21 October 2015

5 ways to make your home child friendly

Making your home child friendly not only makes it safer for your kids, it can even have a positive effect on their behaviour.

The Montessori educational approach suggests that children who feel comfortable in their home are less likely to get frustrated and more likely to be well-behaved, alert and happy to play independently.

We take a look at 5 ways you can make your home child friendly.

Create space for them

It’s great if kids can have their own space to play in, where they can store all their toys and it also means you can keep some spaces free from clutter. If you’ve got the budget, extending is a great way to get some extra square footage for a playroom. And as the kids get older it can be transformed into a study so they have somewhere to do their homework in peace and quiet.

However, if space is at a premium and you’ve got a limited budget, there are still ways to create some play space. Why not dedicate a corner of your living room or dining room to your kids?  As kids get older, they’ll probably want space of their own to socialise with their friends, if extending or converting isn’t an option, why not create the space they crave in a shed or summerhouse in the garden?

Make things accessible

It’s frustrating for kids not to be able to reach things like light switches, door handles and even their own toys. Quick fixes like light switch extender sets can make it much easier for children to be independent. Can your kids move freely around your home and out into the garden? If you have any particularly steep steps it might be worth replacing them. Keeping toys in baskets on the floor or low shelves means they can access things themselves.

Embrace colour

Make your home interesting for the kids by brightening up the walls with bold, bright shades. They won’t just look stimulating, they’ll disguise sticky handprints and food splashes better than pale, neutral shades.

If you don’t want to paint all the walls, why not brighten them up by hanging lots of interesting pictures or even your kids’ own artwork? Montessori recommends hanging pictures low down so little ones can enjoy them too.

Go open plan

Open plan living is perfect for families. You can all be in the same space whether you are cooking, watching TV, doing homework or playing. If you don’t want to go without walls completely, open-plan kitchen/diners are hugely popular and often end up being the heart of the home, especially if you can squeeze a sofa in.

Think about flooring

Soft, pale carpets may look great but can they stand up to the wear and tear your brood will put them through? Real wood, engineered wood and laminate flooring are all practical options for families, as they’re durable, easy to clean and look just as stylish.

Looking for something even more robust? You can get vinyl flooring designed to look like wood. It’s often used in commercial spaces, so should stand up to even the most energetic of kids or teenage house parties. You can always cover them with rugs, which are easy and relatively cheap to replace, if you’d like a cosier feel.

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