Style a Space to Keep Your Kids Off the XBOX All Summer
Keeping it Realistic
In today’s Instagram world, it seems that every inspiration board is full of cute cups full of perfectly-arranged colored pencils and jars of rainbow buttons all in a row. The reality is, parents are hard-pressed enough to convince their kids to clean up, much less to leave the table looking picture-perfect. When it comes to creating stations in your play space, we recommend taking a multi-purpose approach. A table provides a surface for not only arts and crafts but also for snacks and playing games. To create a whimsical look, mismatch your chairs. Or save on space by getting stools or a bench that can tuck underneath.
On the floor, think durable. Crumbs and glitter can make clean-up a pain. Carpet tiles are an easy solution; they come in a wide range of colors and patterns and can be easily vacuumed or even thrown in the laundry. They can also hold up to a lot of wear and tear, and should they stain it’s not hard to swap one tile out for a new one.
Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind
Giving your children their own space can help to consolidate toys and keep the mess out of more public parts of the house, but it can also make it more of a challenge to keep an eye on them. If your home has a larger family room, living room, or other space with area to spare, consider making that your kid’s zone. That way, you can still hear if your child calls for you, and they will be more likely to stay focused and play in their space when they know they aren’t isolated from the rest of the family.
To designate a distinct zone for your kids, you can use low bookshelves (like these awesome ones from Target or Ikea) with storage baskets for hiding toys. Or, use soft seating to separate a corner of the room for play. Anchor your new play zone with a fun, child-friendly rug.
So maybe you don’t want your kids on the TV all summer, but it can still be nice to gather as a family and watch movies or play games together. Versatile seating arrangements add visual interest as well as flexibility to a space. Benches and swivel chairs make for less conventional seating options which are easily repositioned to switch focus between zones. A bench or ottoman can even have a lift-up top for additional storage space.
Hide DVD players, game controllers, and AV equipment in a media console, and avoid creating a “shrine to the TV” by arranging artwork, floating shelves, or wall sculptures on the same wall elevation.
Clean-up is as necessary for parents’ sanity as it is for aesthetics, but storage needs to be accessible to your kids if they are going to help put away their toys. Consider a variety of simple, low-effort solutions: bookshelves with bins provide a place to store dolls and plastic cars without looking cluttered, while decorative baskets can hold stuffed animals, extra blankets, and pillows. Keep bins close to the ground within your kids’ reach, with open shelves for display higher on the wall.
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