The first wave of COVID led many families to reimagine what they needed from their homes. Many of us spent time and money transforming our spaces into something more livable and functional for working from home and homeschooling. Through the ups and downs of stay-at-home orders, new COVID variants, and several rounds of distance learning, we’ve learned the importance of designing and tweaking our homes to work for our particular family’s needs.

We continue to realize the importance of having a safe and comforting home space, and getting the most out of our homes. So now, over two years into our new reality, it’s time to go even further in leveling up our home designs from comfortable and stylish to something more fulfilling and sustaining—especially if you have kids.

With so much change and uncertainty, it’s important to promote fun and wellness at home—for kids and adults alike. While adults can be more self-directed, our children may need help discovering interests and developing hobbies they find fulfilling. That’s where family time can come in. Through increased, intentional time together, you can promote whole family wellness. And interior design can be a big help in ensuring family time happens!

We talked to families on our team to find out what changes they made to their own homes that have fostered quality time and encouraged creativity at home. (Some of these spaces are even great for when you need to distract your kids while you get other work done around the house!) We’re so excited about the room ideas we got—and we hope you are too.

Fun and Creative Activity and Craft Room Ideas

Ready to explore your creativity as a family? Below, you’ll find eight activity and craft room ideas for creating spaces that will keep your family happy and entertained.

1. A Kid-Friendly Cooking Corner

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Cooking is inevitable for any parent. And while bringing kids into the kitchen may create more work in the moment, growing a love for healthy meals and cooking whole foods is invaluable. So, why not create a kid-friendly cooking corner in your kitchen for your kids to safely explore culinary interests!

This is a great option because…

It’s a great bonding experience for you and your kids. It’s a way to give your kids hands-on experience in meal preparation and learn first-hand how joyful cooking can be. (It’s fun for kids to see where their food comes from!) They can also learn valuable skills—like how to peel, chop, and even read a recipe. Bonus: it’s a screen-free activity!

How to Design a Cooking Corner

To create a kid-friendly cooking corner, start by making sure you can create a safe space for them to help without risking injury. We like the idea of clearing off the kitchen island or dining nook table to offer a large-but-accessible surface. (Plus, this way, it doesn’t have to be a permanent kids cooking corner but it can just be set up when needed!) Pull chairs, stools, or kitchen helper stools up to your surface to make sure everything is within reach. Set out age-appropriate kitchen utensils (we love this little kitchen helper knife set!) so your kids can help with real tasks. And, since kids are always prone to messes, it helps to set out plastic or silicone mats, or water-resistant placemats, to protect surfaces and make clean-up easier.

2. A Shared Fitness Space

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Movement is key for kids and adults alike. Every kid needs to get out the wiggles at some point in the day. And designing a shared yoga or fitness space is the perfect place for this to happen when going outside isn’t an option. In a multifunctional exercise room, kids can burn some energy and you can sneak in a workout while keeping an eye on them!

This is a great option because…

By having a space where the whole family can move together, you can instill in your children the importance of movement and exercise—not only for physical health, but for mental health, too. Plus, it allows you, as a parent, to get in a workout without having to get up super early, stay up super late, or set your kids down in front of the TV. This is a great way for the whole family to blow off some steam and get active—which is especially nice when gyms are shut down or the weather is bad!

How to Design a Fitness Space

Create a space with age-appropriate exercise opportunities for everyone in the family. We love the idea of starting out with an open floor plan and laying down rubber floor tiles or gymnastics mats to make the space conducive to tumbling. Then, include family-friendly exercise equipment like yoga mats, small hand weights, and perhaps even some jump ropes! If you have the architecture to support it, you could even install a small climbing wall, gymnastics rings, or monkey bars! For easy organization, incorporate a shelf with bins or baskets so you can stow away equipment when it’s not in use. Check out our tips for how to design an at-home gym for more fitness room ideas!

3. A Craft Room for the Whole Family

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Everyone has creativity within them—but what each person in your family enjoys probably won’t be the same. Some people might like to draw and paint, others may prefer sculpture (or Play-Doh), while for others scrapbooking or quilting might be the activity of choice. By establishing a dedicated craft room, each family member can work on their preferred activity while sharing a space together.

This is a great option because…

It offers a space where the whole family can partake in arts and crafts activities without needing to be doing a singular activity. Parents can even work from a craft room while kids do creative activities! This is another way to make intentional space for screen-free activities and show your children the joy and stress relief found in doing something creative, with your hands. And having a dedicated space for these activities means your living or dining room won’t be overtaken every time your child wants to get their creative juices flowing!

How to Design a Craft Room

When exploring craft room ideas, start by making sure you have enough surface space for each family member to work on their own project. Create several workstations, and perhaps even intentionally designate spaces for art crafts vs. sewing vs. computer work. Consider having both desk and counter-height surfaces for different activities, and opt for surface materials that are durable and easy to clean. (After all, paint spills and marker stains are inevitable with kids!) And, of course, craft room organization is key! Incorporate plenty of storage space so that craft supplies can stay organized and the space doesn’t feel cluttered or chaotic.

