With the twins getting older and more mobile, even though everything is baby proofed I still needed a safe place to be able to put them while cooking in the kitchen, so we set up an area where I could safely put them for a bit and I’m sharing all my tips on How to Create a Safe Play Space for Baby.
How to Create a Safe Play Space for Baby
Now that the twins are 7 months old and they’re getting mobile, I decided we needed a safe play space downstairs to keep them inside if I’m in the kitchen. While we’ve been baby-proofing the house to an extreme, they outnumber me, they’re just going to get more mobile, and I won’t be able to watch both of them at the same time unless I coral them into a safe space. So, below I’m sharing how I’ve set up our safe place for our babies.
Choose a Location: In the last few weeks, it was becoming very clear that we needed to set up a safe play space for the twins downstairs. We’ve started feeding them solid food using their high chairs in the kitchen, and I needed a safe place to put them while I’m prepping food, cleaning up after, etc.
To set up a safe play space for baby (or in my case, babies), you first need to choose an area in your home. It’s best to choose a room that doesn’t have an exterior door or access to stairs. We decided to convert our dining room into a playroom for a couple of years because our 1906 Victorian/Craftsman house does NOT have an open floor plan, the living room is too small, the entry room has the front door and stairs, and the library room has basement stairs. So, we moved the dining room table into the kitchen. We still need to switch out the dining room chandelier into something that doesn’t hang down as low so no one hits their head.
Baby Proofing: Next, you need to baby proof it. For us, that meant we needed to install a few electrical outlet covers, cord covers, a blind cord cleat, and a baby gate. I installed the outlet covers that slide shut over the prong holes when not in use and we put cord covers over the power cord for the record player that I bought for the room. I installed a brass cleat next to the window blinds cord (see photo below) so that when it is pulled down to roll up the blinds, we can wrap the cord around the cleat to shorten it out of reach of the babies so it isn’t a strangulation hazard.
And, because the opening to the room is so large (9-10 feet across), we installed a large baby gate across the room. I also cleaned everything out of the dining room cabinets so that I wouldn’t need to install baby locks. We can eventually store toys and games so the room isn’t overcrowded with toys. And we added another camera to our baby monitor so I don’t have to peek around the corner from the kitchen as much.
Add All the Toys: Then, I added soft interlocking tile mats and soft toys. I installed soft interlocking tile mats on the floor in order to hopefully cushion all the future falls. Next, I brought in a kids’ teepee which might be a bit premature for their age, but I’ve learned that time goes by so quickly and with twins, I need to start projects early or else they never get done. So I went ahead and put together the teepee as a cute little reading nook and play spot for them when they get a bit older. I put a bunch of blankets and pillows inside it, and I’m looking forward to reading a few books with the babes in there.
I also added some floor cushions as well as a toy box that also works as a seat for the adults to use (it supports up to 275 lbs!). I made sure to grab a few soft baskets to use as toy bins. I know they’ll have fun pulling all the toys out of them in the future, and I’m hoping we can make a game to put all the toys back inside them, too! And then I purchased a few toys that are a little bit older, such as the soft fabric blocks and a music table activity center that they can enjoy now but will really like to play with in another 4-6 months.
I also picked up a record player for on top of the cabinet counter so we can put on records and have dance parties or story time with some vintage kids’ records!
I’m sure their play area will always be changing. In the next 6-9 months, I’ll probably add some of the large play cushions, and in about a year, I’ll probably add a play kitchen. And then maybe someday, I’ll get my dining room back, but until then, these two will have a fun, safe play space, and I’ll have some peace of mind while I cook or clean in the kitchen.
Have you made a safe play space for your baby? What are your favorite toys for the space? Have any other tips on how to keep it clean? Let me know in a comment!
Shop this post! Teepee // Interlocking Floormats // Brass Blind Cord Cleats // Baby Proof Outlet Covers // Record Player // If You Need Me, I’ll Be in My Teepee Pillow // Zebra Accordian Toy // Fabric Blocks // Leapfrog Musical Table Activity Center // Toy Links // Pink Box Seat (it’s a box that is also a chair – it can support up to 275 lbs!) // Alligator Pillow // Sun Pillow
Not Shown: Baby Gate // Baby Monitor (we have this monitor with two cameras in their nursery, so we just installed an add-on camera for this play space) // Mirror // Fabric Toy Cars