Many kids love to garden. Not only do they enjoy it, but they can be pretty good at it too. My own children do most of the gardening at our house. They prefer it that way. Here's some great tips and resources for gardening with kids.
Invest in a Good Wheelbarrow
Not only will kids enjoy pushing around the wheelbarrow, but generally, the natural soil isn’t good enough to plant in. This means that the kids will need to transport different types of soil. A wheelbarrow is the easiest and most fun way for kids to do this.
Use Colorful Plants
Kids love bright colors. Choose plants with a variety of colors, rather than selecting only one or two colors. This will make the gardening more fun for the kids.
Choose Simple to Grow Plants
Not all plants are easy to grow. Kids get excited to see their gardening results. Choosing plants that are simple to grow will help increase the odds of favorable results.
Choose Native Plants
This goes along with the last point. By selecting plants that are native to your area, this can make the plants easier for kids to grow.
Create a Maintenance Schedule
Creating a schedule of when to feed and water plants can help kids keep track of what needs to be done in the garden. I suggest hanging it near their chore chart if they have one.
Did You Know You Can Teach Your Kids While Preparing to Move?
Moving with kids can be a real chore, both physically and mentally. But did you know you can also use it to teach them lessons? Many aspects of moving are educational, as I've learned by moving with my kids several times over the years. Just sorting and packing offers many learning opportunities.
Packing to move teaches organizational skills. What better way for kids to learn organization than by actually doing it? Kids will learn how to organize in several different ways with packing. They can learn to reduce clutter by getting rid of unnecessary items. They'll also learn how to put away items both neatly and gently, depending on what's in the box, how breakable it is, what room it goes in, and more.
Teach kids to give by donating unwanted and unneeded items. There will likely be many items you do not wish to move into your new home. But don't just throw it all away. There are many people who can use even the simplest of items. Have the kids help in sorting and donating these items to the less fortunate. This teaches them compassion, as well as green living skills. Reducing and reusing is always better for the environment than needless waste.
Capacity lessons come from packing, weighing, and measuring. Have the kids weigh, measure, and pack items to learn about capacity. How much weight can fit into each box. If certain items weigh a particular amount, how many of them will fit in the box, based on both weight and size. These are all great hands-on lessons to accent what the kids know or will learn in future math lessons.
Sorting and packing items helps teach value to kids. By determining which items to pack, which to give away, and which are non-salvageable, kids learn value in more than one way. They learn what things mean the most to themselves and to others. They also learn that when you mistreat things, no one can use them.
Fun memories can arise and be created through sorting and packing. The action of packing and sorting may trigger memories related to the items or to past moves. It creates great conversation fodder and it can also be nice to reflect on those things together. Kids also are likely to enjoy the action of sorting and packing and dream of what it will be like in the new place. This in itself creates some great memories. Plus, it's just fun! What kid doesn't like playing with boxes?
"I can't find my shoe!" "I want my red skirt!" Organizing a kid's bedroom with him in mind helps prevent these and similar scenarios. Offer space-saving solutions that are also convenient to your child for the best results. Being a mom to many has taught me many things about storage and organization. Here are some of my top must-have items for organizing a kids bedroom.
Canvas bins offer many solutions. These come in many sizes and can be used all over the room. Slide a flat canvas bin under the bed for storing shoes and extra blankets. Choose canvas bins of all sizes to organize toys and other items on a shelf. Have a certain bin designated to library books or toys that travel in the car or to Grandma's house. The possibilities are endless when it comes to canvas bins and kids.
Hanging rod organizers help kids keep track of items. Need an easy way to be sure your kids always know where there shoes and matching outfits are? Try closet organizers that hang from the clothing rod. Some have compartments and some keep clothing condensed. You can find shoe racks, sweater racks, and even special hangers that help kids keep their items neat and easily accessible.
Hanging storage solutions create more floor space. Need a way to get all those stuffed animals or other collections off the floor? Try hanging the stuffed animals in a fun design or finding a ceiling storage rack for them. These are generally very cost-effective and can be found in varied shapes, sizes, and materials. It also keeps the items in the child's room, while keeping them out of the way at the same time.
Wall storage helps organize smaller items. Too many items strewn across the dressers and shelves? Try wall organizers. These could be made of wood, canvas, or metal, depending on your child's décor and their intended purpose. You can even make your own if you're feeling inventive. Use up all that wall space, instead of letting it go to waste. You'd be surprised at how much more space your child will have.
