As your children grow, so does their need for play space. Backyards and outdoor areas are sufficient when the weather is nice, but how do you make the most of cold or rainy days? Why not consider turning underused basement space into a playroom? Here are finished basement ideas, and tips for doing it easily and affordably:

Cushion the floor without breaking the bank – or your back

Create a safe, comfortable environment for crawling around, or lounging and reading. Carpet tiles1 or interlocking foam mats are a good option – inexpensive, easy to install and individually replaceable to update basic concrete floors.2

Keep lights high

Keep lighting fixtures out of the way to help prevent accidents and breakage. The best place for lights is in the ceiling, either tracked or recessed.3

Color it bright

If your basement isn’t flooded with light, consider painting it in vibrant colors to brighten it up and create an inviting space for creative activity.3 Have fun with color or experiment with wall decals in animal shapes, trees or stars to invent a magical world.

Choose durable materials

Active children usually don’t realize how their energy and excitement to play impacts furniture, especially fabrics on couches and chairs. With that in mind, use materials that will hold up well. One delicate-looking but surprisingly durable option? Ultrasuede, a synthetic ultramicrofiber fabric.4

Don’t skimp on storage

The chaos of creative playtime can leave toys scattered. Provide your kids with plenty of storage to help stay organized when playtime is over. Open cubbies, with or without baskets, are perfect; so are bins, milk crates and benches with hidden storage space.1

Shop smart

Remember, kids will outgrow play spaces in just a few years. To keep things budget friendly, thrift store finds and discount stores are great sources for playroom gear. Refresh old chairs and tables with a coat of safe, nontoxic paint.

As your family grows, a once-spacious house can start to feel cramped. However, you can make the most of your home by converting underutilized areas. When undergoing a major renovation such as turning an unfinished basement into a children’s playroom, keep in mind the replacement value of your house may increase. Contact your homeowners insurance provider to make sure your policy is updated accordingly.

Some home improvement ideas are fun and easy to do yourself. Learn when you may want to hire a professional instead.