Your child’s bedroom can be an oasis of relaxation and creativity. With a little planning and attention to detail, you can create a refuge instead of a war zone.
Turn maintaining messy bedrooms into a fun, creative family project!
Simple Steps to creating a creative kids bedroom:
1. Have your Kids take ownership of their space.
Kids will take pride and care of a space that they have put time and energy into. It is important for kids to have space to develop their own tastes and interests. This is especially vital for kids who have to share a room.
2. Have a planning pow-wow
Get your child excited about their bedroom makeover or transformation. Ask your child to visualize their new space, and what they would like in their bedrooms. Consider the colors your child likes, the activities your child likes to do, and what their favorite things/themes are.
Also, consider your child’s habits. Some children are messy and need to be taught how to tidy up after themselves, which is easier if they have a space they are proud of. Some are visual and they need to have everything in view. While this can appear a mess, ask your child to find something specific: chances are they will know exactly where it is. If your child is a visual organizer (and most are), you need to devise a different plan for storage and organization. Some children respond to color-coding and some find it easier if there are different areas devoted solely to one activity. Talk to your child and experiment to find a system that works for both of you.
3. Create a Kid friendly Space
Painting is a time consuming laborious process. Kids also frequently change their tastes. Instead, ask the child to select a theme or a color they love and work together to find and create accents that will allow your child’s personality to shine through.
Work with your child to create activity zones in their bedrooms. If your child loves to read, provide a comfortable chair and a good reading light. If your child likes to dress-up, create a place to keep all the clothing and props tidy and easily accessible. If your child loves Lego, designate an area for building and an area for storage. They key is to create a space that allows for easy storage, access and cleanup.
As an added bonus, if your child has his own designated space for activities, there is less chance of spillover into the rest of the house!
Create a vision board/ inspiration wall. This feature will grow with your child. Allow space on one wall to be used as a visual representation of your child’s hopes, dreams, goals, and inspirations. Set up a whiteboard, a chalkboard, or a cork board for older children. Encourage kids to use this space however they like, to draw pictures, decorate with art they made or appreciate, or make notes of things they want to do or learn. As children are primarily visual, this is a wonderful way for them to express themselves and keep motivated.
4. Set some ground rules:
Work with your child to create some ground rules. If your child feels like they have some input, they will have an easier time sticking with the rules. Naturally, the earlier you start, the easier this is. Here are a few suggestions:
- One Activity at a time – this is very important in creative households. It is very easy to be swept away by inspiration and allow many things left unfinished. This is okay; however, make it a point to always clean up from one activity before starting another. This takes only a few minutes and is much easier than facing it all at the end of the day.
- Tidy up Time – Especially suitable for young children; make cleaning up into a game. Give children a warning a few minutes prior so they are not surprised when it is time to clean up (this helps ward off temper tantrums) and then start the tidy-up game. Tell the child or children that you have selected one piece of garbage (or toy). They have one or two minutes (depending on how big the mess is) to rush around the room and put as much garbage as possible into the wastebasket (or put toys away). Start the timer and all clean up together. This makes cleaning up fun and something the children look forward too.
- One In, One Out, Permanently – This is a wonderful rule that will bring an end to overflowing rooms and allows children to learn the value of their things. The concept is simple, for every new toy or book or clothing your child gets (this is up to you), one must be removed. Ask your child what they would like to do with their old items. There are many possibilities. Donate to children’s hospitals, churches, women’s shelters, libraries. Look into the options in your area. Go and visit these places with your child. It will open their eyes and allow them to see how fortunate they are. Once they have made a decision, get as involved as possible. You will make quite an impact if your child is able to see how much joy their old things can bring to a child in need.
- No TV or Computers – There are numerous studies and statistics warning against putting a television in your child’s bedroom. Television can’t be used in a constructive, educational way if you have no way of monitoring the programs or how much your child watches. It can also be highly disruptive to sleep patterns. To quote an article in the National Post:
“Researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who analyzed data for 2,707 children found 5 year olds are more likely to have behavior problems, disturbed sleep and ‘less emotional reactivity’ if they have a television in their bedroom than those with TV-free rooms.”
5. Get creative!
In this process, you can find many opportunities to get creative and bond with your child.
At every age level, kids can get involved and be an active creator in designing a space they will be excited to call their own. All children will want to be involved in the important decisions such as layout, color, and adding personality. Younger children can help in all aspects of putting the room together as well as making arts and crafts in their chosen colors for decoration. Older children can do all of the above, but you could also give them a budget to work with to buy a few new things for their bedroom. See how creative they can get with their money. Shop in unconventional places (craft stores, thrift stores, online) and try to use items in new and creative ways.
Encourage your child to think outside the box. Adapt the theater sports game “Anything BUT…” into your shopping. For example, if you are looking at a coat rack say this is anything BUT a coat rack: challenge your child and yourself to think of as many other uses for it as you can. You might be surprised at the great ideas you come up with!
Not all of these things have to be done in one day. This should be an ongoing process, which allows for great creativity and imagination.
Turning your child’s boring bedroom into a creative haven will give you countless hours of quality time and allow children to begin to develop their own personal style and identity.
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