How to Help Your Kids Get Ready for the New Year

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com

2016 is right around the corner. And the great thing about the new year is that it’s a fresh start for everyone, including your children. Here are a few ideas to help your kids get ready for the new year, to be ready for that fresh start.

1. Organize. Organize. Organize.

This is the time of year to decide what toys, clothes, and books to donate or to pass down to younger siblings, friends, or other relatives. Once you have all decided what to keep and what to give away, it’s time to organize what you have left. It should be much less daunting now that you have pared down your child’s belongings. Use bins, storage containers, and every hidden space, like under the bed, the back of the bedroom door, and even at the top of the closet. The more space you have for toy, clothing, and book storage, the less overwhelmed you’ll and your child will feel.

2. Keep Resolutions within Reach

Sit down with your children before the new year and ask about what they’d like to do this coming year. Would they like to try new experiences or get better at one of their favorite talents or skills? Whatever their resolutions, keep them readily accessible. You could even write them on a chalkboard wall or a whiteboard in the child’s room. Having a constant reminder of goals will make those goals easier to achieve.

3. Change Surroundings

One quick way to make a new year seem more promising is by changing your child’s surroundings. It doesn’t mean you need to move or anything like that, but a few minor changes to your child’s bedroom can make a world of difference. Children change so much in a year, and your child’s room should reflect his or her new interests and morphing personality. It can be as simple as painting the walls a favorite color or by buying new bedding, which can change the whole look of the space.

Get ready for 2016! It’s going to be a great year full of new experiences.

How to Make a Child’s Room Magical

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Creating a magical space for your child is easy. It just takes a few simple elements, and that’s it! Soon both you and your child will want to experience the magic on a daily basis. Here’s what you need.

1. Create Nooks and Crannies

Nothing’s more magical than hidden, secret spaces. This could be as simple as creating a reading cubby in the closet or building a whole secret room somewhere with the space you have. Whatever you decide, just make sure it’s a comfortable space with pillows, blankets, and fun activities. It will soon become your child’s favorite place in the entire house.

2. Add Bright Colors

Add bright, fun colors to your child’s room to create a fantasy-land feel. You could even add colors that make the room feel like a fairy garden or some type of magical landscape or place.

3. Choose the Right Lighting

Something as simple as string lights all around the room can instantly add a magical feel. What better feeling is there than to sit in the dark and look at sparkling, twinkling lights?

4. Finish the Look with Quirky Accessories

Find some magical, quirky accessories to put around the room. It could be pictures of fairies, magical creatures, wizards, or even odd shapes.

How have you created a magical space for your child? Tell us in the comments.

Kids Sharing a Room: How to Create Unique Spaces

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Remember sharing a room with a brother or sister as a child? I do. I hated it. It wasn’t until high school that I had my own room for the first time. Looking back, I think I hated sharing a room because I didn’t have a space to call my own. We grew up with traditional bunk beds, with the same bedding, and all the same space. I didn’t have any space that wasn’t occupied by someone else, and that was frustrating, especially for an introvert.

But it doesn’t have to be like that anymore. If you have children who share a bedroom, here’s how you can give them the personal space they need within a shared bedroom.

Add a Bookshelf to Separate Spaces

Something as simple as adding a bookshelf between the two beds can create the feeling of two distinct spaces.  Yes, they’re still in a shared room, but they have some privacy, and they have some space to call their own. Everyone needs private space once in a while. And giving your children their own space in a shared bedroom will help them get along a little better.

Don’t Forget to Use Vertical Space

If it’s a particularly small bedroom, make use of the valuable vertical space. Bunk beds are a great way to do this. Even though I complained about bunk beds when I was a child, the trick is finding the right bunk bed arrangement for your children. You don’t have to go the traditional bunk bed route. However, that works fine, too.

Have Bedding Coordinate, but Make it Unique

You can achieve a cohesive space, but still allow differences for each child. An easy way to do this is by using coordinating, but not matching, bedding. Your children, even if they look alike, don’t have the same personality and exact same interests. Each one is different, and their bedding should reflect that.

Use Curtains or Vertical Blinds to Create Space Separation

If you need a more visual separation between spaces, use curtains, fabric vertical blinds, or even shades. You can mount these on the walls or even on the ceiling, allowing your children to keep them open when they want to interact or close them when they need some privacy. It can also create some visual interest in the room’s décor.

Place Beds Back to Back

Having the beds headboard to headboard will make your children feel as though they have their own space. Facing the opposite way, the children could sit in their beds and still feel as though they have some time and space to themselves. However, when your children are ready to play, they can do so easily.

Dedicate a Corner

Use one corner in the bedroom for the beds. This will open up the floor space in the middle of the room, so your children can play together. But with each bed being on a separate wall, they can have a section of the room all to themselves.

Perhaps if I had my own space in my bedroom, I would’ve appreciated sharing a room more. As an adult, I wish I would’ve taken advantage of those times more—more time with my sisters, more time enjoying their company. Now I wish I didn’t live so far away from my siblings, and I’d even consider sharing a room with them again, even for just a weekend getaway.

