Kids will be kids, and they need room and time to express themselves. But they also need guidance to keep them safe and to steer them toward the activities you prefer. An activity center in your home is the best way to merge their personalities with what you want for them, and they can be great fun, too.
Most homes are designed for adult use. But children also need places to call their own, where they can feel comfortable. With a bit of ingenuity and space planning, you can help direct them toward what you know to be best and let their imagination flourish. Whether you want to encourage their musical abilities or steer them toward something quieter, a little creativity can go a long way.
An Imaginative Reading Activity Center Can Encourage Quality Time with Books
If your children spend more time with television or video games than you’d like, and you want to encourage more reading, switching up the space where they spend the most time could result in a positive change.
Full access to the TV makes it easy to switch on the set and get involved in a show or a game. Try tucking the television in an armoire with doors that close, and surround your kids with more books and other fun props. (Read: Decorating with Kids)
A reading nook, especially one that’s cleverly designed, can encourage them to read more. When there’s a special spot made for just them, with comfortable seating and access to plenty of books, you might find that when they’re quiet, there’s no cause for alarm.
Arts & Crafts Activity Center Helps Curb Messes While Sparking Imagination
Do you find yourself cleaning up crayons, markers, and assorted paper all over the house? You can harness that creativity, while making it less messy and more productive. Create an arts and craft center for your children, and include them in the design process so they'll feel like it's really theirs.
Arts and crafts are messy activities. There’s glitter, paint, glue and all sorts of materials that can stick to tables and carpet. With their own special spot in the house for these activities, they’ll be happier, and so will you.
Creating a craft activity center doesn’t have to be a big endeavor. Drop cloths for the floor, a kid-size table and chairs, an easel and all of their supplies within easy reach, means they have the freedom to express themselves, and you don’t have to worry about ruined floors or furniture.
Create an Indoor Exercise Activity Center, so Your Children Can Play Safely Indoors
When the weather isn’t prime for playing outside, do your children burn their energy off by jumping on the furniture and running through the house? Kids love energetic play, even when the weather isn’t great. And sometimes sitting with a quiet activity is too much to ask of little ones. An indoor exercise center could be just the ticket.
Even in a smaller home, an indoor place to jump and swing and play may be doable. There are pre-made play centers with slides and towers, or you can design and build your own with built-ins for storage, too. (Read: How to Declutter a Kid's Room Using Built-Ins) Ceiling joists are generally sturdy enough to mount a swing that can support you or your kids, and a bedroom corner could be the perfect spot for a small slide.
Give your children an activity center for play, and give your furniture a break. You'll also avoid unnecessary bumps and bruises from running full steam through the house.
Giving your children an activity center is a creative endeavor for you, too. Work with the design and style of your home and see what you can come up with. Maybe it’s a miniature tree house in the rec room, or a reading niche tucked into a repurposed closet. We've pinned lots of ideas which you might like (and please share your ideas below).
- Outdoor ideas on our Gardening & Landscaping board.
- Ideas for children's and baby rooms on our Kid's Rooms & Baby Areas.
And most important, enjoy your kids while they're young as they really do grow up and move away.
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