76 Awesome Ideas to Make Your Home More Kid-Friendly
Here are 76 awesome ideas to make your home more kid-friendly, rounded up from my own searches online and on Pinterest. I hope these ideas spark some inspiration in you!
By a kid-friendly home I’m not talking about painting the nursery all pink or all blue, nor baby-proofing the coffee table corners. And nope, not about buying more plastic toys.
I’m talking about creative ways to adapt your home to kids, and creating age-appropriate spaces they can call their own. Places to play and explore, where memories are made and imaginations can run wild.
Where it’s okay for things to get a little messy.
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My ongoing quest to make our own home more kid-friendly has led to some pretty cool finds. Below are some of my favorites! Hopefully these ideas inspire you to dream up clever ways to make your home more kid-friendly too.
I’ll tell you one thing: if any of my friends had any of these spaces growing up, I would have packed my Rainbow Bright suitcase and moved right in 😉
PLACES TO READ
|via LaLole Blog|
|via The Lawrence Girls|
Be still my beating heart! A reading tent. I feel like if I had one of these in my youth I would have read a lot more actual books and a lot less Coles Notes.
|via Little Hell Raiser|
A closet full of books for hiding out and reading the night away.
Uh. I’d never come out of this tent. Look at it! It twinkles!
|via Tip Junkie|
This little lit-up nook perks up a regular bunk bed. And the curtains are a nice touch too.
Or, quite simply, big pillows on the floor:
|Fabulous reading nook or sleepover area | via One Clair Day|
PLACES TO BE ARTSY & CRAFTY
This one has an art display area built-in, which I love.
|Flip-down kids’ art desk, for a small space | via Brit & Co. (Ana White)|
Great for those tight spaces and/or making use of an otherwise wasted wall.
|Discarded vanity turned art station | via Tatertots & Jello|
Upcycled furniture is right up my alley.
You don’t have to go out to buy an art table, just repurpose something you already have!
|Full Tutorial at this link: via Martha Stewart|
Or make a simple one with storage included, like this one from Martha Stewart.
|via Treefall Design|
This table is nice and low for the kidlets. Real cute.
Man, I wish my desk was this cool! It’s all about having all the supplies within arm’s reach.
I just love the idea of anything self-serve for kids. (Except maybe powertools and cleaning products…) 😉
|Dual crafting station or homework desks | via Angel Campbell|
Crafting (or homeworking) for two please. Clever idea. I’m thinking one side of the bookcase has shelves and the other can have a bulletin board.
PLACES TO SLEEP & DREAM
Ahhh, the bedroom. My favorite room in the house.
|Absolute Genius!! | via imgfave|
Made from tube Christmas lights! If you want to try making something like this, here is an example of flexible tube lights from Amazon:
(Tip: One thing to keep in mind would be to look for “warm white” rather than regular cool-white LED’s as they can be quite cold-looking, a bit like office neons.)
And while we’re on the subject of string lights, this is also brilliant:
String lights tacked under the bathroom counter = easy nightlight.
And now, back to bedrooms!
Doesn’t this little girl’s room just make you want to lie on the floor and have a giggle-fest? It’s so warm and inviting – and what stands out for me is that everything is l-o-w… just perfect for this little darling:
|via Turbulences Deco|
The thing is this: kids’ bedrooms are an entire post unto themselves… which I’m working on now. So more on those shortly.
But before we move on from bedrooms, check this out:
|via Polka Dot Chair|
Spray-paint an ordinary mailbox and hang it outside (or inside) your kids’ bedrooms. Leave them little notes, any mail they get, some treats, etc. They can also hang their backpack and coat on the hooks… Genius.
Doesn’t have to be in the bedroom, either!
PLACES TO HIDE & MAKE BELIEVE
|| via Hawthorne Threads|
Playhouse slipcover for a small table. If only I was any good at sewing.
|| via Dot Coms for Moms|
A little house in that space under the stairs. Is this not just so adorable? It’s the shingles and carriage light that make this so real.
|Hidden Room Through an Armoire | via Apartment Therapy|
This makes me think of when the kids go through the armoire and end up in Narnia. My imagination would have gone ba-na-nas when I was a kid. Heck, it still would today.
Just think of all those abandoned armoires you see at the thrift shop that make you think, what the heck would I put in there?
A lost world, that’s what.
PLACES TO PLAY & EXPLORE
If you have a whole room to devote to play time, you’ve got something golden!