Drawer dividers help kids keep clothing neat. Tired of going to grab something from your child's drawer and seeing everything disorganized. Try drawer dividers. By sticking these in between certain items, it helps your child see that everything has its place. This must-have bedroom organizational item is especially handy for younger kids.
"Swish!" Was that Kobe? Not this time. That's the sound of your son or daughter making a shot from the bed. You've got the over-the-door setup covered. But she wants more items to show off her favorite sport. You can create a fun basketball themed bedroom for your child without going too commercial or spending too much cash. Go homemade with this simple DIY basketball bedroom décor for kids.
Easy No-Sew Basketball Throw Pillows
To make some simple basketball throw pillows, you'll need orange fleece, black piping, fabric glue, and filler material. How much material you need will depend on how big or small you want the pillows and how many you will be making. Basically, look at the fabric and imagine cutting out two circles per pillow that are slightly wider than your desired size.
Take those two circles and glue them together just around the edges outside in. Leave a small opening to put the filler into. Once the glue is dry, turn the material inside out. Fill it with the material to the desire fullness. Now fold the open edges down and glue them together to line up with the already-glued edges. Once that's dry, take your piping and cut in appropriate lengths to glue basketball stripes on the outside of the pillow. Let those dry and you're done.
Hanging Basketball Lanterns
For these, simply purchase the desired number of round paper lanterns in orange. You'll also need some heat-safe black paint. Hobby paint used for model cars works great for this type of project because it can be purchased in very small amounts or large containers. This way you only need to buy what you need. Take a paintbrush and paint the stripes onto the lanterns to make them look like a basketball.
To create a basketball scoreboard, you'll need a chalkboard in the desired size, some chalk, white acrylic paint, and a paintbrush. Paint the scoreboard template onto the chalkboard and let it dry. Now whenever the kids shoot hoops on the over-the-door net or with paper balls into the trash can, they can use the chalk to keep score.
Basketball Wall Décor
For wall décor, collect any odds and ends related to basketball and frame them. This could be tickets, hats, jerseys, deflated basketballs, and more. Frame each item separately and hang them all around the room. Make it like your child's personal hall of fame if he or she plays the sport. If not, just make it about the game, in general.
Basketball Bed Post Décor
Want to create a basketball bed for your child that doesn't cost you a fortune? You can use your child's bed posts and four basketballs to create this look. In addition to four basketballs, you'll need an air pump and some household glue, such as Goop or E-6000. Deflate each ball about ¼ of the way. Place them over the bed posts. If they don't fit quite right, inflate or deflate until the size is right. Now take some of the household glue and secure the basketballs to the post. Be sure to leave the side with the air hole accessible in case air needs to be replaced at a later date. Allow the balls to dry on the posts 24 hours before disturbing them.
"But mom, I need a couch, a desk, a bed, and a dresser all to fit into my room. Oh, and I also need a card table and a vanity." If this statement worries you, think about choosing versatile furniture for a kid's bedroom.
Choose flexible colors and patterns. Ever seen a child's room where the colors and patterns just don't mesh? Many times this is due to lack of planning. The parents may have picked out one pattern when the child was younger and blended several over the years. Choosing solid colors and neutral patterns can help prevent this. Does your child like a particular character or item? Choose furniture of those colors and keep the character or object pattern to the bedding and draperies. Those are easier and less expensive to switch out as your child grows. Solid colors make furniture more versatile, as it can be used for years to come as the child's tastes grow with him.
Use transitional furniture. Another way to keep kids furniture versatile is by choosing pieces that can transform into stages as your child grows. For instance, choosing a convertible crib that changes from a crib, to a toddler bed, then a twin sized bed is a wiser purchase than a simple crib. Choose furniture that easily changes when your child's needs do.
Choose multipurpose items. Rather than choosing items that have only one function, save space by choosing things that are good for more than one purpose. For instance, you might choose a bench that also doubles as a storage space. Another option is a futon or other seating area that also doubles as a bed. This helps save space in your child's room. But at the same time, it gives them all the items they would like to have.
Choose items with multiple age levels. Rather than buying small items that will not grow with your child, choose those that are appropriate for all ages. For instance, one table and chair set may accommodate only preschoolers. Yet another may work for preschool age on up to teens. The second option is more versatile. It will last longer and also will come in handy when friends of relatives of varying ages come over for a play date.
