In an ideal world, we’d all be living in huge properties where we could re-designate a large guest room (or Granny’s room) and turn it into a makeshift home-school or kindergarten for the duration. Somewhere with its own dedicated door, which can be closed on the strike of 3pm. Somewhere we could set up with desks, white boards and easels, covering the walls with posters and inspirational educational imagery. Somewhere with room to swing a thousand pots of felt tips and enough space for an army of storage units organised and labelled with tidy baskets full of glue, crafty bits, endless supplies of motor-skills play-do, science kits and forest school twigs and branches.
But…. in reality, most of us don’t have the luxury of that kind of ‘extra’ dedicated space, or the guest room is tiny! We live in a much more humble abode. So the reality of this family-isolation crisis is more a case of re-defining how we live – creating a small ‘zone’ in the open plan living room or kitchen for ‘school’.
But then there also needs to be light and shade, the house still needs to represent fun and ‘home’ not just school. And kids need ‘space’ in the asme way we adults do. So it’s also important to make the kids rooms inspiring enough for them to want to rest and play in. If you have two kids sharing a decent sized space, and they’re winding each other up a bit more than usual, then consider adding a ‘room divide’ and giving them their own space. A folding screen would be the cheapest way to do it, or you could have a simple stud wall created, which could always come down later on.
Making the kids room a haven for them, is also good for their mental health right now – giving them a creative and positive space to be (which is a distraction from the doom and gloom). Kids are worried about this thing and they’re picking up on our stress, so it’s important to keep them feeling as positive as possible and to let them stay the little children they’re meant to be (whilst still washing their cheeky grubby little hands…)
We hope our little kids bedroom makeover movie gets parents’ creative juices flowing. And gives them the confidence that with a little bit of thought and planning, in collaboration with the kids themselves, they can help turn their kids rooms into somewhere even more theatrical and fantastical. And somewhere to showcase their own creativity.
Re-arranging their room could be a lovely joint project to help with cabin fever: making their bedroom space really cool. And it doesn’t have to cost the earth – it could be as simple as juggling around with the layout, putting the bed in a different position and re-organising things to make it feel new again and to make space for ‘play’ not just for bed time. Planning where furniture could move to, can also be a sneaky way of teaching kids about maths and spaces and dimensions – getting them to measure what will fit if they did a move-around in the room. All you need is a tape measure to calculate the sizes of things and to measure the size of the room and then you can ‘plot’ the different pieces of furniture (even using tape on the floor) and play around with what works best where. If you have a scale ruler, then you can draw the room ‘to scale’ on an A4 sheet of paper, and then also draw the furniture in ‘blocks’. Then you can cut out the furniture and play ‘battleships’, moving it around the room to see where it fits best, trying out lots of different layouts.
For the more digital savvy or for those with older kids, there are also online room planners you could play around with: https://www.floorplanner.com/