The Kid-Smart Spaces Guide to Learning-Inspired Kids Design

We’re all about creating kid-smart spaces, both at home and in the classroom, and since kids spend a huge amount of time at home, it’s important to help them create a safe, inspiring space to be themselves. Of course, we also want to promote healthy growth and learning!

We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite kid-smart design items that accomplish both goals and add a little style too! In no particular order, check out our top seven favorite learning-inspired additions to the perfect kids room.

Map Wall Art

These Canadian and U.S.-based maps are great ways to add some color to your little one’s walls while helping expand their growing minds. Choose from a variety of styles and sizes to find the perfect fit!

Whale Reading Chair

We can’t think of a cuter way to encourage children to read. Everyone needs a personal reading space, and this one is simple, easy to assemble and totally awesome when you’re a kid.

Draw-On Duvet Cover

Kids need to express themselves, and this duvet set is ideal for just that. Not only is this creative design touch totally washable and kid-smart even without the doodle pens, it’s a great way to promote sustainability (save that paper!) and teach kids to let go, a much needed skill even into adulthood.

Color Your Own Placemat

What kid doesn’t love the paper and crayons at a dinner out? With this set, your little one can get that coloring time in, even during a night in for a healthy, home-cooked meal. With all the research pointing to the benefit of coloring, even for us grown-ups, this one’s a no-brainer!

Mirror with Doors

We love mirrors for teaching self-recognition to our youngest counterparts and encouraging healthy body image as they grow. This kid-friendly mirror is safe for any age in soft framing and even includes a bit of kid-smart storage too!

Dry Erase Wall

Any parent knows the struggles of balancing a creative, artistic child with clean walls. With these dry erase paint options, those woes are a thing of the past. Best part? It even comes in transparent! That means kids can draw on your beautifully-selected, colored walls without repercussion!

Dresserz Drawer Knobs

Kid-smart spaces mean organized spaces, and these dresser knobs can help accomplish that, for all ages! Teach your tots to put away their belongings in the fashion of one of our favorite quotes, “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” Pictures and words make these knobs perfect for younger kids learning to read!

 

Plus, check out these awesome, custom wall-art comics from Peanut Gallery Comics. These guys create framed, drawn-from-scratch comics based on your very own funny stories from life with kids. We know you’ve got some memorable ones!

http://www.peanutgallerycomics.com/

How to Design a Child's Room for a Good Night's Sleep: Part 2

A while back, we shared a few tips on how to design a child's room for a good night's sleep. Now we're back with a few more tips on how to help ensure a long, quality stay in dreamland for your little one.

Bedding

Go Organic!

We adults know there isn’t much better than diving into a clean, comfortable bed that we’ve created in order to relax and wind down. Same goes for kids!

Soft Colors & Soft Textures

Help your child create a bed that he or she actually wants to spend time in! Let them pick out sheets, but guide their decisions by keeping in mind that certain colors and textures may be more conducive to good sleep. Imagine sleeping on bright yellow, 200 thread count sheets…

Bedtime Routine

More Than Material

Design isn’t just about tangible items in your child’s room. It also refers to habits that you and your little one create over time. One of the best habits for getting good sleep, for both children AND adults, is to establish a bedtime and routine.

Be Consistent

Our bodies pick up on even the most subtle instructions, so even if it’s hard to get your little one settled in at a decent time initially, over time, don’t be surprised to find her rubbing her eyes and preparing for a bath right around the time you established. Even for adults, knowing you’re headed to bed at a certain time helps the body establish an internal clock, and that means it knows when to lie down, and when to wake up, for the most optimal amount of sleep.

Temperature

What’s Comfortable for Them?

Take time to talk to and listen to your child. We may find it hard to sleep in a room that we find too hot or too cold, and your child is likely to struggle with the same issues.  

Adjust as Needed

If your average household temp is too cold, try adding some soft, comfy blankets. Too hot? Invest in a box fan for his room. The more comfortable your child is, the easier it will be to fall asleep when he’s tired.

Colors matter

Remember that idea about sleeping on bright yellow sheets? What if you had to sleep in a room with bright red walls? If colors are too stimulating, kids (and adults) may find it challenging to calm down and get settled into bed. Keep this in mind when designing the best kid’s room. Choose colors that are happy and positive, but not too bright. Think lavender, pale greens and blues, etc.

Organize

Most of us know what it’s like to lie in bed thinking of all the things we need to do the next day, and we know the level of relaxation that comes with going to sleep in a clean bed, in an organized room, with our worries at least a room away. Your children need this same environment. Do your best to eliminate any source of stress in your child’s room. This means homework packed and clothes ready, floor clean and toys organized out of sight and out of mind.

BONUS: The book scientists created that will put your child to sleep in minutes! Thank us later. :)

How to Design a Child's Room for a Good Night's Sleep: Part 1

Help your little one get quality R&R with these tips:

Sleeping Girl.jpg

Lighting

Dim Those Lights!

Lights are one of the body’s biggest cues that it’s time to sleep, so in the hours leading up to bedtime, begin dimming lights. As bedtime nears, switch off as many lights as possible to signify it’s time for sleep.

Switch Nightlight Bulbs

If your child needs a nightlight or uses the restroom often, use warm, lower light bulbs.

Blackout the Natural Light

A bare window or one covered with sheer drapes is likely to wake children up as the sun rises, often before they’re ready. Opt for heavy drapes, or supplement sheer daytime drapes with heavier nighttime panels.

Layout

Section Off the Room

Make a clear delineation between the activity area (play and work) and sleep area. Just like adults, if children are accustomed to using their beds as seating or play space during the day, it’s more difficult to switch off and get to sleep in that same space. Help your child understand that the bed is for sleeping by placing desks, chairs and toy boxes in other areas of the room.

Apply This Awesome Feng Shui Tip

Whether or not you believe in feng shui adjustments, the idea of the Commanding Position is scientifically helpful because it helps to keep the fight or flight response at bay.  

Commanding Position: The bed is facing the door, but is not directly in line with it, and located as far from the door as possible, ideally diagonally across the room.  

When you can’t see what may be coming at you (think monsters for your tiny frightened counterparts), the body remains in a constant state of stress, even if you can’t feel it!

Electronics

Unplug!

It’s becoming more and more common knowledge that using electronics before bedtime contributes to lower quality sleep.

Limit EMF’s

It may be tempting to lull your little one to sleep with her favorite show, but ultimately, she’s better off drifting to sleep on her own in a quiet room devoid of harmful EMFs. Not only will this ensure quality sleep, it will help your little one learn to unplug in the long run, which can be as priceless as meditation and other forms of relaxation and mindfulness.

EMF: The acronym for “electronic and magnetic fields,” the invisible waves of energy produced by electronic and magnetic devices. Basically, plugged in and turned on.

Blue Lights & Kids’ Body Clocks

Circadian rhythms - “the body clock” - are physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle, responding primarily to light and darkness in an organism's environment. They are found in animals, plants, tiny microbes and in your little one. While light of any kind can suppress the secretion of melatonin, blue light does so more powerfully. A Harvard study found that blue light suppressed melatonin for about twice as long as green light and shifted circadian rhythms by twice as much.