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Spark Creativity in Your Home! 21 Inspiring Kids Playroom Decor Ideas

Imagination and kids go hand-in-hand. And when it’s playtime, a kids playroom should be filled with toys that spark their imagination and creativity. Whether that’s with a kitchen playset for a child that loves the idea of being a chef or a table for all sorts of arts and crafts, the options are endless. If you’re looking for a way to highlight your child’s creative mind in your home, look no further than these 21 kids’ playroom decor ideas.

Whether you’re living in Vancouver, CA or in Charlotte, NC incorporating any of these inspiring kids’ playroom decor ideas will make your home a more imaginative place for you and your child. 

Kids playroom decor ideas should embrace creativity. I love having a space carved out for my children to get creative. A kid-sized table for crafting and art is a must. I think it is important to keep paper, crayons and playdough within their reach so they can feel empowered to create when they want to. – Rosemary Pritchard, Hopscotch City

Include a space that encourages children to be imaginative. An art table is a great way to encourage this creativity. Start with a child sized table and chairs and add paper, construction paper, crayons, washable markers, water color paints, stickers, washable scented stamp pads and stamps, glue sticks and scissors. These items will encourage your child to use their imagination to create beautiful pieces of art. – Kid City USA

Set up an area for art and let that be messy. A low sink in the playroom will help them with independence. Learning how to wash their hands/materials after working with clay/paints will also give them plenty of sensorial stimulation. A magnetic wall/chalk paint on a wall adds lots of excitement to a playroom. Remember, play is their work. Instead of fixating on “educational” materials choose things that keep them engaged. – Szilvi Kovacs, Director of Kids Collective Preschool 

Create small play zones in different areas of the room, and in those areas, only have one type of activity to help the kids focus. Rotate the activities periodically and to make toy rotation easy for you, store the activities by type in large ziplocks or stackable shoe bins. Activity planning then becomes easy and you don’t have to spend the time and energy thinking about the setup. – Myra Epp, Tetrachrome Design, LLC

Have ways for kids to get their energy out. Get those wiggles out! Incorporate items like a toddler trampoline, Nugget play couch, and wood climber that take the place of small toys and get all that toddler energy out. – Kyle and Kim Griffiths, State of Play Kids

Set your playroom up to grow with your child, and make age appropriate toys available within their reach so that they can have the opportunity to play independently while you take a moment to yourself. Some of my favorite things that I keep within reach of my toddler include her bag of musical instruments, shape puzzles, legos, paper and crayons, coloring books and books. Things I keep out of reach include Play-Doh, markers, paint and arts and crafts supplies. The playroom will get messy and I’ve learned to just embrace the chaos… but I don’t need googly eyes or beads all over the house. – Erica Brennes, Real Mom Real Tired

Create a hideaway underneath the stairs. We created a secret hideout by adding some fun festive lights and shelves to the nook area under the stairs. It is a great area to build towering block castles, do puzzles, and experiment with science kits. A monthly subscription to our toy rental service keeps your hideout freshly stocked and clutter free. – Green Piñata Toys

You can make space in your family room. Use low level storage at child height with baskets which fit in with your decor. The key here is to have a place for everything and everything in its place and for the children to be able to access the toys easily for play and for tidying up. Once they are in bed, adults get to enjoy their space with no mess in sight. Children like a low table so your coffee table can do double duty while a floor matt gives versatility. I would make sure to include construction toys, small world toys, drawing supplies and books in the designated area and then swap them out for others to keep their interest. – Dominique Lyons, Founder of Kids Rule Interiors

Create a cozy corner for reading and relaxing. Children love to read books. Create a cozy reading corner by mounting spice racks as bookshelves in a height your kids can reach. Place a comfy mattress on the floor, or even better, a stylish little sofa for “hygge” time. – Leander

Select the right toys and neutral-colored storage. If you’re like us and your playroom is in the same space as your open-concept living room, my biggest tip is to be selective with the toys you have and the storage you have so your living room doesn’t feel overrun by toys. For us, we prefer minimal and/or wood toys over plastic toys, and, rather than plastic tubs in primary colors for storage, we collect toys into large, oversized neutral canvas baskets to group similar items like blocks, Duplo legos, and Magnatiles. – Hunter Rohwer

The less toys, the better the playroom. A playroom that has too many toys can overwhelm a child. Research tells us that less toys leads to more creativity and ultimately happier, more engaged play. You’ll never go wrong with a neutral colored playroom with a carefully selected rotation of toys that encourage a child to use their imaginations. – Jackie Ciaramella, Whole 9 Family

