Playpens are one of those things you kinda look at and think "Do we really need that?" If your budget is tight then to be honest, you probably don't need one - at least not straight away. That said, when you do need one, a playpen is an absolute lifesaver.
Here are 10 ways to make the most of your playpen. As you read down the list we get more and more inventive, so have fun and be inspired!
1. Create a space play space for your little one
Make like the Full House family and keep your toddler safely contained in a busy household. While now-a-days it seems the expectation is to keep your entire house child safe, sometimes that isn't practical. That doesn't mean you won't try your best. But is your best good enough when you need to go toilet? Or when you have visitors at your house who have pets or newborn babies? It's practical and easy to use a play pen occasionally.
2. Foster a family-friendly feeling in your business or workplace
If you work somewhere like a doctor's surgery or bank, then a playpen could be a welcome addition to your work's waiting room. The playpen tells everyone visiting that this business values little people, while also ensuring any little visitors stay safe and cheerful.
3. Use it to store baby clothes
We've tried this at Baby Box and have to say, a playpen is a pretty neat clothes rack for baby clothing when flipped on it's side! You could even attach it to the wall for double the storage! This would also be a perfect storage solution for scarfs, muslins, or toys.
4. Create numerous baby gates
If you feel your child needs a little more freedom, you can unscrew your playpen and use each side as it's own baby gate. You may have to employ a little kiwi ingenuity to make sure it stays put, but that could be as simple as moving another piece of furniture against it or attaching a small screw into the wall beside the door. While this isn't as easy as using a baby gate designed for that purpose, it will mean one less thing to buy.
5. Protect your Christmas tree
You can use your playpen to contain your Christmas tree and presents, and keep them from wandering all over the house or from tipping over onto your little one. This is a good reason to keep your playpen even after your children have grown.
6. Protect your TV
Similarly, you can use your playpen to keep your little wriggler away from the TV, and ensure your screen remains smudge free.
7. Use it as a clothes horse
Just as we've flipped our playpen in the shop to display clothing, you could flip your playpen to store sheets or clothing. Also great for moving outside and drying things off.
8. Learn to weave
Rainy days, what to do? How about teaching your toddler to weave wool in and out, using the bars of the playpen as a guide? This both helps them develop their fine motor abilities, and keeps them busy (and safe). You could even cheekily leave them to it, while you get something else done.
9. Create a safe lego area for your older child
The concept is simple: place your big kid and their legos in the playpen. Keep your littlest one OUT.
OK, this is obvious (or at least it should be). Chuck some pillows in the base and a sheet across the top and you have an instant fort. Perfect for lazy Saturday evenings. Take it outside and you'll also have shade.
How do you make maximum use of your play pen?
We hope these 10 ways to use a playpen inspire you to make full use of your playpen. If you have any thoughts on other ways to use a playpen, please drop us a comment below.