed stage gives your child plenty of room to perform without ruining the flow in the rest of the playroom. A corner or wall ensures the stage is out of the way during normal playtime, while still providing empty floor space for an audience. In small rooms, a corner takes up little floor space, but in a large playroom, you can dedicate an entire wall or section of the room to the stage. Take full measurements of the room. When measuring wall space, measure from windows to door trims to make sure the stage won't obstruct either.
Set the Stage
Although a raised platform lends authenticity to a child's stage, safety must come first. Young children can trip or fall off even a low stage. Another option is to create the stage area using colored tiles, carpet or by installing laminate flooring just in the stage area. If you want an elevated stage, keep it low. A 2-inch height is easily navigated by most children, but you should still mark the edges in a bright or contrasting color to minimize trips. You can make the stage any size to fit your space, but give your child room to move around. A stage large enough for an adult to stand and turn around on with arms outstretched will give your child plenty of room for most of her dramatic endeavors.
It's in the Details
Your diva needs a curtain to ensure a grand entrance, and curtains provide one of the simplest methods to create a stage with little construction. Simply hang a curtain rod from the ceiling and attach long drapes or even a sheet with curtain hooks. Skip the curtain pulls. These can pose a choking or tripping hazard to little ones, especially when they are busy performing. Another nice touch is a small dressing area near the stage. This can be as simple as a toy chest filled with costumes or props, or you can alter a small dresser or wardrobe to hold hanging costumes. Make sure any doors on the storage containers open from the inside, and only use toy chests designed to close slowly without slamming shut.
Design to Grow
Create the stage area and the playroom so it can grow with your child. For example, if today's actor becomes tomorrow's Picasso, a spill-proof tile stage will allow you to turn the space into an art center with little effort. You can also make the stage into a family spot. Add cushions for reading and use it for story times. An older child may use it as a personal reading nook. Placing the stage near an outlet, equipped with outlet covers, allows you to add a karaoke machine to the stage for musically inclined tweens and teens.
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