Creating Kid-Friendly Spaces
Designing your new home can be fun for everyone in your family – even the kids! A goal that I had in mind as we were building was to purposefully create areas throughout the house that were kid-friendly. When you have little kids, of course your WHOLE home has to be kid-friendly… but I loved the idea of making a few areas special to them while still having these spots blend into our home’s overall look and décor. After living in our house for about a year now, I am so glad that we did! Our kids are six and four years old and seeing them enjoy our new house as much as we do is such a great feeling. Here are a few fun ways that you can do this too!
Making a space for the kids to be creative was one of the best decisions we made! We call it our “art center,” but it’s pretty much a kid-sized table and chairs and dedicated crafting cart. It’s the go-to spot for our kiddos whenever they want to draw, color pictures, or show us things they learned at school. The crafting cart holds everything they need; from kids’ scissors, tape, glue sticks, and all sorts of random crafty things that they can use for creating. The best part about the art center is its location. Our is right in between our kitchen and dining areas, so the kids always feel like they are a part of whatever is going on while they are there. I also love how even though the table and chairs are for kids, they still look like they go with the style of our home.
(Here’s a link to the kids’ table if you’re interested in checking it out! http://www.lipperinternational.com/Products/childs-rect-table-shelves-2-chairs-espresso-finish/)
Dry Erase Station
I keep a large dry-erase calendar in our mudroom as part of our family’s command center. The kids always love to write on it and practice their letters, or pretend that they are making a calendar of their own, etc. So, we decided to give them their very own! We put a dry erase board right on the wall so that they could have their space for writing. Honestly, it’s become more of a learning tool than anything else. The kids love to go here to practice writing new letters and numbers from school. We can write messages to each other on the board, and it comes in super handy for any kiddos who love to play pretend school too!
We had a blast working with the kids as we were building on how they wanted their new rooms to look. It was so much fun for them to get excited about making a space that would be their own. For parents, I know it can be overwhelming looking through the ideas on Pinterest of these spectacular, over-the-top, and expensive kids’ bedroom ideas… trust me, I’ve been there! My advice is to choose a couple things that you’ll do anyway, that you wouldn’t mind your little one having a say in. For example, can they help you pick out the paint color? Can they choose new sheets for their bed? Can they choose their light fixture? Our daughter had her heart set on having a chandelier in her bedroom from the moment we started planning. We decided to let her pick one out as a special touch for her new room. We ended up spending about fifty dollars more than we would’ve otherwise, and she has something unique about her room that she chose herself. You could also let them pick out just a couple of “new” things to have amongst the familiarity of the old, just to make the idea of a new bedroom exciting. Our little guy was at the height of his Nerf® obsession at the time we were moving into our new house. We decided to use some garage tool-storage solutions by Wall Control® to create an epic nerf gun wall to highlight his new space. These few special touches in the kids’ rooms made them so excited about the move and so proud to show off their personalized bedrooms to anyone visiting.
The Basement: Unfinished or Not
For a kid, what is better than having a basement play area? For an adult, what is better than having a basement play area that you don’t feel the need to clean up all the time? Nothing! In all seriousness though, the lower level of your home is the perfect spot to dedicate some square footage to your kids. When we moved into our new house and left our basement unfinished, I was a little bummed about not having the soft, carpeted areas for the kids to play in. My feelings have changed because our unfinished basement quickly became the perfect spot for riding bikes, playing hockey, and even our little trampoline! We got around the cold basement floors by adding these interlocking floor mats from Sam’s Club® which have been a lifesaver for areas where the kids like to sit down and play! A pack of these tiles costs just over $20 and covers about 34 sq. ft. I’m not sure if you’ve been in the market for area rugs lately, but they are so expensive!! Save yourself some money and buy these instead.
Interlocking Floor Mats: https://www.samsclub.com/sams/util-a-mat-commercial-grade-reversible-floor-mats-24-x-24-8-tiles/107930.ip?xid=plp_product_1_1
If you are able to finish your basement, you could always add to it and make something super fun for your kids. Here’s a downstairs playhouse that we added to our old home. Our kids spent HOURS in this thing, pretending it was everything from a school to a restaurant. Fun paint colors and your kids’ imaginations would make this a favorite spot for sure!
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