 

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4. A Game Room

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Is your family into board games or card games, perhaps a game room is what your family would enjoy the most. This gives you a dedicated space for the whole family to play games together—and even allows you to leave multiplayer or world-building tabletop games up for days at a time. This is also a great area for families who like working on puzzles together!

This is a great option because…

Games and puzzles are great ways to have family bonding time without electronic devices. More than just sharing a space and doing your own thing, family game nights bring everyone together for a designated activity. This is great for families with kids of all ages—and you can simply adjust the games you play as your kids get older!

How to Design a Game Room

We already wrote a whole blog about our best tips for designing a game room. But we’ll give you a quick recap of our game room ideas here! To design a game room, you’ll want a surface that everyone can access and gather around, like a coffee or dining table. Especially if you enjoy longer, more involved games, you’ll want adequate lighting and comfortable seating. Since the most essential part of a game room is a table and chairs, this doesn’t even need to be a separate room; it could be a table in the corner of a living room or family room—or you could even simply transform your dining room for family game nights! Regardless of where this takes place, it’s nice to have storage space for board games, puzzles, and gaming supplies to keep things organized.

5. A Music Room or Corner

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Is your family on its way to becoming the next VonTrapp Family Singers or the Jackson 5? For families where music plays a large role, it’s nice to have a room designated for music. Explore music room ideas (or just a music corner!) to give you a dedicated space to store and play musical instruments, listen to music, and enjoy that vinyl collection.

This is a great option because…

Playing instruments is great for brain development in children, and learning to read music is an incredible life skill. And we love that people of all ages can learn to play a new instrument, making this an ageless activity! Plus, music in general is something that anyone can enjoy, whether they play an instrument or not.

How to Design a Music Room

When designing a music room, start by establishing a home for musical instruments. Include a storage cabinet or shelving to store sheet music and record collections, and make sure you have adequate lighting and seating for those who want to listen. You may also want to consider acoustics and environment—two major considerations when figuring out where to place a piano in your home.

6. An At-Home Library or Reading Area

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Are you a family that loves to read? Create a space with comfortable seating and storage for books so everyone can enjoy their book. There’s something strangely comforting about the silent togetherness about reading your own book in the same room as another person engrossed in their own book!

This is a great option because…

Reading is an activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages! It develops your brain and vocabulary, activates creativity, and creates a space for healthy escape on difficult days. A cozy reading room is a great way to instill and develop a love of reading in your children—plus, it offers the ideal place to spend an afternoon on a day when the weather is crummy! (And it’s another screen-free activity!)

How to Design a Family Reading Space

This is another activity room that doesn’t necessarily need its own separate room. You can keep a reading area smaller—think: a comfy reading nook with just two chairs in the corner of a bedroom or living room. Or, you can transform your living room into a more dedicated space for reading. However large or small, just make sure to include comfortable seating for multiple people—whether a sectional sofa or a couple of individual cozy chairs. Good lighting is also a must, so that no one strains their eyes. And this is also the perfect space in your home to install some wall-to-wall shelving to house your library of books! What not to include? A TV. You don’t want a TV to become a distraction in a space dedicated to reading. Want to get really creative with your reading room ideas? Use your favorite book as inspiration and match your reading nook to the book!

7. A Media Room

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Not all family activities need to be screen-free. After all, sometimes it’s nice to just cozy up and watch a movie together as a family! If you have a TV in your living room, you don’t necessarily need to create a separate space for family movie nights. But if your living room is more formal or screen-free, a dedicated media room can be a fun and cozy way option.

This is a great option because…

It’s nice to have a space where the whole family can gather and be comfortable. Whether you love family movie nights or enjoy watching sports as a family, a media room gives you the perfect space to gather, hang out, and be a little more casual than other parts of your home.

How to Design a Media Room

Create a cozy space facing a TV, and make sure there’s ample seating for everyone. Sectionals are a great choice for media rooms, as they offer extra seating and space for lounging. It’s also nice to have moveable accent tables for drinks and snacks, as well as ottomans so people can kick up their feet and get comfortable. Also necessary: plenty of pillows and blankets! It’s ideal to have dimmable lighting so you can create the exact mood and atmosphere you’d prefer.

8. An Outdoor Family Space

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It’s always good to get outside. And if your yard allows it, it’s so nice to have a dedicated outdoor family space for outdoor meals, yard games, and campfires. There’s just something so rejuvenating about fresh air and family time!

This is a great option because…

With so much of the past two years spent indoors, it’s so good to spend time outside, even if it’s just in your own yard. Making your yard feel special and intentional is a great way to ensure you’ll make use of it more often.

How to Design an Outdoor Space

Paved patios or decks are a great starting point for outdoor family spaces—but they aren’t absolutely necessary. Set up a spot in the yard for family meals—either a picnic table in the grass, a table on the patio, or a blanket laid out on the lawn for more of a picnic feel! Depending on what your space allows, you could also set up yard games—like croquet, cornhole, badminton, or bocce ball. Consider a fire pit or building out a full campfire ring for cozy evenings outdoors (complete with s’mores, of course!). Or, if a fire isn’t an option, hang up strings of cafe lights to create some cozy ambiance.

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