Now that your kids are home for summer vacation, having a playroom that they look forward to spending time in will save you from hearing the dreaded "I'm bored!" exclamation every 5 minutes. From the decorations on the walls to the way you store all of the toys, a little effort goes a long way in creating a fun, inviting atmosphere that your kids will enjoy day after day. Here are 11 easy projects to get you started.
Add a Whimsical Rhino Bust to the Wall
Take a simple cardboard frame to the next level with a little papier-mâché action! Create this eye-catching rhino bust that will set the tone of one for the rest of the room: Use strips of newspaper or save an old book from the recycling bin to cover the cardboard outline. It's an easy way to say, "This room is a jungle!"
Make Fun Memo Boards From Cookie Sheets
Just because school's out for summer doesn't mean all organization has to go out the window. Transform an ordinary cookie sheet into a cute memo board to neatly display each kid's notes, pictures and favorite magnets. Scuff the cookie sheet prior to painting to make sure it sticks, and then turn a portion of it into a chalkboard to write their name or fun messages on.
Corral All of Those Toys in Style
Toys can easily take over the playroom, so designating a place to stash them all is essential. Nothing is easier than having a basket to throw toys in since you know they're just going to get dumped out tomorrow anyways. Next time you're at IKEA, grab a few inexpensive woven baskets and give them a simple and stylish makeover with yarn, leather cord and wooden beads. They'll look so good when you're finished that you'll want one for your stuff, too.
Fly a Kite Inside
Break out the craft supplies and create this adorable kite with your little one to hang on a gallery wall. When it's finished, you'll have a new piece of art for the playroom that adds a bit of movement to the space, and a fun memory to share every time you both look up at it.
Cozy Up With a Bean Bag Chair
Turn one corner of the playroom into a cozy reading nook that's complete with a funky pyramid-shaped bean bag chair. This is a great project for a novice sewer who's looking to try her hand at adding a simple zipper, and the ideal seat for long afternoons spent with a book.
Make a Rustic Birch Bark Lamp
Your new reading nook is going to need great lighting. This birch bark lamp is perfect, since you can complete the entire thing in under 30 minutes (or, one episode of your kid's favorite show). Use pliable birch bark sheets to cover a lamp you already have, and secure them with double-sided tape. Add a few pieces of twine to finish it off and you're ready to get reading!
Dress Up the Room With Photo Planters
Bring some backyard fun into the playroom with these adorable custom photo planters. Not only will this project liven up the space, it will also give your kiddo the responsibility of taking care of his plants all summer long — they'll have his face on them, after all.
Repurpose an Old Puzzle
Grab that old puzzle you've been holding onto, even though you're sure there are a few pieces missing, and give it a new life. Coat the pieces with spray paint and use the free printable template to arrange them in a world map shape. Use this project as an opportunity to sneak in a geography lesson with your kid while gluing the pieces down.
Turn a Hardcover Book Into a Secret Safe
Give your little one a place to store all of her favorite tiny trinkets by repurposing an old hardcover book into a secret hiding spot. It will look just like an ordinary book when stacked alongside others on the shelf, but she'll feel good knowing her treasures are safe and sound in plain sight.
Add a Cool Wallpaper Feature Wall
Creating a fun atmosphere in the playroom is just as much about how you decorate it as it is about the toys you fill it with. Find a festive wallpaper print you and the kids love and pick one wall to use it on. In a few hours, you'll have a one-of-a-kind feature wall that'll make the playroom an even happier place to be.
Make a Custom Wooden Sign
Take advantage of your kids' wild imagination with a custom wooden sign pointing in all different directions around the playroom. Take note of their current interests to come up with names for each arrow like "Arendelle" from Frozen and the "Three Broomsticks" from Harry Potter. Since you'll be keeping your sign indoors, secure it with concrete in a cute trashcan to make it a stable part of the room.