Use colorful playroom wall decor to make a gallery wall that’s fun and educational for kids. Your children will especially love having a magnetic marker board and bold art featuring their favorite animals in their playroom.
A while back, our boys who are now ages 7 and 4 1/2 were begging to share a bedroom. (You always need to credit the “half” year if you ask our boys!) So Kent and I gave one of our main floor bedrooms a makeover and turned it into a shared outer space themed bedroom for the boys. After that, we were able to transform the old alphabet themed nursery into a fun and whimsical children’s playroom.
We were able to leave some of the core elements in the room the same. For example, we kept the paint color on the walls and some of the furniture pieces. Then all we had to do was change the wall decor and a few other minor things. With a relatively small amount of work, we were able to give the room a whole new look and purpose.
Back when the room was a nursery, we had a small collage of family photos above the diaper changing table. We used it to familiarize the boys with the faces of our parents and siblings. Here’s what that looked like:
We initially left that photo collage on the wall in the new playroom for a while. But after some time, I began to think it looked sort of small and out of place. During the initial transformation, we changed the playroom wall decor throughout the rest of the room. But now the old family collage was on the one wall all by its lonesome self. I decided it needed to come down and be replaced by a large gallery wall that would be more useful for the boys.
BEFORE THE NEW PLAYROOM GALLERY WALL:
How to Create a Gallery Wall for Kids
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Deciding to take down the family collage was the easy part of this project. Next I had to decide what kind of playroom wall decor I wanted to put up instead. I wanted to create a playroom gallery wall that’s larger, bolder and has some educational elements for the boys.
I started with a large marker board we had leftover from our older son’s Curious George bedroom. (That was the theme in the other room before we blasted off into outer space!) The marker board’s surface is magnetic so it can be used that way or as a dry erase board too. With the dual purpose, there are endless educational and fun ways the boys can use it. With the marker board as a focal point, the rest of the new gallery wall fell into place easily.
Our Playroom Wall Decor
First, I found this awesome bulletin board with a chalkboard and hooks at Target. We can staple the alphabet, numbers, and memory verses on the cork board in the center. Or we can put other things the boys want to learn there.
The Big Bold Clock
I’ve been meaning to incorporate a clock into the playroom wall decor for a while. A clock would help the boys to learn how to tell time. Plus it would also help them to know when their reading and rest time is done in the afternoons. When I found this bright red Threshold Schoolhouse 10″ wall clock on that same shopping trip to Target, I knew it would fit perfectly right on top of that black chalkboard. The wall clock also comes in mint and silver. But I picked red since I thought it would look best with the rest of the playroom wall decor.
We already have a large chalkboard wall the boys can use in my craft room downstairs so I didn’t mind covering this one up. Plus I didn’t really want loose pieces of chalk roaming around freely in the playroom. We’d already had a problem where we had to figure out how to get dry erase marker off the walls once before. So I thought we could probably do without having ground up chalk in the carpet too.
The bulletin board came with a galvanized metal bucket plus two metal hooks. At first I wasn’t sure what to do with them. Then it occurred to me to use the metal bucket to hold the eraser for the marker board. (Remember that problem I mentioned earlier with dry erase marker on the walls? Now we keep those stored separately out of reach from little boys!) After that, I picked up a few small colorful metal buckets with handles at a local home decor store. The bright green and blue are primary colors to go with the rest of the playroom wall decor.
For now we’re using the green and blue buckets to hold magnetic letters that the kids can use to spell words or practice the alphabet on the marker board. In the future, the buckets could be used to hold pencils and pens for doing homework — or even dry erase markers once the kids have finally regained our trust!
Eye Catching Canvas Art
You’ll notice we hung the marker board and the bulletin board on the lower half of the gallery wall. We wanted them to be at eye level for the boys and easily accessible so they use them often.
The boys can’t reach the top half of the wall. So I looked for big eye catching prints to fill that space in the gallery wall. There are lots of cool canvases and other art options for playroom wall decor. I just knew I wanted two art pieces and I wanted them to coordinate with one another. For example, I considered using transportation as a theme. I looked at sets of two like a train and a plane or a dump truck and a cement mixer. A t-rex and a stegosaurus combo were also a consideration since our younger son has been into dinosaurs lately. He even had a dinosaur birthday party when he turned four.
The Elephant and the Giraffe
I ended up finding these gorgeous animal prints at Kirkland’s when my mom, my sister and I were out shopping. I don’t see them on their website, but these abstract art animal canvases on Amazon are similar. These colorful canvases could work as well — or even this frog and this pig from Muzagroo Art. If I’d seen them first, I might have been seriously tempted to go in a different direction with the animals!
Giraffes are our older son’s absolute favorite animal right now. So I knew he would love the set I got at Kirkland’s. When I brought home the elephant and giraffe canvases, he was as enamored with them as I was. Plus I love how these colorful prints aren’t too baby-ish. This way they can grow with the boys for the next several years.
For now I’m finished with the playroom gallery wall… at least I think so! The four different pieces of playroom wall decor balance well with each other. Every now and then I debate about putting a big word or something up above the animal prints. What do you think? Would you add any other kids’ playroom wall decor to this gallery? Please comment below and share your thoughts. We’re always looking for new ideas!
While you’re here be sure to check out other kid ideas on Kenarry: Ideas for the Home. You might like this castle playroom under the stairs, these tips for toy organization and this gallery style map wall for a playroom as well.
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Carrie is the chief writer, crafter and cook here at Kenarry: Ideas for the Home. She’s an optimist by nature and enjoys sharing recipes, trying new craft ideas, planning for parties and events as well as organizing and decorating. When she’s not blogging, preparing meals or picking up around the house, you’re bound to find her hidden away in a castle under the stairs reading to her two young boys. Whether you’re cooking, crafting or creating for your family, follow Carrie on Etsy, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram to get inspiring ideas for your home.