Tips to Create a Kid-Friendly Home or Apartment in 2020
Creating a kid-friendly home or apartment is quite simple. Kids are not miniature adults; their thought processes are different because they have not acquired the knowledge that comes from decades of interactions with the world around them. Imagine each situation as a new experience for your child and you–their guide.
One of the first things a new parent buys is a child’s car seat, and future purchases are geared toward the physical safety of that child. Once your baby becomes ambulatory you must be diligent about your toddler’s safety. Locks on exterior doors must be secure so little fingers are not able to manipulate them; this is especially important above the first floor. Never leave a child on a patio by themselves as it only takes a moment for a small child to move a table or chair over to the railing to get a better view. Inside your home, spend some time sitting on the floor to glimpse the space from a small child’s perspective. Safety catches on lower cupboards are a must if any dangerous objects or chemicals are stored in them.
Save your sanity by realizing there has never been a child who has not made a mess at some point. When your baby plays with their food it is not to annoy you; it is a process of learning how things feel. The best way to save yourself from total exasperation from this little mess maker is to keep squishy foods and art projects confined to solid surface areas. If you play in areas of your home that have fabric covered furniture, use washable textiles like those available from Sunbrella for upholstery.
Learning and Growing
As your child becomes more curious about the sounds, sights, feels and smells around them use the opportunity to teach them through play. A quick visit to a Montessori website will give you many ideas to foster creative learning from infancy through 12th grade.
A Place to Play
It is valuable to create spaces for your child to play and learn in. Child sized furniture is available at many places like Ikea. Test furniture to make sure it is tip-proof and bolt any heavy pieces to the wall. It is also a good idea to clear floor space for activities like dancing and Duplo building; those towers can get awfully tall.
Plants and Kids
A fun way to teach your children about nature and the way plants grow is to begin with small projects like planting marigolds or sunflower seeds using an egg carton and a little soil. Purchase a small lightweight sprinkling can and the task of watering the seedlings will teach your child about caring for plants. A kid-friendly home should not contain any plants which are toxic. Check your houseplants because young children will often taste or play with the soil and leaves of a plant.
Pets can bring so much joy to your child; but you must know your animal’s behavioral habits and introduce a baby properly, especially in a pet-friendly apartment. An older, feeble dog may not want a baby to pull its tail and chew on its ear and the result may not be friendly. Pets can help instill a sense of empathy in your child. Do remember to keep pet supplies and medications out of reach and know that playing with the dog’s water bowl is an altogether exhilarating experience for a toddler.
Cooking and Culture
Many of us have had the opportunity to listen to the stories of our grandparents and perhaps cook with them. This is a wonderful way for your own children to learn about their culture and heritage. Even a small child can help with the preparations for a meal or a holiday. Ask your youngster to help arrange fruit slices on a plate and you will find them asking for more “jobs.” Involve your children in as many daily cooking chores as possible, it is a fun time to talk.
It is easy to fashion a safe, kid-friendly environment for your child to explore, learn and play in.