Playrooms are so much fun. Here are a bunch of really great ones:
|via Mrs. Boho|
I just want to lie on that plush grey rug and color in coloring books. Don’t you?
|via Fun at Home with Kids|
Hanging rings indoors? I cannot think of anything more fun. I also love that there’s absolutely nothing on the floor, everything is kid-height. These parents must have a PhD in Kid-ology.
P.S. Here’s another version of the Dream Big wall art on Etsy.
|via Red Online UK|
This excellent room is all about the colorful striped rug and chalkboard wall. The rug is from Ikea and if you’re lucky you can sometimes still find them for sale on Craigslist or Kijiji. It is called ‘Vemb’.
And if you have lots of stuff to put away in your play areas, how about this idea for box labels?
You can find free printable storage labels like this one right here.
DISPLAYING THEIR PRIZED STUFF
|Terrific idea from I Am Momma Hear Me Roar|
Wow, blow-ups of a kid’s absolute favorite toys? Genius. So simple and yet so personalized — which for kids, means it’s super special. And I hear you can print giant black and white prints really inexpensively at Staples. Haven’t tried it yet, but plan to. Have you tried it? How did they turn out?
|| via Pottery Barn Kids|
A dinosaur collection gets a proper display above the bed.
|Toy Car Showcase Wall | via Thrive 360|
Or how about this next way, hung on a magnetic strip?
|via The Style Files|
INCORPORATING KIDS’ MASTERPIECES INTO EVERYDAY LIFE
Kid creations get a place of honor with these ideas:
|| via Real Simple|
Here in the kitchen, mixed in among beautiful photo portraits.
|| via Design Dazzle|
On a special multipurpose display chair-rail made from cork, chalkboards & magnetic boards.
|| via How Does She?|
In big frames right on the fridge.
|| via edit 423|
On a bulldog clip gallery wall, which makes for easy artwork rotation.
|via Mom 365|
A bit of kid art, a bit of word art, a bit of chalkboard… This is the best of all worlds. Way to make the most of an otherwise lost hallway wall!
|Frames, burlap and a bulldog clip | via Little Nanny Goat|
I’m working on my own take on these upcycled old frames as I write this! More on that soon.
|via Kiki’s List|
To make this type of display, just scan your children’s artwork and print it in a smaller size, then frame it in a simple grid. This one shows 5 rows x 5 columns of artwork so it looks even and tidy.
Or, when it’s all said and done and time to take it all down, you can turn it into a book:
|Scanned artwork book | via Zig and Zag|
Cause sometimes you’re just not ready to part with it forever.
FEATURING THEIR NAME
What kid doesn’t get excited seeing their name on something? Get a load of these BIG ideas…
|Personalized bookcase | via The Kids’ Window|
Although you’ll need lots of shelves for a Charlotte or a Sebastian 😉
With letters from Michael’s available in so many shapes and sizes, you can totally DIY this.
|Giant letters | via Pottery Barn Kids|
How cool is the way the name Jack is done in a corner? They had a window in the way of putting the name over the bed, so they got creative. Really neat.
|Huge Monogram | via Decor Chick|
The cool thing is, monograms never go out of style so this can be something your little one hangs onto for many, many years. Equally cool in a baby nursery or in a dorm room.
IN THE KITCHEN
|Magnetized cups | via Dana Made It|
Magnets glued on cups means everyone has their own, and it’s always on the fridge!
One word: brilliant. No more half-drunk glasses and sippy cups all over the place? That’s just goodness wrapped in bacon wrapped in awesomeness.
Why not go one step further and add names on those cups?
|Self-serve station for snacks and lunches | via Family Circle|
Allocate a few low pantry shelves solely for your kids’ go-to favorites, repackaged in clear containers. To make packing lunch easier, divide large bags of snacks single-serving containers. Storing unbreakable snack bowls right on the spot just adds to the genius.
Repeat after me: autonomy is a good thing.
Here’s another twist on the idea, where items are sorted by type:
|Self-serve lunch station | via Canadian Free Stuff|
I’m doing this for certain. This is so clever.
HANGING SWEET & KID-FRIENDLY WORD ART
|via Technology Rocks. Seriously|
This Dad illustrates stuff he’s had to say to his kids and I love it:
|Hilarious. | via 22 Words|
Ha ha, the look on the penguin’s face just cracks me up!
