When many kids turn seven or eight, they begin to develop bold personalities and personal tastes. Often, they decide that they want a room to reflect their newfound preferences. From pre-empt stickers on the walls to holes from tacks, it’s a good idea to sit down with your kids and ask them what they want their room to look like. While many of their decorating ideas might seem overly imaginative or even quixotic, you’ll be able to narrow down a list of projects you can work on together.
On the Walls
Painting or accenting a room with favorite colors is a relatively simple task for both boys and girls, but finding out which characters your child loves can be a chore. Whether it’s Elsa, animals, cars, or sports, you can keep your kids happy by using simple stencils to decorate the walls with their favorites. Since kids change their mind on a monthly, sometimes weekly basis, you can go for more general decorations, or utilize easy-to-remove, colored tape in lieu of paint for simple stencils.
One of the most important things in a children’s room is the lighting. Though they may not admit it, they’re probably still a little scared of the dark. That makes decorating easy. A good first project could be a personalized nightlight. For girls, a fairy light nightlight is a very simple project. Purchase a string of LED lights in different colors from a store like Paper Mart and put them in a glass jar with some colorful tissue paper. Some LED lights are battery powered, so you can move the jar anywhere in the room. A ‘name in lights’ nightlight is a little more labor intensive, but very rewarding for kids. Stencil your kid’s name on a wooden board, hammer nails in at small intervals along the name, and loop some rope light around the nails. It takes about one rope light per four letters, so make sure you have enough.
Another lighting project is one that’s been around for a while and you’ve probably seen it on other craft blogs. The yarn ball lamp. It’s pretty simple to make and all you need is a balloon or bouncy ball, Mod Podge, and different colored yarn. There are a few tricks to know when creating this light fixture:
- Slather on as much Mod Podge as you can and give it enough time to dry.
- Protect your work space with newspaper.
- Leave a small opening at the top where you can slide in a light bulb.
- LED lights are safer, in part because they won’t burn the yarn.
You can make each lamp a different size and color and either hang them from the ceiling or use them as lamp shades.
Lastly, you can make a paper mobile. Using a circular frame, string, and colorful construction paper, cut out different shapes from the paper and glue them at intervals onto the string. Then tie the string around the frame and hang it up. Letting your kids draw on the construction paper before cutting out shapes is a great way to not only make them feel involved, but personalize each mobile.
If your child’s room has space for activities, you may want to designate some areas for playtime. Decide on places for a couple of designated spots in the room: one for play and one for art. Many kids love to draw, so placing a roll of butcher paper in a corner of the room will give them a never ending roll of paper for their creations. In that corner, you can also repurpose an old coffee table by painting the top with chalkboard paint.
Making a teepee playhouse for tea parties and “camping” can also be a lot of fun. For this project, you can take the easy route and hang a hula hoop from the ceiling to drape with sheets, or you can build a triangular teepee with sturdy sticks and fabric. With the addition of a rug and some pillows, it’s often everyone’s favorite part of the room.
Some Other Ideas
Having a few other projects lined up for a rainy day will keep you busy and your kids out of trouble. Try turning the TV area into a stage, hanging a small indoor swing, or installing some fun-shaped shelving. Since kids’ tastes change pretty frequently, try to keep your projects easy to make and easy to get rid of. Additionally, keep them as involved as possible so they develop an appreciation for completing a project.