10 IKEA Playroom Favourites for play on a Budget

If you want to revamp your child’s space on a budget look no further than these 10  IKEA playroom favourites!

When scrolling Instagram, there’s no denying that the gorgeous play spaces can make us feel tempted to buy all of the expensive, coordinated furniture in a bid to emulate what we see. However, furnishing your child’s play space doesn’t need to be an expensive endeavour.

I first got on board with play space design when my daughter was around 18 months old. At the time, I was pregnant with my youngest son and I wanted to ensure that she had a purposeful space where she could play whilst I fed the baby.

The IKEA playroom options featured in this blog post are great for helping to promote independent play and creativity. When including furniture for children, it’s important that it is fully accessible – toys on shelves need to be fully visible (and safe). It’s also a good idea to include a range of items for different zones. Items that cater for art, dramatic play and more physical play are the make-up of a good play space. All the IKEA playroom featured below will help your child to engage in different types of play.

If you’re interested in learning more about play spaces after reading this post, head to my membership page ‘How I drink my coffee Hot’, for more information on how to create your own play space.

this photo shows the IKEA playroom favourites we own, including the play kitchen, book display, table and kallax shelving unit

10 IKEA Playroom Favourites

As an expat family, living in rental accommodation often means buying furniture ‘off the peg’ rather than having anything custom made. Because of this, I never want to spend a lot of money on furniture purchases, especially when we don’t know what will fit into out next location.

That’s why we tend to opt for IKEA playroom pieces. Not only are they excellent value for money, but the minimalistic style means that I don’t have to worry about the items matching with the rest of the furniture – which is often provided for us.

Kallax shelves

The image shows the square IKEA kallax shelves that have been used to display toys


Coming in a range of colourways, the Kallax shelves are the centrepiece for most IKEA playrooms. The best thing about these shelves is the fact they make toys accessible (and visible) for your children.

We have both the 77cmx77cm and 77cm x147cm varieties in the play space and children’s rooms. They are super easy to move around when you fancy a change.

Drona storage bins

These storage bins are perfect for containing small items within the kallax units.

Part of play space organisation is grouping items by type so these bins are great for:

  • cars
  • wooden blocks
  • animal figurines
  • double
  • train sets
  • dolls

They are also perfect for small houses where you might not have the option to store toys in another location. You can read more about play spaces for small places here.

Flisat table

this image features the IKEA Flisat table with trofast tray inserts


The Flisat table is a great dual purpose item: you can use it for art activities and sensory play. The low height makes it perfectly accessible for young children, especially in conjunction with the Flisat stool.

If you intend to do sensory play or art on a regular basis, you really can’t go wrong with this table.

Trofast Trays

These trays fit perfectly with the flisat table and you can also use them in conjunction with the trofast storage system. 

As you can see in the photograph above, you can use two different sizes in the Flisat table, which is great when presenting items for an invitation to play.


Duktig Play Kitchen

An image of the IKEA Duktig play kitchen that has been decorated with a pizza theme.

The IKEA Duktig play kitchen is a great option for a ‘home corner’. Combined with loose parts, pretend food – or even used as a functional kitchen – there’s many ways this toy can be used as part of an IKEA playroom.

One of the reasons we favour it, is because the minimal design looks more realistic in comparison to other toy kitchens. If you’re handy, you could even transform it into a working functional space for your children to get drinks and snacks from.

You can find some more ideas for the Duktig kitchen here. 


Raskog Trolley

the image shows a turquoise trolley that has been turned into an art cart. It is filled with art supplies

This trolley is ideal for storing art supplies. Due to apartment living, we don’t have a permanently set up art space. Instead,  I use a well supplied art cart so that art is accessible.

The trolley is light enough for pre-schoolers to wheel into place and there’s plenty of room for a range of supplies. You can read more about why you should include an art cart in your play space here. 

Plusfig Gym mat

Sometimes the great outdoors isn’t an option and your kids will need to get the wiggles out indoors. Which means that one of our IKEA playroom favourites is this foldable green gym mat. Whilst it’s largely used for basic gymnastics now, in the past it was used in combination with our wobbleboard to create ramps and bridges.

a blonde boy used the IKEA gym mat in a play space

Glis Box

The Glis box is a brilliant container for storing loose parts, homemade play dough or art supplies. We always take one away with us on holiday too so the kids can get crafty on quieter evenings.

We use this IKEA playroom favourite to create invitations to play. The box is placed out on the Flisat table in the morning and the children explore the contents.

a girl plays with a Frozen themed playdough kit that has been stored in a GLIS box

Flisat book holder

In order to raise a reader, it’s important to display books in several places in your home – and what makes better sense than the play space? We use ours to display simple books that the children can read themselves.

Whilst the saying goes, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover,’ it’s actually really important for kids to see book covers. Why? Because prior to being able to read words, kids really do choose their books based on the illustrations. That’s why this book display unit is one of our IKEA playroom favourites.

The books on rotation in the play space are all displayed so the children can clearly see – the Flisat book display is just big enough for 4-5 books. We tend to mix old favourites with newer purchases.

the image shows the IKEA Flisat bookholder with a selection of Halloween themed books

Drommare mirror

A girl wipes out letters that have been written in paint sticks on a perspex mirror

Mirrors truly add another dimension (!) to play. But in all seriousness, they are such a great resource for numerous age groups. From tummy time play to reggio inspired loose parts exploration.

The problem, of course with normal mirrors is their breakability. But these acrylic plastic mirrors from the kids section can be used in a variety of ways.

Mala chalk board

Creating on a vertical surface really helps to aid your child’s development so whilst a chalk board may seem a bit passé these days, they still definitely have their uses. That’s why the MALA chalkboard is included as one of our IKEA playroom favourites!

Here’s just some of the benefits:

  • crossing the midline (where the dominant hand crosses the midline of the body);
  • spatial awareness;
  • hand-eye coordination.

You can read more about how we use our chalkboard here. 

a blonde boy practises high frequency words on the MALA chalkboard

Learn how to create an engaging home environment with Play SPACE 101

If you enjoyed this post about our IKEA playroom favourites, why not check out our mini course all about creating an engaging home environment? It’s available to members of my Substack page, How I drink my Coffee Hot.

Your home should be a sanctuary space.

After all, in the early years of your child’s life, this is where you probably spend the majority of your days!

The Play Space 101 mini course covers four essential areas to create a purposeful play space, no matter how big your house is or how many toys you have!

You’ll learn:

  • The importance of space – beyond what looks good on Instagram!
  • How to locate, declutter and organise your space
  • How to create a space that encourages independent play
  • How to present toys so that they actually get played with
Sian Thomas
an image of This Playful Home founder, Sian Thomas. The photo includes a photo of her daughter when she was around 18 months old

I’m Siân (rhymes with yarn), a play advocate, proud parent to three, and former teacher. My mission is to infuse more joy and less overwhelm into the lives of parents. Discover play-based activities with me that not only make learning FUN but also forge deep connections with your young learners, creating memories to cherish forever.