It's not necessarily difficult to create an indoor playground at home, but it can be a bit expensive depending on how elaborate you want the area to be. Indoor playgrounds are a great way to keep kids busy when the weather is too hot or cold to be inside and for children to be more active -- rather than just sitting in front of the television. Make sure you use caution in inviting other children over to use the playground, as too many kids in a small area can increase the risk of injuries.
Decide where your indoor playground will be. If possible, dedicate a room to it so that the noise of your kids playing doesn't disturb the entire house and so all equipment can be easily kept in one spot. In homes where this isn't possible, use a section or corner of a larger room that will be dedicated to this use. Some parents may also put playground equipment in their child's bedroom, which has drawbacks and benefits. On one hand, it keeps the space contained and your child can enjoy it anytime. On the other, your child can use the equipment anytime, such as when she should be sleeping, without your knowledge or supervision.
Clear the area that will be your indoor playground. Get rid of any other furniture or appliances in that area to make room and reduce the risk of injuries. If possible, lay down thick carpeting or soft foam floor mats.
Go shopping. There are several ways to do this. You can purchase small plastic slides, water or sand tables, plastic or wooden playhouses or small plastic climbing apparatus that are supposed to be used outside that are meant to just sit on the ground. These can be used easily indoors as well. If you have more money to spend or have older children, consider instead buying playground equipment specifically designed for indoor playgrounds, like ball pits, slides that are part of a bed or ride-on toys.
Supervise children while they play on your indoor playground. Kids can fall or bump into walls while playing and may become injured. Discuss safety measures with your children and stay with them while they play.
- If you want an indoor play area without spending much money, it's time to get creative. Healthy Kids, a website from the Dairy Council of California, suggests constructing an obstacle course in your home. Use pillows, laundry baskets and chairs and set the rules for your child for what needs to be climbed over or gone around. For another indoor playground option that won't break the bank or permanently alter your rooms, use painter's tape or duct tape to create a hopscotch area or roads for little cars to ride along.
- Indoor play areas work best with younger, smaller children as the equipment that older children use might be too big to fit in your house. Always check the age and weight limits on any playground equipment you buy and make sure it is size appropriate for your children.