ASPACE of their own
For a child, a bedroom is so much more than a place to sleep; it’s a playground, an office for when they’re studying, and a place for them to entertain their friends. It’s also a space for self-expression, where they can explore their identity and pursue their own hobbies – however noisy they may be! Help your child to make the most of their own space through their growing up years with a room fit for sleep, work and play.
ASPACE to play
We all remember our childhood bedrooms fondly as the location for many an adventure which, in our memories at least, reached far beyond those four walls! Learning to play independently encourages self-expression and creative thinking; according to Peter Gray, a research professor and psychologist, some of the most important skills that children learn are discovered through play.
Having their own space and learning to take responsibility for their toys and possessions is a great way to encourage independent thinking. Try keeping a toy box or storage unit in the room so they can tidy their things away at the end of each day.
ASPACE to rest
Of course, the main function of a child’s bedroom is to provide a space for sleep. The Sleep Council recommends separate ‘zones’ for activity and rest: this will enable little ones to identify a clear divide between the time to play and the time to sleep.
Letting your child choose their own bedding, comfy blankets and cushions will help make the sleep space feel like their own, and a night light or bedside table with a lamp within easy reach will help them to feel safe and comfortable when it’s sleep time.
ASPACE to work
In busy family homes children can need a quiet space of their own away from noise and interruptions – something which is particularly important for older children if there is homework to do!
Create a ‘work zone’ free from clutter and distractions, which has a clean desk with a wide, flat surface, a lamp and a comfortable chair at the right height. Try covering the desk with paper – either torn from a large roll or a pad – so little ones can scribble notes, ideas and doodles down as they work.
Bookshelves are a great way to keep textbooks, stationery and other clutter away from the desktop, and a pinboard above the desk gives children a visual aid for brainstorming ideas or reminding themselves of facts ahead of an exam. A beanbag in the work zone offers and additional space to read quietly, and also doubles up as a fun lounging space when they have friends over.
ASPACE to share
If your little ones share a room, there are lots of simple things you can do to create an independent and happy space for them both.
A bunk bed is a great way to save precious floor space and offers each child that extra bit of privacy. While it’s important for them to play harmoniously, it’s also a good idea to create separate storage and display areas so they each have their own, individual space to express themselves and store their toys and belongings. You could also try allocating ‘work times’ and ‘play times’ within the room to minimise potential disruption!