It’s a common dilemma: decorating a toddler nursery with the right Child Furniture. Your child’s outgrown teddy bears and pastel ribbons, and is ready for a motif that looks more “grown up” but still retains that sense of innocence. You also want child furniture that’s as practical as it is pretty. After all, your child’s grown more active and curious. He loves to play, read, and occasionally subject his toys to the loud banging and kicking (“but it’s part of the game, Mommy!”).
The first step is to decide on a theme. Look at your child’s personality and personal preferences. Does he love cars or animals, cowboys or aliens? Is she fascinated with fairy tales or stories of jungle safaris? If you’re not sure, then narrow the choices to two and let your child pick–the room becomes more special if he “helped” put it together. Ethan Allen has some really great design ideas to make things very easy and help create a beautiful room.
When buying child furniture, check functionality and design. The stools should be sturdy, and use non-leaded paint. Look for surfaces that are easy to wipe clean and rounded corners (or invest in plastic safety clamps). Desks should be spacious enough to hold paper and crayons, tea sets or books–after all, this is your child’s “work space”. Special bonuses are shelves or compartments where you can store small boxes for art materials, puzzle pieces and other knick knacks.
The advantage of buying specialty children’s furniture is that you’re more or less assured that they have met safety regulations and are built for a child’s proportions (at least he won’t tip over as he tries to scramble up a chair!). And of course, the attractive design encourages the child to sit and play. This is his table, his chair, and for toddlers, that sense of ownership is a huge factor in building self-esteem. He is growing more independent, and the role of parents is to provide just enough freedom in a safe environment–like a room where everything is child-friendly. Here he can be left alone for hours, learning to play independently and explore on his own, without mommy constantly worrying that he’ll break something (or his neck). That alone makes investing in specialty child’s furniture worthwhile.
Your furniture checklist Tables and chairs. This encourages your child to spend hours drawing, writing, reading, or engaging in pretend play (like inviting her teddy bears for afternoon tea). Think of this set as the stage for your child’s creativity. With no table or chair, your child will be forced to do these activities on the floor–hunched over, or lying on his stomach. This is tiring and ultimately bad for his posture.
Bookcases.To encourage a child’s love for reading, books must be kept accessible. He should be able to grab a book whenever he wants to, and then put the book back himself (unless you want to develop the habit of picking up after him each time!)
Toy storage. Toys can get lost or broken if they are left willy-nilly on the floor. The best toy storage should have different compartments to segregate the various items in his ever-growing collection. Teaching your child to organize toys (stuffed animals on one shelf, blocks on another) also helps him develop abstract thinking.
Submitted by: Misti Norusis