Decorating a Big Kid Room
4 STEPS TO A “BIG KID” ROOM
1. Prioritize your kid’s interests in the design and involve them in small ways. As I was designing the space, a dinosaur comforter was one of the only new items I purchased. It was originally from Target, but I scored it cheaper on eBay. Ari is obsessed with dinosaurs, and I knew he would love it. He would stare at the online image of the comforter and want me to check the shipping status every single day. Some of the nursery items did remain – like the vintage art hanging on the wall – because I couldn’t part with it. His grandmother gave us the orange plaid blanket, and I love that it carries her story passed to Ari.
2. Remove unused items, and re-visit the function of the room. When deciding on what to keep and what to move, some of it was obvious. The rocker and crib had to go. I no longer rocked Ari to sleep, and while the crib wasn’t an issue, the look of the crib felt babyish to him. A twin bed made the space really feel “big boy.” I found a vintage one for around $60 on a Facebook yard sale site for moms. We did have to buy a new mattress, but even so, the cost was much less than buying a brand new bed. The dresser was my childhood dresser that I painted emerald for his nursery. Wall colors stayed to save money, plus they went well with the new space. We also kept the tall gate on his door. His room is upstairs, and at age 3 I don’t feel comfortable with him walking around in the middle of the night. The room now functions as a place to sleep, but also as a place to play independently.
3. Address new safety concerns. Bringing in a lamp did make me nervous, but we went over rules for using a lamp and safety concerns. We also made sure it was plugged in an out-of-sight location. With more freedom comes more ideas for your big kid. Windows should be safe, with cords out of reach, and since he’s now allowed to be in his room alone, it was a topic we needed to address. Climbing and jumping on furniture was another conversation. Outlet covers stayed on visible outlets. At first Ari fell out of the twin bed a few times, so we have since moved it against the wall with a pillow placed on the open side each night.
4. Introduce routines and chores. A new space is the perfect time for introducing big boy tasks; in fact this exciting change can be very motivating. It can even be used to break a habit, like saying goodbye to a pacifier or having a parent lie on the floor until the child is fully asleep. Take full advantage of this transition. Big kids do chores; adding a laundry bin for tossing dirty clothes helps a young child transition into laundry responsibilities. All toys have a home, so when it’s time to clean up, your big kid will know where to place items.