Summer Vacation & Early Fall Decorating Fun

The school holidays are practically gone, but even with the school year starting, you may need activities to share with your children. If you're a working parent, it might be difficult to keep your children entertained as you probably won’t be able to take too much time off the job. And even if you are a SAHP (stay-at-home parent), it can be a full-time job trying to keep kids entertained while they're not in class.

So why don’t you do some home decorating with your kids? Most children won't take too kindly to be told to tidy their rooms, but if you make it fun and tell them that you're decorating the house with them, they might be happier to pitch in.

The best room to work on, of course, is their bedroom. Here are some practical activities you can do together with your children:

  • Go through their cupboards, closets, and storage containers to see which toys you can toss, store, donate, or sell. Free up closet, wardrobe, and drawer space by organizing clothing, too.
  • Maybe this is the time to buy the bedroom set you've always wanted. A trip to the furniture store to choose a new bed, desk, chest of drawers, and wardrobe can be as much fun as a day in Disneyland (okay, slight exaggeration there).
  • You might hit all the second-hand stores and unfinished furniture places and flea markets to look for bargains. Remember, bedroom furniture can be an eclectic mix of styles that look more spontaneous together than a matching set of furniture.
  • Buying new bed linens can brighten a room. Add lots of fun pillows. What about making a canopy of fabric to hang from curtain rods attached to the ceiling with anchor brackets? Instant castle, fort, treehouse, hideout, or secret headquarters!

If the budget is tight, just get a few necessary accessories or items of furniture. Make this a joint choice with your child. Make sure that whatever you decide on together is practical, in your budget, and adds to the style and energy of the room. Children love to help makes these kinds of decisions, and it's excellent practice in teaching responsibility.

Then there’s painting and/or papering the walls. While you may not want child labor during the actual painting, give them something fun to do like letting them draw on the walls (normally a big no-no) before they get painted over. This can be a lot of fun for the kids and can certainly keep them occupied for a whole afternoon. If you're applying grasscloth or some other wallcovering, these drawings, poems, and other kid creations are fun to uncover when you're child outgrows the old wallcovering and it's time to redecorate. The unveiling and discovery of their earlier work is a great family moment!

If you don’t want to paint or paper the walls, there are some great adhesive wall stickers that can be put on a plain wall. They're great for covering the finger marks and stains, too. These inexpensive sticker sets can really change the look of a room. Deciding where the stickers go, and then applying them to the wall is a fun activity that your kids can do themselves. It will make them feel like an integral part of the decorating process.

Another nice addition to any bedroom is a new rug. Area rugs come in all varieties and colors, including floral rugs, animal print rugs, and of course, the many other types of kids’ area rugs, all of which can be a fun way to brighten the room. A large, soft rug is a safe, inviting place for children of any age to play, read, or study on.

Home decorating with your children is a wonderful, important activity. Apart from keeping your children busy, it will teach them the importance of aesthetics. Furthermore, if they're involved in choosing their bedroom furnishings, they just might feel more inspired to keep their rooms tidy.

Well, there’s always hope at least . . . .

Jay JohnsonComment