Repurposing Closet Space for Something Awesome

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Just because you have a built-in closet in a room doesn’t mean it has to be a dedicated closet. There are many ways to repurpose that space to fit your family’s needs and your lifestyle. If you don’t use it as a closet, why waste the space? Instead, make it dynamic and functional. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Homework Area

Most closets can fit a small desk inside, so why not make use of it? You can take off the closet doors for more room or keep them attached so you can close off the homework area when your children are done, keeping your home looking fresh, streamlined, and uncluttered. Add fun prints or colors to the wall for added vibrancy or keep it more neutral and classy. The point is that you can make that space perfectly reflect your child’s personality and style.

Bed Placement

Remove the doors and put your baby’s crib in the closet, making a special little nook for your little one. Or, you could put a portion of your child’s bed in the long closet and create a tiny oasis, even if it’s just for your child’s head while you’re lying down. This will also free up some floor space in the rest of your child’s bedroom, creating even more space for playtime.

Reading Nook

Add a bench, some lighting, and shelving for books, and you have yourself a reading nook that the entire family can enjoy! Make it as comfortable and inviting as possible, and it just might become your family’s favorite spot in your home.

Have you used closet space for something other than a closet? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Encourage Reading with Your Home’s Decor

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com

As a parent, you want your children to read more, but to also love reading. Just a few décor changes can help you get there. It doesn’t take much to inspire your children to sit down with a book and get lost in a good story. Here’s what you need:

Reading Artwork

One great way to get your children excited about reading is to hang reading-related artwork. It can be from their favorite book or just something fun that you always loved as a child. When they’re in their rooms playing, maybe they’ll see it and want to pick up a book.

Bookshelves for Children

Want your children to hang around their bookshelf more often? Then find a fun one made for children. Or, paint one you have a fun, vibrant color to attract their attention. The more fun you make it, the more likely they’ll use it.

Comfy Reading Area

Everyone needs a comfortable place to read, including children. You don’t have to have a devoted, built-in reading nook for your children to enjoy reading. Any old corner is fine. Just add some pillows or maybe some curtains. Need some ideas, read this blog post.

A Library Card

Now that you’ve inspired them to read, get them library cards! Just think: unlimited free books! The library is another great place for reading inspiration. They have story times and fun family events, so why not get involved?

Reading enthusiastically from an early age can help increase imagination and learning. And what better qualities than those for your children?

Storage Ideas for Small Bathrooms

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Having a small bathroom doesn’t mean you have to forego storage space. You just need to know how to use the space you do have, even if it’s not immediately obvious. If you have children who share a bathroom, you know how out of control it can get with everyone’s toiletries and towels. Here are easy storage solutions that are perfect for the whole family.

1. Under the Sink

Make the most of your under-your-sink storage with shelves and baskets, making the most of your vertical space. No longer do awkward or odd sink spaces mean you can’t use them. Reclaim the space you do have with a little more organization and the right organizational items.

2. On the Wall

Don’t be afraid to hang baskets on the walls. These are perfect for towels, toilet paper, and toiletries. Each of your children could have their own basket, making getting ready even easier and even more organized. The great thing about the baskets pictured above is they’re removable, making it all convenient.

3. Hidden Compartment

If you don’t want your bathroom storage on display, use a hidden compartment that you can close and that your guests can ignore. Using a hidden compartment will keep your children’s bathroom clean, organized, and streamlined.

4. Around the Sink

Don’t forget about your space around the base of your sink. It may not be a traditional way to have storage, but it’s unused space, so why waste it? Plus, keeping your bathroom storage so low to the ground is great for children who want to be more independent.

5. Behind the Door

What better place for storage than the back of the door? It’s out of view until someone is in the bathroom, and it helps to keep things organized and tidy.

6. Above the Door

The space above the door is just wasted space. Why not use it for storing things you don’t use too often. Keep it out of the way with ease. And the best part is that your children won’t be able to get into it, keeping it looking cleaner longer.

7. Hang from the Ceiling

You have all that space on your bathroom ceiling, so why not use it? Hang baskets from the ceiling for great kid-friendly storage. They’re fun and you can keep adding baskets until you have enough space. Just make sure your children don’t hang or swing on them and you’ll be good to go.

Do you have a small bathroom? How do you find your storage space?

Stylish Ways to Create More Storage

 

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com

Having a stylish room and enough storage can be a hard balance to find, especially for a child’s room. Even after you’ve sorted through their clothes, toys, or books, there is rarely enough room for everything, no matter how many boxes of things you donate. It’s a continuous struggle. But if you can creatively use the space you do have, you may find a break in that cycle. But remember, you don’t have to sacrifice style to have great storage options. Acquiring both is at your fingertips.

Add Shelves – Shelving can be an inexpensive, stylish option for any room. If your child has a lot of books and toys, consider hanging floor-to-wall shelves. It gives ample storage, and when organized, it can look fabulous! If you’d prefer to hide the shelving, add the shelves to the inside of the closet or even in a space that isn’t immediately seen upon entry, like behind the bedroom door.