What are the benefits of choosing versatile furniture for a kids bedroom? Items that work for many uses and a variety of age levels are beneficial in many ways. These items, though sometimes pricey, can actually be a savings in the long run. This is because they will help prevent the purchase of other items in the future. These items often grow with the child, which means they don't have to give up their favorite items. Another great benefit to versatile items is that if your child decides he does not like a piece as he grows, it can be re-purposed for another family member or friend.
Creating a room to grow for your child has many benefits. Not only is it generally an economical approach, but it also can be fun, as well as simple. You don't have to be an expert to get the job done, just willing to dedicate a little bit of time and effort to the project.
One scenario is hypothetical child Trina, who is turning 10 in a week, but her room makes her feel like a toddler. That's because that was the last time she had a theme change for her room. There is heavy wallpaper that she no longer likes, babyish furniture, and pink, pink, pink everywhere.
The furniture, the walls, the carpets - everything's pink! She used to like pink, but not so much anymore. Had her mom designed her a room to grow, the task ahead of them would not be so difficult.
Follow the tips below to help prevent something similar from happening with your child.
Choosing Colors and Theme
The first step to designing a child's room to grow is deciding what colors and theme to use. Choosing solid colors that go with the theme you have in mind can make for an easier transition as a child gets older. By choosing neutral solid colors, themes can be switched around more easily.
For instance, if your child wants a dinosaur theme, you can use primary colors. If that same child later wants a sports theme, the primary colors can still be used. Only the decorations, and possibly the bedding, will need to be switched.
If your child wants something wild, like stripes, on the walls, try using fabric or removable wall stickers to create that look rather than painting. This way, if your child changes his or her mind later, it will not be difficult to remove the look and add another.
There are so many different bed options, it's often hard to choose. Did you know that there are even beds that start out as cribs, convert to toddler beds, all the way up to a queen or king size? These convertible crib beds offer plenty of room to grow. Most come with everything you need, except the mattresses.
Some of these transitional beds can hit the wallet hard, but if you add up the costs of purchasing each bed separately, a transitional bed is usually a money saver. There are many options for these types of beds, and they are not all outrageously priced. Be sure to shop around. If you cannot afford the option that gives you every bed size, try opting for a crib that converts at least to a daybed or toddler bed. Some of these options are comparable in price to many cribs.
Convertible Changing Area
Using a traditional student desk as a changing table can save you some money and make for an easy way to ensure this piece of furniture has room to grow. At the diapering stage, purchase a traditional student desk with a drawer.
Also purchase a thick, strap-on changing table pad. Safely secure it to the desk. There are also inexpensive diapering supply racks that can be attached to the sides of a changing table. Many also will attach to a desk. One of those will hold all the items you'll need, and what won't fit there can go into the desk drawer.
When your child gets too big for a changing area, simply detach the diapering rack and changing pad and purchase a chair. Your toddler or preschooler now has a desk area that will last as he or she grows. As your child gets older, you may also wish to add a hutch atop the desk for extra storage or a new look.
Another idea is to purchase a changing table dresser. With these, the changing area comes off later when you no longer need it. You can use this type of dresser from babyhood throughout childhood, as the styles and colors are generally neutral.
A lamp is a useful item for the dresser top that can grow with a child. If the base is a solid color and decorations are added to the lampshade, the lampshade can be traded out as the child grows and changes styles and patterns in the room. Lampshades are fairly inexpensive, as are many things that can be used to decorate them, such as ribbon, plastic cars and sequins.
As for the dresser itself, choosing a roomy and unfinished design can help to ensure that a child will not outgrow it. To add style, instead of painting the dresser, try accenting it with decorative knobs or handles. These are easily replaceable and many are a very reasonable price at home improvement stores.
As with the dresser, keep it simple with other furniture. Try decorating the accents instead of the item and dressing it up with items that can easily be added or taken away as desired. Using decorative fabrics is a great way to dress up bed posts, dresser tops, desktops, the back of a comfy chair, and just about any piece of furniture.
Window Treatments and Bedding
This is an area where many people have trouble deciding what to use. If you go for flashy designs that match your child's theme, it will certainly look good, but it may not allow much room to grow. Instead, go for a more simple approach. Feel free to blend colors, but be sure each piece is one solid color.
For instance, in a dinosaur-themed room with primary colors, one pillowcase could be blue, while another may be red. Another example is having one white drapery panel, one silver panel and one gold panel in a room with an angel theme.
Mixing two or three colors is a great way to accent the theme while still leaving room to grow. Later, the colors can be switched around, taken away, or added to, creating a simple option for creating room to grow.
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