Six Ways for Your Five and Under Kids to Feel at Home in Every Room
To think one can toddler proof their house is one of life’s greatest jokes. Perhaps in the beginning you will awe your children with the newness of the boundaries and rules, but to think it will last beyond that may border on delusional.
See, the toddler era is where curiosity comes forefront and the mind begins developing towards whom they will be shaped in the future. Of course, you are the adult and the parent of this domain and while they may think they have you wrapped around their finger, giving them rule over you entire house, your entire newly furnished, decorated house is a big no-no. Can’t you see me wagging my index finger in front of your face. I thought so.
by Enviable Designs / Photography by Vicky Tan
But give them a sense of ownership in their own home. A way they can cultivate this curiosity and creativity in supervised ways.
1. Name Tags
Your mom did it to you and you hated it. Everywhere you looked your name or initials were stitched or written with a Sharpie onto the tags of your shirts, your lunch box, even your socks. Sometimes she went so far as to mark which was the left and which was the right sock.
by EM DESIGN INTERIORS / Photos by: Helynn Ospina
by SB Architects
You vowed if you ever had children of your own you wouldn’t expose them to this atrocious and embarrassing familial ritual. Well, monograms have replaced the quick scrawl of a hurried mother and it’s cool. From reusable water bottles, to back packs to hampers and wall decals you can reiterate their name and possessions by giving them a name tag. Even if they are still struggling with reciting their alphabet past C they will learn to recognize their name throughout the home and thus slowly learn a few letters.
by Siemasko + Verbridge / Photo Credit: Eric Roth
by JAC Interiors / Photo by Andy Parke
2. Kitchen Corner
Maybe you work at home or maybe you love trying out new recipes. Either way, find an area where you spend a lot of time when you are home and clear a space for you toddler in this room. Make sure that this area features their own personal work space. A craft table, chair and small wall hanging shelf are a great start to have them entertaining themselves while you can keep an eye on them. Despite the decked out bedroom you have carefully designed for them, they need the assurance of your presence. You can limit what they bring into your living spaces by giving them a designated corner. A little quite time for both of you is always a treasure during these rambunctious years.
3. Potty Training Seat
It’s finally here! No more messing with Disney character embellished foam enhanced toddler potty seats. More important, you may have to deal a lot less with gross, dirty diapers. Now you can purchase and DIY install the smaller seat inside the lid of your regular adult sized one. It’s a win/win for everyone and hopefully will teach your little gentleman toddler to put the seat down after use!
4. Stepping Stools
Brushing their teeth, climbing in bed or excavating their closet, the diminished height of a toddler can be a frustrating and intimidating time as they must come to terms with their little stature. But give them the right tools and we can turn your mommy’s little boy into an adventure seeking independent boy. With the help of stools placed strategically around the home you can encourage him to turn his own light switch on. Quick tip: Try to find sturdy but light ones so they can easily move them around and still be safely supported.
Roncesvalles House by Roundabout Studio Inc.
by Searl Lamaster Howe Architects
5. Growth Chart
Children grow so fast that one moment you think you just set out these stepping stools and the next they are towering over you like an Olympic winning gymnast. For sentimental reasons alone the Growth Chart is a fun way to monitor your child’s progress in life. Rather than just notches in your doorway, turn a giraffe or other plaything they enjoy your measuring tool. One day you’ll be glad you followed this tip!
6. 24/7 Helicopter Parenting
Here’s another no-no according to parenting books. While it may seem your constant presence, approval and yes, interference in your child’s life may seem like a golden ticket idea, but that is far from the truth. When they are still at home at age 40 mooching, the cute appeal is totally lost in translation.
A creative way, however, to give them some peace at night and give your eyes a break from around the clock surveillance is to paint just the outline of a large helicopter around their bedroom-ceiling fan. As they play or settle down for naptime they can look up and feel secure seeing what seems to be an upside down helicopter landing. Only you will see the humorous meaning behind this design.
So how about putting a real helicopter on the ceiling, then?
With just these simple to execute gestures you can give your toddler more free reign at home and enjoy watching as they blossom into well rounded (and fingers crossed) well behaved, children!