Colorful Baskets or Buckets – Baskets are perfect for piling things in, without having to organize, and tucking it away. Pick fun, colorful baskets for added pops of color in the room. Put them on the shelves you just installed or even under the bed. If the baskets peek through, that’s perfect! It only adds to the style.

Decoupaged Boxes – If you are on a budget, you can choose a cheaper option to buying colorful baskets. Grab a few cardboard boxes and decoupage the outside with colorful fabric you have around or scrapbook paper. Being able to customize the look means you’re sure to have a unique space without breaking the bank.

Toy Chest – Get back to the traditional with a beautiful toy chest. You child will love it, but it has a lot of great storage capabilities. If you need a quick clean-up, planning to reorganize the toys later, a toy chest is the perfect solution. And if you come by a wood or antique-style toy chest, it adds even more style points to the room.

After all those additions and you still don’t have enough room for everything, it might be time to donate more items. Have your child help. This gives them the chance to be proactive and decisive about cleaning, reducing, and organizing, and at the end of the day, everyone will feel happy with donating.

Decorating Tips for Your Child’s Bathroom

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com

Decorating a bathroom for your child should be fun and exciting, for both of you. It gives you the opportunity to create a child-safe and child-friendly environment, an environment that might get him excited about bath time or maybe even potty training. Children love spaces designed just for them, so why not give your child something else to be excited about? Here are some design tips to get you started:

Put Everything within Reach

Having sinks, towels, and mirrors out of reach can easily become frustrating for your child. Children want independence, and they want to do a lot of things themselves. Put the clean towels low so he can access them. Add stepstools to help him reach the sink. Even consider lowering bath towel and hand towel rods and hooks. Putting everything within reach can reduce the chance of injury because your child won’t have to climb on things to reach what he needs.

Add Extra Softness

Add soft or fuzzy towels and rugs for added comfort and warmth. This should also make bath time a little easier because your child knows he won’t freeze once he gets out. He’ll have a soft mat to stand on while you wrap soft, warm towels around him.

Incorporate Color and Fun Themes

You don’t have to paint the entire bathroom lime green, but adding colorful accents and patterns will go a long way in making a fun, unique space for your child. Identify your child’s current interests, whether it’s trains or animals, and incorporate that into the pattern and color theme. Don’t forget about adding color or pattern to the shower curtain, towels, and bath mats.

Get Your Child’s Input

Let your child help pick out some colors or even the bathroom’s theme. It’s a great, easy way to keep your child excited and involved in the process. Just a few simple decisions can make a world of difference for your child’s developing independence.

Make Child Safety a Priority

Switch out glass accents with plastic or other safe materials. Don’t place heavy things on the counters, as they can easily be pulled off and cause injury or damage. Opt for cordless blinds or shades so you can keep your child safe when you’re not with him in the bathroom. And you have a lot of style options to choose from.

If you’re worried about how quickly your child will grow out of his interests and favorite colors, keep everything neutral except the accents, towels, and the shower curtain. This will make the transition easier and less time consuming, but will still allow you to create one more awesome space for your child. And if you’re not worried, go bold!

Getting Your Child Involved: 3 Fun Decorating Decisions

Photo Credit: SelectBlinds.com

Photo Credit: SelectBlinds.com

Decorating a room can be both exciting and tedious. It can be fun to pick out the colors and brainstorm ideas, but actually taping off baseboards and painting the wall is another story. Whether or not your child has been asking for a newly decorated room or you’re moving forward because you know it’s time, getting and keeping your child involved in the process can be even more taxing than painting the walls yourself. Getting your child involved can keep her excited about the changes, can give her a sense of accomplishment, and will create ample bonding time for the two of you. Here are three ways to entice your child into full redecorating participation:

Color Palette

Take your child to a hardware store and let her pick out the colors that interest her. Let her grab as many paint chips as she’d like. Once you get home, sort through the colors together and come up with a color palette. If you and your child need additional inspiration, search online or in magazines for ideas. This can be a great way to see a finished product, which should make it easier to visualize how your child’s room will look after the makeover.

Room Upgrades

Is your child transitioning into a new life stage? For example, if your child is starting elementary school, it might be time to consider upgrading the room’s features and main staples, like the bed, light fixtures, and blinds. If your child is into princesses, why not integrate a Disney Princess roller shade into the redecorating plan? Or maybe it’s time for your child’s bed to go from a twin to a queen as she nears the end of middle school or junior high.

Bedding

Now that you’ve picked a color palette together and the bed has been upgraded, the next step is to let your child pick out the bedding. Depending on the age of the child, you can always pick out several options and let your child make the final decision out of those options. Remember, this isn’t about decorating the room according to your own vision, but it’s about giving her something to be excited about and something to be involved in, together. However, if you feel your child needs a bit more decorating direction, pick a solid colored bedspread and let her pick from an assortment of decorative pillows, which will add personality to the room.

Every room in your home, including your child’s bedroom, should be a reflection of its occupants. Giving up some of the decorating control can boost your child’s confidence and help her stay involved in the entire decorating process.