Or better yet, how about some art made from things the kids have said?
|via Stitch Craft Creations|
You smell that? That’s the smell of another project coming on.
IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Of course a treehouse/playhouse of any description and tire swings are totally amazing and make for great imaginative play and childhood memories.
But here are some more equally cool ideas for the backyard:
|Gigantic Lawn Scrabble | via Constantly Lovestruck|
Want to play. Now.
|Giant Outdoor Blackboard | via Project Denneler|
Want to color. Now. (The link under the photo shows how they did this)
|Old boat sandbox | via Design Empire|
Want to… Well you get it.
|Hula-hoop hideout | via Alanna George|
|Shade and Sand – a winning combination for hours of fun 😉 | via Apartment Therapy|
EMBRACING THE SILLY
My rule is: any time you can have a laugh, or some small thing amuses you (or your kids, of course!) work it in. Life is too short to be serious!
|DIY Dino toothbrush holder | via All This for Them|
|Pug Wallpaper | via My Pug Obsession|
In fact, here’s some silly artwork we have up in our home. (It actually puts me in a happy mood each and every time I see it.)
|Bird in a pearl necklace @ ZenShmen!|
|Deer wearing gym socks @ ZenShmen!|
HONORING THEIR GREATEST LOVES
While I don’t really dig all-out “theme rooms”, I do like incorporating little details of what the kidlets love. Here are a few cool ideas:
|Make this with a Sharpie!|
The dark side. The light side. It’s not every day we see a funny switchplate.
|Princess silhouettes | via Etsy|
Another way to do silhouettes of just about anything, really, is to:
- 1 :: Google a silhouette image of something your little one likes (horse! lion! train!)
- 2 :: Print it on colored paper, and
- 3 :: Cut it out and frame it.
|Superhero bookends | via Inspiration Feed|
Superhero bookends? Super cool.
|Astronaut Bedding | via Snurk|
I mean come on. This is just the coolest.
They also make other adorable duvet covers featuring a princess, a ballet dancer, a firefighter and a pirate among others! You’ve got to see them!
USING COLOR FEARLESSLY
|Washi Tape Wall | via Ann Kelle|
Oh how I love washi tape! This is so fun and easy to do. You can even do something simpler like a row or two of color up around the door frame and windows. Or try a non-permanent gallery wall by making a washi tape box around artwork and photos!
Find Tons of Washi Tape! right here!
|Color Pop Bookcases | via Channel 4|
Colors tend to pop really well against very light (i.e. white) or quite dark walls. We’re rocking charcoal grey at our house and everything colorful comes out so nicely on it.
|Why not make a colorful crate wall in a bedroom or playroom? | via Flickr|
I’d personally do a wall where the crates are tighter together, in more of a straight grid, but the colors are undeniably wonderful and cheerful.
|just lovely | via Skonahem|
This is just dreamy. And there’s that colorful Ikea Vemb rug again! The bunting is just so happy. Notice all the color but the room itself is white.
|Cheerful Storage | via The Mother Huddle|
The first reaction I had when I saw this was, ‘my kids would never keep their toys that organized!’, but in fact the post (linked above at The Mother Huddle) is about cutting down on toys.
|via Apartment Therapy|
Um, wow. I want to make a hallway like this like, right now.
The type of vinyl tape needed for a flooring project like this is the specialty kind they use to mark gym floors in schools.
|Amazingly fun Circus-Tent Ceiling Stripes | via My Lovely Things|
Ok, it’s decided. If I ever live in a house with a ceiling like this, I’m painting happy circus stripes!
BONUS: KID-FRIENDLY CAR
|via My Thirty One|
Try hanging a travel makeup case behind the front seats for little toys, snacks and books — man, this is so clever.
Update: I tried the travel makeup case trick, but I got one where the zippers of each compartment come all the way down the sides, so when they’re unzipped everything falls out. (Which of course means that everything is permanently out.) So do keep your eyes peeled for compartments that don’t open all the way and can actually contain little goodies even when unzipped.
Or try just a basket with a strap, like this:
Or, if you are very motivated and/or spend LOTS of time in your car, load it up to the gills with everything you could possibly need and you will trek way less stuff back and forth in bags:
|via Lookie What I Did|
Oh, and one more thing:
Last but not least, you should have definitely a kid-friendly emergency kit at home! This one was devised by a pediatrician mom, and at the link above she walks you through it step by step.
|Kid-friendly Emergency Kit | via Parents|