Creating a craft room for your toddler is a great way to encourage your child’s creativity. The craft area doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate. An unused closet or spare bedroom will suffice. It does, however, need to be fun and safe.
Five pointers for creating that ideal craft space:
1. Decorate for fun
An inviting craft space spawns creativity. Make your craft area visually interesting, one that you and the kids will look forward to using. Do your kids like dinosaurs? Make a designated dinosaur wall with cork cutouts they can pin decorations on. Is your toddler a SpongeBob fan? Create a life-size SpongeBob character out of scrap cloth and fill it with pillow foam. Your kids can take turns making faces for him and sticking them on with tape.
Use bright, cheery colors for walls and furniture. Make window treatments and cushions out of coordinating or contrasting fabric.
2. Keep hazardous object out of reach
A fun craft room is a safe craft room. Make sure you keep hazardous objects like pointed scissors and electrical cords away from your little artists. High pegboards or tall bookcases (perhaps with bins for storage) will make this easy.
Remember that not all craft room hazards are obvious. The cutting edge on a roll of tape can cut small fingers. Small pieces like erasers or paint bottle tops can present a choking hazard. Older art supplies, particularly paint, should also be avoided as they may contain lead.
3. Make it kid-size and kid-friendly
Make your craft space inviting for your toddler by making the chairs and work surfaces scaled to his or her size. That way they will know the room was designed just for them. In addition, store safe craft materials like crayons, paper and felt in lower bins or drawers so they are easily accessible for your toddlers.
Make it easy on you by using kid-friendly, easy-to-clean surfaces and fabrics, such as Formica surfaces, vinyl seat covers, and linoleum or laminate flooring. If fabric is part of your design plan, such as a curtain to close off your craft area or closet, use a machine-washable fabric.
4. Make it bright
Every craft area, whether it’s a designated room or a converted closet, needs adequate lighting. Use the design rule of three and plan for multiple sources of light, such as an overhead light, telescoping lamp and big window.
5. Make clean-up easy
Clutter will quickly destroy any fun space. Make clean-up easy for both you and your little ones by adding bins for each craft item, a large (wide, not tall) trash can and peg boards to hang craft tools.
Having a craft room for you and your little ones doesn’t have to be cost-prohibitive or a safety hazard. All it takes is a little planning, a little effort and a little fun.
For other home safety tips, please check out the safety checklist at YourLocalSecurity.com.
Elli is a guest author who enjoys writing about child safety tips, home renovations and general home improvement projects. In her free time, she enjoys backpacking and enjoying the outdoors in Salt Lake City, Utah.
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