width= How to Choose Playtime Items

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A playtime paradise for your little princess! Every little one needs space to dream and play make-believe. And, of course, what’s make-believe without dolls and accessories or farms and firehouses to make playtime more enjoyable? The secret to creating an exciting space for your child’s imagination to take off, is designing a playroom around his or her interests and tastes. It not only keeps children happy, but it’s healthy for them developmentally to have that free time to interact socially and explore things that interest them.

Setting Up a Playtime Paradise
It’s the place where your child will spend hours lost in her own world of fun and imagination, so the design of your playroom deserves special time and attention. First, think through whether you want it designed to grow with your child or whether you want it to reflect your child’s current style and taste. Do you want to include a large table for future art projects or concentrate the space on dollhouses, play kitchen accessories, or castles? Will you decorate with the pink accessories she loves now—or choose more neutral shades that will work both now and in five years?

Next, consider the focal point of the room. A doll house can make an exquisite focal point in a playroom designed for a little girl. Doll houses come in nearly as many styles as regular houses do, so determine whether she would most enjoy a mansion style, a Victorian model, or perhaps a modern doll house with lots of interior space to decorate and explore.

Many youngsters enjoy playing with children’s play kitchens—another fantastic idea as a focal point in a playroom. Kitchen equipment allows them to mimic what they see Mom and Dad doing and also to act out their own stories. Wooden play kitchens are both durable and beautiful and complement nearly every playroom decor. Some wooden play kitchens come in one-piece sets, while others allow you to purchase matching or coordinating equipment such as a microwave, stove, refrigerator, and washing machine. Depending on how large your playroom is, it can be more fun for your child to have a variety of equipment to play with. If you choose to purchase several pieces of equipment, try to select coordinating units so your playroom has a cohesive look.

A Doll’s Life
Baby dolls are the most popular toys for little girls for a reason: it gives them a chance to be “mommy” and bring out their nurturing side. There are many different kinds of dolls, however, so talk with your daughter about what she’d like to do with her dolls. Some toy dolls are incredibly life-like and are perfect for girls who want their very own baby. Other dolls are made to be dressed up and accessorized or have hair that can be styled, cut, and colored. Lee Middleton dolls are a beautiful combination of both of these types of dolls. The features are incredibly life-like and can even be chosen to mirror your daughter’s features. Also, fashionable clothing is included, so your little one will spend hours playing pretend with these dolls.

Dolly’s Accessories
Every “little mommy” needs doll accessories to complete the fantasy. Doll carriages are the perfect add-on for girls on the go, allowing your child to transport her friends in style. Make sure your doll stroller has features that are important to you and your daughter. If you want to be able to transport the doll stroller easily, for example, make sure it folds. Dolls need a place to eat and sleep, as well. When selecting a doll highchair, look for a product that makes it easy for your child to get her dolls in and out of it. And when it’s nap time for her little friends, she needs a doll cradle where they can rest. Make sure the cradle’s dimensions are big enough for your daughter’s favorite friends.

Wooden doll furniture adds a classic look to a playroom and can be painted if a different style appeals to your daughter next year. To make sure your wooden baby doll furniture lasts through the active play of little kids, look for products that are sturdily built. For a coordinated look in your playroom, select doll accessories that match—or at least complement each other in terms of style.

The Bottom Line
Designing a playroom where kids can spend hours playing pretend and using their imaginations is important. Determine the style of decor you and your child want, choose focal points around which you can design, and then fill the room with play things that will inspire his or her imagination.

Our Mom Expert
Caron Webber, 37, is the mother of five children, ages 2 to 12.

“We don’t have enough rooms in our house to designate one room as the ‘kids’ playroom,’ but we figured out a way to incorporate their needs into our basement family room. One end of the room has our entertainment center, and it’s where we gather to watch TV and movies together. The other end of the room is where the kids keep a lot of their toys, dolls, and other pretend play items. To separate the room visually into two distinct spaces, my husband installed two tall bookcases (the kind with open shelves so you can use the space on either side). Rather than placing them against the wall, he arranged them so that the short sides of the cases are against opposite walls, creating a kind of gateway. The kids can easily go back and forth between the playroom space and the family room space, but the bookshelves act as a visual barrier for keeping all of their toys in the playroom space. Plus, the bookcases provide extra storage for books, knickknacks, and small toys.”

 
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