Concessions like a ‘scooter alley,’ scribble space and child-height furnishings help keep family harmony.
From wrangling backpacks and finding lost shoes before the morning school run to the last kiss at bedtime (and just one more drink of water), life with kids is an adventure. We can’t prepare for everything, but these six small changes can make the time spent at home with our kids a bit easier.
1. Instead of wainscoting, try a kid-height chalk wall. This half-height chalk wall makes a nice compromise when you don’t want to give over an entire wall of your home to kid-friendly scribble space. Little ones get to draw in the space they can reach, and you get to choose grownup paint and artwork above the rail. It’s a win-win.
Group3 Architects llc, original photo on Houzz
2. Invest in adjustable stools. Kids can’t resist twirling these metal stools to adjust the height — but beyond the fun factor, they serve a practical purpose as well. Being able to twist to raise or lower the seat means everyone, big and little, gets to sit at the just-right height. And the stools work as well at a desk or a craft table as they do in the kitchen.
Nimu, original photo on Houzz
3. Clear out a “scooter alley.” On rainy days, finding ways for kids to get their energy out can feel next to impossible. Enter scooter alley: a cleared-out hall or side of a room where mini vehicles have (relatively) free rein. The same space can be used for racing Matchbox cars, laying out tumbling mats or unfurling a big roll of paper for a spontaneous art project.
Carl and The Wolf, original photo on Houzz
4. Designate a temporary art display space. Feeling swamped by the amount of art projects coming home from school? Kids are proud of their work, so it’s natural that they feel reluctant to let you toss it right away, but that doesn’t mean you must keep every watercolor and crayon drawing forever. Designate a central place to display favorite incoming artwork for a limited time. When new work comes home, choose something from the board to recycle (or upcycle into thank-you cards, gift wrap or bookmarks) and store only the most special pieces in an art portfolio.
Andrea Rodman Interiors, original photo on Houzz
5. Put a little table in the living room. Stationing a play table in the living room (or whatever room your family tends to hang out in) gives little ones a designated space for putting together puzzles and Lego creations. Choose a table with built-in storage, and stash favorite toys inside for easy cleanup.
REFINED LLC, original photo on Houzz
6. Choose carpet tiles. Life with little ones is messy: There’s really no getting around it. But while we can’t prevent the messes from happening (try as we might), we can salvage our flooring from the chaos. What’s the secret? Carpet tiles. Perfect for high-traffic and mess-prone areas, carpet tiles attach to your floor (so they’re also nonslip), and when one gets stained or damaged beyond repair, you can simply replace a square rather than the entire rug.
Written by Laura Gaskill for Houzz for Working Mother and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.