How to Create a Play Area in a Small Living Room

Do you have a small living room but need a play area for your toddler? Looking for inspiration on how to create this space? Then take a tour of my new rearranged living room that gives my sweet little Nate baby his own play corner that is safe, small, and doesn’t make it feel like his toys are spilling out everywhere!

So first know that I live in a very small mobile home, single wide, measuring around 800 feet or so. My husband and I moved in right after it was renovated when I was 5 months pregnant. Our Diamond in the Rough little home is on my parent’s property, situated on a nice little hill that looks down at my parent’s pond about an acre away. It’s two bedroom, one bath, and while it’s super cute inside, you’d never know it from the outside!

When we first moved in, I didn’t want any windows blocked, so our TV was on the front door wall, with our couch on the opposite wall. This arrangement, while letting in a lot of sunlight, began to become a problem as Nate Baby got older. The open concept I loved that seemed to help the little home appear bigger, actually began to make it feel much smaller because of all of his toys that got carried or dragged into the rest of the house. Plus, if the kitchen or dining room was messy, then the living room felt messy too. You know how it is-if one little spot in a tiny house is cluttered or messy it throws off the mojo of the rest of the house!

In December just after Christmas, I looked around and decided we needed a change. I told my husband I wanted to rearrange the furniture the way he originally wanted it: TV in front of the window, piano (which was in the dining room), couch a few feet from the door facing in toward the TV, and Nathaniel’s shelf and bookshelf where the TV used to be. We literally did it in half a day because we were having my parents over that evening to enjoy a family movie.

This arrangement worked so much better because it created an actual living space! And I liked that Nathaniel’s toys (kind of) stayed in the living room.

I loved the space, but it still felt chaotic! And the trail of toys was never ending.

Enter my Pinterest search! I knew the way it was organized (see above) wasn’t working because Nate Baby would literally just go pull all of his toys off the shelves and then play with them and carry them off throughout the house. So I hopped onto Pinterest in search of inspiration! I looked for a while but never quite saw anything that would work in my tiny living space. .

Finally I stumbled upon a blog called Apartment Apothecary that gave me a great idea! I read through the post about creating a play space in a small area and I loved the little personal play spot that she created. So I decided that while Katy Orme had to create a corner, I had an actual corner that I could give to Nate Baby.

And here we have it! Nathaniel’s own little play corner!

I love it. Nathaniel loves it. His daddy loves it. We are all happier! Mama and Dada love this setup because it helps contain the toys. Now understand, his toys still get everywhere. Even now as I’m typing this I can look down and see a book, a few stuffed animals, and blocks that have escaped with the help of an adventurous and active little boy. But it’s NO WHERE NEAR the crazy it was before! We will take this any day!

Nathaniel loves it because it’s all of his toys combined in one little area. He’s able to easily reach everything, and he goes to town pulling all of his toys off the shelves. He has his books on the bottom two rows of the bookshelf that he’s able to reach, and he loves pulling those off the shelves, too. He’s also still able to explore the house as he pleases, and go back to his corner when he chooses. Plus, I think it gives him a sense of his own personal space.

My next project for this corner is to get rid of some toys, especially since we just got a “she-shed” that we plan on turning into my office and Nathaniel’s playroom. But for now, it works perfect for our little space!

Take a look at the befores and afters! While we had some semblance of organization, it was easily disrupted and disrupted the whole living room. Now, with his own little corner, the chaos is contained way better than before, and if I’m in a hurry to clean up, I can throw all of his toys on his rug in his corner and the living room will still feel clean!

And here my sweet boy is going to town! You can see he’s pulled off toys from the shelves, but only one has left the rug- and only halfway at that!

I know many of you have had to make the most out of a small space, so I’d love to see pictures of what you did! Or share how you made a play space for your toddler! It might inspire me for the next time we move around our living room!

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