One of the most exciting parts of raising children is seeing them become more independent every day. If, like us at Modernize, you enjoy giving your children opportunities for self-sufficiency whenever possible, you know that learning can happen anywhere and anytime. Here are a few tips to help make your child’s bedroom a place for independent play and learning.
Choose a layout that makes sense
In order to give your child a bedroom that encourages independence, you need to make sure there is plenty of open space in the room. Consider a free-flow layout with designated areas for quiet time, sleeping, dressing up, and other imaginative play. One of our top tips is to arrange your child’s bed lengthways along one wall to maximize floor space in the middle of the room. If you have a playroom as well, resist the urge to stock your child’s bedroom with too many toys—and keep the majority of them in the playroom instead to cut down on clutter and mess.
Make it accessible
Accessibility is key when it comes to self-sufficiency, so choose child friendly furniture whenever possible for your child’s room. Many kids’ beds can be set up low to the ground to encourage independence and lessen the chance of injury from falling out of bed, while wardrobes and dressers come in child heights with easy open/close functions. Keep toys within your child’s reach, as long as they’re safe to use when not under your supervision.
Keep it tidy
Stock your child’s bedroom with plenty of storage baskets, tubs, shelves, and boxes to help encourage regular tidying. Set up a regular cleaning schedule with plenty of jobs that your child can complete independently in order to keep the room looking its best. With any luck, your child will keep the bedroom relatively neat after the first few weeks, and any parental intervention will consist of regular decluttering and weeding out unused toys and clothing to mitigate the risk of too much mess.
Organize the closet
While most parents love teaching their children self-sufficiency, it can be easy to forget closets and other storage spaces. Keep your child’s closet accessible, with clothing organized by type and well within reach. If it helps you and your child, label storage bins and clothes rails to keep everything in its place (picture labels are perfect for younger children who can’t yet read). Take your independent child’s closet one step further by adding a small Montessori style self-care station in or near the closet, kitted out with a mirror, hairbrush, and wash basin to encourage cleanliness and regular care of self.
Safety is essential
After you have stocked your child’s room with all the kid friendly furniture, storage, and toys needed for independent play and learning, it’s important that you keep the room safe. Use safety gates, and window locks when necessary, tether tall and heavy wardrobes and bookcases to the wall, and eliminate choking and strangulation hazards throughout the room (including necklaces, ribbons, blinds, and small toys). You will feel infinitely better about leaving your child alone for long periods of time if this space is as safe as you can possibly make it.