10 IKEA Favourites That Will Transform your Play Space

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Sian Thomas

I'm a trained teacher and mama to three awesome children. We are a family of expats, travelling the world every couple of years for new adventures. Right now, we live in Vienna, Austria. I'm passionate about helping mums worldwide navigate the early years of parenthood.

ikea favourites to transform any play space

I work with mums to help them embrace and LOVE the early years.

This week I’m talking about IKEA furniture that will transform your play space. This is absolutely not a sponsored post, but since I get so many requests asking where our play space furniture is from, I thought I would add it to this handy guide.

Here’s ten of our favourite items:

Kallax shelves

ikea kallax shelves can be arranged in a number of different ways


Coming in a range of colourways, the Kallax shelves will transform your play space and 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 in the play space too, as you can see from the photograph above!

Drona storage bins

These storage bins are perfect for containing small items.

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;


Whilst they look a little on the large side, they are actually easy for children to manoeuvre – my 2 year-old son regularly brings the car box out for play!

Flisat table


Ikea flisat table with trosfast trays


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.

One of our favourite activities to do in the Autumn/Winter months is the DIY light box, featured on the left-hand-side of the photograph above. You can read more about it over on our sister site, Teach Investigate Play. 

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.

Plusfig Gym mat

gym mat, art trolley and storage container all from Ikea

Sometimes the great outdoors isn’t an option and your kids will need to get the wiggles out indoors. This gym mat is a fantastic item for gymnastics activities – even better is the fact you can fold it away after each use.

Duktig Play Kitchen

Duktig play kitchen from Ikea

Followers of mine will know that I struggled with the play kitchen for a while, mainly because my kids hated playing with pretend food.

Instead, we moved ours into our real kitchen and now the kids use it as a functional space. We often use it for sensory play or real meal prep. It’s also an ideal space for a snack station.

Raskog Trolley

This trolley is ideal for storing art supplies. Due to apartment living (and a small toddler) we don’t have a permanently set up art space. Instead,  I use a well supplied art trolley 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.

Drommare mirror

book display, mirror and chalk board from ikea

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.

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.

Flisat book holder

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.

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.

Not included here is our gorgeous playroom mat – also from IKEA but unfortunately out of stock!

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