Summer Vacation Canceled? Make Your Staycation One To Remember!

5 reasons you should take your vacation fund and create a magical playroom

I hate to say it, but I don’t think we’ll be headed to Disney World any time soon.The close quarter rides. The shoulder-to-shoulder parades. COVID has thoroughly changed what life looks like, let alone summer and family vacations.

So, how do we make the most of this time we have? How do we give our children the gift of play and joy all summer -- and all year -- long?

Can you guess what my answer is?

Invest in your playroom.

You might say, "Anne, you're a playroom designer, of course you say that!"

Ok, yes, but for good reason: It’s a game changer. We are spending more time at home than ever, and creating a beautiful, organized play space gives children hours of fun memories (all while learning!) every day.

Here are the top five reasons to make this the year you turn your playroom into your children’s dream space:

1. The fun will continue long after this summer ends

Did you know that children (when we allow them) will play, tinker, do robotics, and make art way into their teenage years? It’s true! When we design spaces, we are very careful to create areas that easily grow and change with the kiddos who play in them. A space is capable of morphing from toddler exploration, to school-age story creation, to teenage art studio and maker space without making huge adjustments in the room. It is an investment in your family that lasts!

I don’t know about you, but thinking about the play that can happen over 10 years in a beautiful space in your home… and how many solo, mama-only cups of coffee this investment could give me, sounds just as good as a vacation. And when you go back to work, you’ll be set up for Zoom calls without (or with fewer) interruptions.

2. It can improve your child’s behavior

Yes, you can actually help avoid future vacation meltdowns here. By reducing the toy-clutter in a playspace, we actually make it easier for our children to learn to enjoy their time! They can find what they need by themselves. This means they may no longer need us to help them locate a specific, very special blue car in a bin of 150 others. They can set up and clean up play time by themselves. They can access their own art materials (once they earn your trust) and start creating.

With decreased frustration, comes decreased unwanted behaviors. Everyday practice in an organized play environment increases focus and confidence. It directly impacts and improves behavior, teaching valuable social and emotional skills.

3. You’ll get some good-quality family time in

Everyone has a different level of tolerance for visual clutter. Many of us grownups have just accepted the fact that our homes will be overrun with kid stuff until the day our children move out. It doesn't have to be the case! Creating visual peace through organization and design goes a long way toward everyone’s happiness. Additionally, when we set up our home to encourage creativity and support their interests, kiddos feel safe, confident, and happy -- and we get more time to spend enjoying the little humans we’re raising. Winning all around!

4. You’re setting the stage for lifelong learning

Parents, we are our children’s first teacher, but the environment they are in is their second teacher. The way we set up our play space directly impacts our children’s creativity, comfort with risk taking, and problem solving. The environment also increases their ability to apply and explore newly learned skills and knowledge that they may learn from you, from school, or from experience. Children who participate in rich, open-ended play, every day, do better in school. We specifically design balanced play spaces that include the 8 types of play that we have identified. Well-designed playrooms invite this exploration and help equip you and your home to make this type of rich, screen-free, experiential learning a daily habit.

Want to read more about the 8 types of play that go into creating a balanced play space? Check out this post: grOH!'s Eight Educational Play Categories For Playroom Design.

5. It’s an investment that pays off

Let's just go ahead and talk numbers.

Heading to Disney World is an investment. You save and plan to create a magical experience for your family for five days (for easy math’s sake). So let’s say you had planned to fly your entire family across the country, splurge on food, stay in the resorts, visit multiple parks, and come home with the obligatory souvenirs. This trip easily crosses the $10,000 mark, so you are spending roughly $2,000/day for your five-day trip.

Investing in your home to create a space that will grow with them and last 5 or 10 years will end up costing you $1-5 dollars/day.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love a family vacation. I am currently aching for one. However, I also know that a playroom designed with intention brings families hours of playtime, daily; the reduction of toy-clutter reduces stress for both grownups and their children; the cohesive look and feel of a beautiful space helps everyone exhale a little bit. And that will give you that vacation-feeling all year round.

If you need help adding some magic to your play space, let us help. Send us an email

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Wishing you and yours hours of magical play time!

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