Your space should be clear and clutter-free. Having a space cleared of extra knick-knacks allows for better creative thought. De-clutter by storing and cycling toys seasonally throughout the year. Bring warm season toys out as it warms up; bubbles, jump rope, sidewalk chalk. Bring cool season toys out as it gets chilly; puzzles, books, games. Stage toys to make them inviting and engaging for children to play. Don’t just throw the baby doll and her blanket into a toy box, prop the baby up in her doll house and set the blanket and bottle next to her. – Rebecca Calbert NCARB, LEED AP, Childcare Design Studio and Calbert Design Group

Make sure toys are visible and labeled. If they can’t see their toys, they won’t play with them. Instead of toy boxes, invest in clear, high-quality plastic shoe storage boxes. Label them for easy sorting and clean-up. – Pilar Bewley, Mainly Montessori

Toy rotation is key. The best advice I have for keeping your playroom organized and your children engaged while playing is… toy rotation. When all the toys are out and available, they often get mixed up, scattered across the floor, and the mess can be overwhelming for both parent and child. Categorize your toys (ex: puzzles, play figures), keep one item in each category on a shelf in your playroom, put the rest of the toys in boxes and store somewhere out of sight, rotate the toys weekly. – Shara Challa Arora, Executive Director of Sugar Mill and Meadow Montessori Schools

Include a closet space to keep the majority of toys and activities packed away and out of sight. Keep a limited number of toys out for play, rotating the options on a regular basis. Children will engage better with their toys when there are fewer options, plus old toys seem new again when they have been hidden a while and they will be excited to see. – Nanny Savvy

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Label storage with pictures and words. When using storage bins, take photos of the contents and label with both the picture and the words. Not only does this help keep toys organized, it promotes literacy skills as children connect the written words to the image. Don’t forget to make books easily accessible. – Stacey Grumet, Founder & CEO of Paper Pinecone

Stock your child’s playroom with open-ended, age-appropriate materials. These would be any toys and supplies that have more than one possible use. Materials like wooden blocks, art supplies like play dough, and even things from nature like sand, water, rocks or sticks encourage creativity, experimentation, trial and error, problem solving and critical thinking. – Lauren Besack, Ducklings Early Learning Franchise Director of Curriculum Development

Accessibility is key for a playroom for kids that inspires independent play (every parent’s dream). Low shelves with open bins are a must. It also helps to keep the shelves organized and as clutter-free as possible. Too many toys can be overwhelming and make it difficult for a child to find something to do. I recommend keeping the bulk of your toys in a closet and to rotate what’s available on the shelves every few weeks to keep kids interested and avoid toys getting “old.” – Amanda Armbruster, Take a Break Tots, LLC

Highlight toys to spark creativity. My number one tip is to stage and style toys in a way which invites children to jump in and play instead of hiding everything away. – Lindsay Pavlick, The Well Styled Child

Everything should have its place. Make sure everything has a home and make sure that home is labeled. I like using pictures for labels on containers to allow even very young children to know where each toy lives. – Jessica Wade, The Wiggle Room

Just use 3 simple organization tips. 3 easy and simple ways to organize your kids’ playroom: hang or display, color code, and contain with labels. Categorize your kids’ toys and choose from these organizing styles that best fit any space. – Brightstar Labels

Originally published by Redfin

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Best Online Resources for Homeschooling

By McKenizie Jones

Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels

Homeschooling can be a very rewarding experience, and it can also be stressful. You will want to make sure that your child does well, and sometimes you can get overwhelmed when you start looking at resources. Some things are just outrageously expensive, and if you take the time to purchase tons of books, you could find out that your child is not being engaged very well. Fortunately, there are many online resources that can help you to educate your child for a fraction of the cost and create a learning environment that is fun and engaging for your child. Finding the best online resources for homeschooling can help you to have a stress-free time when homeschooling your child.

No-Fuss Tutors

The No-Fuss Tutors website offers you a wide variety of lesson plans, worksheets, study ideas, and more. From mathematics to writing, you are covered with this website. For example, if your child needs help practice drawing the alphabet, you can print off letter A worksheets that are fun and will help to encourage your child to learn how to write.

Teach Your Monster To Read

Teaching your child how to read can seem difficult. With the Teach Your Monster to Read app and website, you will have no trouble encouraging your child. In this fun-filled learning experience, your child will create their very own monster that they play a series of games with. The app for this game is inexpensive, and if you play via the website, it is free.

Reading Eggs

This is another site that will help to encourage your child to read. This site has various stories and games that are geared to be fun. There are cute characters that interact with your child that will help him or her learn how to read. Reading Eggs is relatively inexpensive and well worth the investment.

