In our home we only have 3 bedrooms. When we learned we were expecting our second child I thought we would have the perfect number of rooms. However once we added another small person into our lives I found the bedrooms became cluttered with playthings. So about a year ago I decided I'd rather have my children share a room for sleep and have a room devoted just to play. It has worked out very well for us. Not only do we have almost no toys in the rooms we sleep in but they have space to play that they didn't before.
Play is so essential to child development. I will be the very first to admit my house is a mess. I work part-time, I have two high energy children, I have little closet space in the my house. However, I always make time to clean the playroom. I just feel that if that room is messy it limits how they can play. I want them to play as much as they can. They are building essential skills and that's important to me.
I have a preference for open-ended toys. You won't find battery operated toys here. I prefer no plastic but A has a small basket of My Little Ponies that I don't protest. We also allow lego blocks. Though we also have plain wooden blocks that get used often. We have a large basket of dress-up as well as our colorful playsilks. The playsilks get used almost more than the dress-up!
Even before F was born, I had a child-size table set up in our home. It's where my children do their artwork, crafts and practice writing. I've strung a line up for A to display her favorite finished pieces. Her art shelf is stocked with several paper types, paints, block crayons, pencil crayons, stickers, playdough and their supplies, flower press, a bead box and her craft basket. In that basket I've added some yarn for finger knitting, wool roving, buttons, washi tape, lacing cards and any other craft bits I find.
I have a book addiction. It's true. I'm a sucker for books. I've been really striving to limit how many books we own. We live so close to a good library that there isn't much reason to store the books in our home. The books for the children that I've felt are special enough to keep are housed in the playroom. Along with puzzles and small hand games, most books are found on the lower shelves.
Finally, my favorite part of the room. Their wooden kitchen was made by their dad. We have a shopping cart from Plan Toys and a child sized broom. Most of what is in their kitchen though I've found second-hand. We did get a few ceramic tea cups from Ikea but the rest I've found at thrift stores or consignment shops. One of the things I love about the wood kitchen is that once a month we give the kids rags with a bit of beeswax polish and they help us polish and care for the kitchen.