Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Creating A "Kid Friendly" Home

Having a “kid friendly” home is more than just having breakable objects too high to reach and medicine cabinets locked. I believe that there are a lot of other ways to make your home a fun place for your children to learn and grow. After all, once they go to college we can really focus on decorating for ourselves. While they are growing up we dedicate our time and efforts to help them learn, discover, and play – to figure out who they are and where they fit in life. But if our homes reflect that as well, imagine how much more could be achieved.

Think of your home as the ideal classroom where you as a parent get to decide what is focused on and you, as a parent, get to help them learn through discovery and experimentation under your own roof – with your values and priorities. Wouldn’t it be wonderful?

I believe it is all possible merely by making a few concessions at home and letting your children have a creative input, as well -- making your home “kid friendly” by including them and designing around them! I don’t think it would have to be difficult or expensive.

A few ideas I had:

-         Chalk board paint on the bottom half of your walls in their bedroom/ playroom (and it comes in fun colors now so it can match your décor).
-         Prominent places to display their artwork in attractive ways. Let their artwork be the artwork in your home. It’s abstract, right?!
-         Low book shelves where books they will enjoy are within easy reach.
-         A place outside where they can plant or dig around (it can be a very small area) and play pretend.
-         A small table in the kitchen or dining area where they can ‘cook’ with play-dough while you cook
-         Allowing them to help you pick drapes, paint, rugs, and linens for their own bedrooms.

The important thing to remember is that your home (whether it’s an apartment or a house) can be beautiful and fun for your children and still express who you are as a family. Having a family home is your opportunity to create a world that works for you and your children – whatever that means to you.

How have you made your home ‘kid friendly’? Do you have a special place to show your children’s artwork?

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