Photo by Kamaji Ogino on Pexels.com

Khan Academy

At Khan Academy, your child can access many different subjects, including math, grammar, astrology, and more. This site is completely free and will do the entire lesson for you. When your child logs on, they will be instructed to go to the latest project they are working on. There they will have worksheets they will have to do along with watching instructional videos.

NASA for Students

On the NASA for student’s website, you will find a wide variety of different information, including worksheets and helpful videos that are geared to get your child interested in science. They will learn all the history of NASA and space exploration.

Photo by Kindel Media on Pexels.com

Project Gutenberg

This website is dedicated to having completely free literature for your child to read. Just about any book can be found on this website. There are over 60,0000 free eBooks that your child can download onto their device. This makes finding something for them to read very easy.

Duolingo

If your child is interested in learning another language, you should definitely consider Duolingo. This free site is available both via the web and an app. There are a broad variety of languages that can be chosen. The interface is easy to use and encourages children to learn a broad variety of languages.

Homeschool.com

At homeschool.com, there are a wide variety of resources at your fingertips. Things like printables and articles on how to homeschool can help to encourage your children and you. When you homeschool, you need the support of like-minded people. On homeschool.com, you can find these people and get the advice that you need.

Being in charge of your child’s education is never easy. You may often feel like you are not doing enough and may question your decision constantly. Instead of doing that, work to ensure that you are fulfilling all your child’s educational needs by visiting the resources listed above. With many of these resources being free, you cannot go wrong by using them in your homeschool curriculum.

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The Ultimate Guide to Design a Fun, Functional Kids Playroom at Home

By Andrea Lozoya

Playing is more than just a way to have fun; it’s also an essential part of healthy childhood development. As parents, you can adapt any space at home and design a playroom where your kids can explore, get creative, and learn. When designing a playroom, it’s crucial to think about it from a kid’s perspective. Our guide shows you how to create a fun and functional kids playroom that your children will love for many years to come.

Brainstorming with Your Children

While you’ll have most of the say about the design of the playroom (after all, this is your home), it’s important to let your children provide some input before you set up their new playroom. Ask them about their favorite subjects in school and what type of things they’d like to have in the room. From furniture and toys to kids’ entertainment, sit down and write out a list of all the most important things to your child. When you brainstorm together, you’ll ensure that the final result is something you and your kids will both enjoy and appreciate. Make sure you design a space that’s “evergreen” and one that will grow and adapt as your child gets older. This is the best way to make the most of the playroom and keep it functional and useful over the years as they develop and mature.

Pick a Theme

Choosing a theme for your new playroom can make it fun and exciting, but keep in mind that certain themes might not be appealing to your child in a year or two. Try to stick with themes centered around their favorite activities rather than characters from movies or TV shows. Here are some tips to help you develop the perfect theme for your child’s playroom:

Theater / Dance

Add a small stage to the room where your children can practice their acting and dancing skills. Stock the room with various costumes so the kids can play dress-up and do a little bit of theater right at home. If your child likes to dance, install a large mirror on one wall of the room. Bring in a stereo system or a record player so they can enjoy their favorite plays and dance to music.

Music

Fill the playroom with various instruments like a small drum set, a keyboard, and a tambourine. Stock your child’s playroom with sheet music if they’re skilled at playing the piano or other instruments, so they always have something new to learn. Display some music-themed décor in the room like oversized music notes, framed sheet music, or artwork of images like people or animals singing and playing instruments. 

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Art

Set up a roomy, sturdy craft table where your child can paint, draw, and work on a variety of arts and crafts projects. Stock the playroom with watercolor and finger paints, an easel, paint brushes, scissors, glue, and construction paper. Find a place where your kids can display their art, such as a large bulletin board or a magnetic board for easy hanging.

Sports

Decorate the room with items that display your child’s favorite sports like a framed picture of a baseball field, a hockey stick hung on the wall, or a picture of their favorite player. If you’re feeling brave, install a ceiling-mounted cargo climbing net so your child can play and let off some steam indoors. Bring in some books about sports so your child can read about their favorite games and expand their mind whenever they’re not on the playing field.

Game Room

From cards to board games, you can easily make your child’s playroom a fun game room by stocking it with a variety of games geared for their age group. Paint a tabletop in a checkerboard design so the kids can play a game of checkers or chess anytime they want. If you have space (and the budget), bring in a large game like a foosball table or ping pong table to serve as the room’s focal point. 

Furniture

Once you’ve chosen a theme, it’s time to pick out some furniture for your kid’s playroom. Here are a few tips to help you get started and ensure that this room is functional and fun to use:

Stick with neutral furniture that’s not too loud or colorful. The more neutral the furniture is, the better the odds are that your child will grow with it instead of out of it. 

