Most parents have figured out how to “kid proof” the house in terms of safety. Outlet covers keep them from sticking fingers (or whatever else they can get their hands on) into live outlets. Gates can keep them from tumbling down stairs. Cabinet and drawer locks can keep them (and some grownups, too,) away from cleaners and knives. In addition to making the house safe for kids, though, it’s also important to make your home kid-friendly so that your children have easier access to the things they need. This saves you the time of having to reach things for them and helps them to learn the value of independence. In the case of kids determined to “do it by myself” at any cost, it can also help keep them safe.
If you don’t have a dedicated play room for the kiddos, consider adding stylish storage bins to your living area. A series of crates painted in a color to match the decor with fabric flip-up covers can be a great way to organize kids’ toys and games and keep them out of the way when company comes over. You can stack crates as high as kids can reach or line them up in row against a wall, which can also serve as additional bench seating, or opt for crates on casters that can double as rolling chairs or footstools.
If your home has walk-in closets in the bedrooms, a modular storage system can be a great way to keep extra toys out of the way but still accessible. It can also replace a traditional dresser and store clothes at a height that makes it possible for your kids to choose (and put away) their own outfits.
For extra bedroom storage that doubles as a window seat, consider laying a bookcase on its side under the window. Flank that bookcase with an upright one on either side for a different look and even more space. Just be sure not to put everyday-type stuff out of your child’s reach.
When it comes to the kitchen, you can get a good kitchen faucet that your child can turn on and off by touching the neck of the faucet, which is great for smaller kids who can’t reach the faucet handles and can be less aggravating and less dangerous than keeping a step stool underfoot in your kitchen. If your kids love to “help” in the kitchen, take advantage of their willingness to learn how to cook and spend time with you. You can find kid-friendly utensils and cookbooks. Life’s busy, and sometimes the help of a child isn’t exactly a time saver, but it is time well spent.
In the bathroom, consider hanging towel hooks at a kid-friendly height. This can help keep damp towels from piling up on your floor. In the foyer, you can hang lower hooks for kids’ coats and backpacks.
Keeping kids safe at home is definitely a top priority, but making sure they feel at home when they’re at home is important, too. And don’t forget to remind them that if they’re big enough to reach toys, games, and clothes, then they’re big enough to put those things away, too!