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A kidís room can be quite simple in design and layout; As long as itís in their favourite colours, theyíre pretty happy. However, the most important aspect of a childís room from our point of view is that it must be safe and age-appropriate.
When choosing furniture, consider the height, how easily reachable drawers and cupboards are and whether there are any possible hazards. For example, a high drawer if pulled out quickly could fall on a child or make the cupboard top-heavy and topple. I donít want to be an alarmist Ė the chances of accidents like this are slim, but we need to ensure we do everything possible to avoid them.
A good exercise is to look at the room from your childís height. Get down on their level and move around the room as they would. See if there are any sharp corners, whether the bed is a good height or whether they can reach the door handle or light switch if they need to.
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Another tricky one is toy storage. Large toy boxes with lift-up lids can be a hazard as the lid can fall on them (I've seen this happen). A cupboard or baskets are the safest option.
There are some great storage ideas for kidsí rooms if you want to spend the money to buy new - however you donít need to; basic pre-loved furniture with a fresh coat of paint is all they need. Depending on your childís age, it may be easier to store their clothing in shelves. Pull out baskets are light and easy to handle. Your child can see at a glance what he or she is looking for. Any special garments that need to hang could go into your closet for safekeeping.
Walls and trims should be easily washable, as should curtains and other furnishings. Soft toys that are constantly out on display can gather dust, fly poop and even spiders if not washed (or at least shaken out and dusted) regularly.
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Allow your child to help plan and decorate their room and they will take more pride in it. Establish from an early age the areas they are responsible for, like making the bed or keeping the toy area tidy. Involve them in the regular cleaning routine.
Perhaps your child would like to see their own artwork decorating the wall. Use blue tack or have a large (but light) picture frame on the wall, and as your child brings home a new work of art, change the picture in the frame.
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You've probably heard of the idea to paint an area of wall (or the back of the door) with blackboard paint, and this can be a great idea or a terrible one. There are some things to consider if youíre planning to do this.
- The blackboard area should be in a spot where your child canít constantly brush up against it and stain their clothes.
- If itís on the back of the door, the area behind it should be clear. You also need to know when your child is using the board so that no one pushes the door open onto them.
- Your child needs to know that chalk rubs off onto their hands and consequently onto everything they touch thereafter. Ensure they wash their hands afterwards.
- Chalk dust drifts down onto the floor and can stain carpet. If your childís floor isnít washable, put a large plastic mat or ideally a shelf below the area to catch the dust.
- A simpler idea is a portable blackboard that can be used outdoors or in an area where you can monitor its use and clean up easily afterwards.
The main thing to remember about kids rooms is this: It wonít be long before your child outgrows their superhero or princess phase. Donít go overboard on a theme because your child is good at persuasion.