Choose furniture that’s durable and easy to clean and aim for multifunctional furniture that includes storage like an ottoman or storage bench.

It’s important to ensure that the entire family feels welcome in this room. While kid’s furniture is excellent for little ones, consider bringing in a full-size couch and table so your older children and the adults will feel comfortable in this space, too.

To add a pop of color, bring in some rugs, curtains, and décor to fill the room with bright and cheerful hues. Leave the wall color neutral so it’s easy to adapt the room as your child grows.

Make sure that this space has flooring that’s easy to clean and maintain. Linoleum and vinyl are both good options, and they don’t require a lot of maintenance to keep them looking new. Protect the floors (and your child’s knees and elbows) with some soft, machine-washable area rugs. 

Storage Space

Your child must have fun in their playroom, but it’s also important that this part of your home stays clean and organized. With the right storage, you can keep everything neat, tidy, and in its place.

Use Mason jars with a lid to store and organize small craft items like buttons, beads, and spools of thread. Cubbies are perfect for larger toys and games, and you can easily put them on a shelf or stash them under furniture. Baskets and storage bins work well as a catch-all to toss stuffed animals and other toys in one place. Add a storage bench or ottoman, so the kids have a place to hide their shoes, board games, and other medium-sized items. Make sure your playroom has at least one bookshelf for reading material, sheet music, or art supplies.

Photo by Tatiana Syrikova on Pexels.com

Set up Different Zones

To make the most of your playroom, break it up into different zones. Each zone can be designated for a variety of activities your child enjoys. Put a small desk in one corner of the room for homework, and place shelving with art supplies and a craft table on the opposite side. Keep kid’s toys, games, and accessories in constant rotation so that there’s always something new for them to enjoy. As your child begins to outgrow certain items, donate them to a local nonprofit organization or your school. Make sure there is one part of the playroom designated for home use, such as a spot for a comfy sofa and TV set.

Get Creative

There are many fantastic add-ons you can bring into the playroom to make it more functional and fun to use. Here are some inspirational ideas to help you get started:

Add a swing. Hang a swing from the ceiling of the playroom so your child can swing as they listen to music or watch television. Make sure the swing is anchored securely and that you’re always nearby whenever they use it.

Add a nap station. Naptime is particularly important for younger children, so create a “nap zone” with a comfy mat, cot, or sleeping bag along with a blanket and some pillows so they can take a snooze after playtime.

Create a dress-up corner. Use a rack to hang costumes and accessories in the playroom and add a freestanding mirror in the corner of the room so your kids can have fun playing dress-up.

Add a slide. Bring a sturdy, small slide into the playroom for your younger children. If you really want to go all out, install a tube-style slide that will whisk your child from one floor to the next for a great entrance.

Create a chalkboard wall. Paint one wall with black chalkboard paint so your child can sketch and doodle to their heart’s content. If you’re not keen on painting a wall this way, bring in a large freestanding chalkboard and place it against one wall.

Make a slime station. Playing with slime is lots of fun, but it’s also messy. Make a special “slime station” with all of the supplies so your child can have some slimy fun, and then put everything away when they’re done. 

You don’t have to spend a fortune to design a fun, functional kid’s playroom. There are plenty of ways to DIY and get creative by using items you already have lying around your home. The key is to make sure that you’re having fun while you plan and decorate the playroom. Use these kid’s playroom ideas as inspiration to help you create the perfect space. When it’s finished, everyone will want to come over and play at your house.

This article was originally published at Porch.com

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How to keep your child safe at home

babysittersearch

At every stage of your child’s development, from a small baby that you have to carry everywhere, through to crawling ball of mischief, tottering toddler and hyperactive child running around in random directions as if fuelled by a life’s goal to be as crazily energetic as possible – there are dangers of differing kinds in the home.

Keeping your child as safe as you possibly can is no mean feat, so hopefully this article will help you put some simple measures in place to make your home a haven for your child.

1) Furniture:

If your child can bump his or her head on a piece of furniture, then you can bet your bottom dollar that they will. Constant supervision will go a long way to being able to prevent this; however the inevitable bumps and falls will happen, so make your furniture as child friendly as possible.

  • Avoid furniture with sharp edges and keep all glass covered furniture in a child free zone until your child is old enough to understand the dangers of glass
  • Make sure that your furniture is heavy enough that your child cannot move it or have it fall on them – ensure that any lighter items of furniture are kept out of reach of children as much as possible and that they do not climb or play around it too much

2) Windows and Blinds:

Windows can represent a major hazard in the home. To safeguard your child, make sure:

  • Children play away from windows and, if possible, only open windows from the top
  • Windows are kept locked and keys kept out of reach of your child. This is especially important for windows located anywhere above the ground floor in your home
  • Pull-ropes are kept tied up and well out of reach of children. Blinds and the string which operates them could be a hanging hazard

3) Kitchen:

Kids love to see what you are up to when you are in the kitchen and involving children when cooking can be great for their development and to stimulate them. It is however not always safe to have little ones running around in the kitchen.

  • Make sure that all pan handles are turned towards the back of the stove, so that little hands can’t reach up and inadvertently pull pans and pots down
  • Keep all sharp utensils out of reach of children
  • Consider getting child safe locks and latches for your draws and cupboards. The kitchen can look like a fun playground for your baby, toddler or child, but it’s important to teach them about the dangers of the kitchen

4) General:

  • Turn your hot water thermostat down to 50 degrees centigrade, so that if an accident should occur, the water temperature is not boiling
  • Get power point guards to stop children from putting their fingers or other objects in the sockets
  • If you have a swimming pool or balcony, make sure that your child is supervised at all times. It’s also a good idea to install pool and balcony guards to prevent access to these areas without your supervision
  • For fires and heaters, make sure that all controls are kept out of reach and that you install a fireguard to prevent access
  • Install smoke detectors throughout your property
  • If you have stairs, make sure that you have a guard in place at the top and bottom of the stairs to prevent falls
  • For any garden or work areas, make sure that all tools are kept out of reach and that your child is supervised at all times.
  • In terms of glass in your house, it is a good idea to install safety glass or retro-fit some clear plastic film to your windows (especially those at head height for your child) so that glass doesn’t shatter should they break

This is by no means an exhaustive list; however with the correct supervision and care, it should go a long way towards ensuring your home is a safe, fun and stimulating environment for your child.

Do you have any other tips for safeguarding the home for children?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This article was supplied by the team at Babysitter Search, a website that provides childcare solutions.
BabysitterSearch.com.au is a community of nannies, babysitters and nanny agencies, all driven by the same goal – to give parents easy access to child care they can rely on.
For babysitters looking for their next job, to parents searching for the perfect babysitter in their area, or a nanny agency wanting to attract the cream of the crop – BabysitterSearch.com.au has all the tools they need.
BabysitterSearch.com.au also hosts a parenting blog with tips to help visitors travel seamlessly through the journey of parenthood.
Parents can also search our comprehensive Nanny Agency Directory for a Nanny Agency in their area.

If you would like to contribute a guest post please send me a message!

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4 Steps to flexible working for mums

This week’s guest posting is from the Australian Fair Work Ombudsmen. In Australia tens of thousands of pregnant women and working mums report discrimination in the workplace each year. Make sure you know your rights.

fairwork.1
 
If you would like to contribute a guest post please send me a message!

It is not surprising that parents sometimes struggle to handle their work responsibilities and be with their child the way that that want to be; especially in the early years.

Managing the needs of your toddler is a demanding task. A day at work might be more structured and predictable than a day with your family. Or it could be the other way around. Every family and workplace is different and it is good to think creatively about how you might balance the two.

The Fair Work Ombudsman’s working parents campaign is all about making sure parents and their employers understand their rights and responsibilities. If you’re unsure of where to start, visit fairwork.gov.au/workingparents to access information and resources including helpful checklists and templates.

Working parents in Australia have entitlements such as the right to safe work during pregnancy and parental leave to be with their new baby. They can also request flexible working arrangements that will help them accommodate work and family life.

The National Employment Standards provide the right to ask for flexible working arrangements. Flexible working arrangements can include things like changing your hours or patterns of work or working from home. These requests can only be refused for certain reasons.

Follow these steps when negotiating an arrangement to suit you and your workplace

1.     Discuss

Think about a solution that suits the business as well as your own needs. You might find it helpful to discuss your ideas with your employer before making a request. A conversation can give you both enough lead time to make suitable arrangements for you and your workplace.

2.     Request

Write to your employer (via email is a good idea). Outline the arrangement you think can work and offer reasons for the change. There are request templates available at fairwork.gov.au/workingparents to help you get started.

3.     Respond

Once you have sent the request, your employer must respond in writing within 21 days saying whether they accept or refuse the request. If they refuse, they need to explain why.

4.     Negotiate

Whether your employer agrees or disagrees with your request, flexibility arrangements will require ongoing negotiation. If the initial arrangement is not suitable, follow the process again and see if you can find something that works for everyone.

Information about your rights as a parent from pregnancy, to your child’s first year and beyond is available at fairwork.gov.au/workingparents.

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