Kid’s Furniture For The Little Brain
A child’s formative years –from birth up to the age of five –are crucial to their development. Parents invest in educational games and toys to promote their child’s brain activity. Recently though, pediatricians have emphasized just how important a child’s free play and unscheduled activities are as well. This means that the things a child sees and touches while on his or her own are very important to his or her learning progress. This means that devoted parents now have something else to keep in mind: furniture. The idea is to fill a child’s room with interactive furniture that will encourage the child to explore its shapes and textures or replacing typical shapes with abnormal or unusual ones to spark creativity and help a child think outside the box.
PLAY +, an Italian furniture line has focused on “…the conviction that an environment for children should not be considered merely a ‘backdrop’ to a series of activities…but, rather, a protagonist in the construction of the identity of each child…” (ZPZ Partners, www.playpiu.it). They include everything from chairs to hiding spots for growing minds.
The designers’ strategies are aimed at fortifying the learning of essential functions in the child, and most importantly, doing this in a way that engages the child. In other words, your tiny tot has fun while learning.
Armed with these visual and conceptual pointers, inspiration can be drawn from these designers while implementing two of the things the modern parent can’t overlook: accessibility and budget.
IKEA, not surprisingly, offers some interesting additions for children of all ages. Kids love swinging and hanging off things, and the joy from playing with gravity is something most adults can remember even years after they’ve outgrown the tire swings! IKEA offers two hanging seats – an obvious luxury in a child’s world – to expand the child’s motor skills while being, well, just plain fun. The EKKORE (light grey polyester) swing provides some privacy, while the IKEA PS SWINGA (blue weaving) is recommended for older children, and has a more sleek design perfect even for little fashionistas. (ikea.com)
Rocking chairs also improve motor skills and general coordination. So, if your little one isn’t tempted by a swinging seat, the bear themed rocking chair from Kids Chair World (kidschairworld.com) should pique their interest! The chair even comes with a detachable cushion secured with Velcro. Kids Chair World also offers the standard rocking chair by Kidkraft in bright red, adding exciting vibrancy to any child’s bedroom.
When it comes to covering the floor, why not combine practicality with fun? This 100% wool soccer rug from A Kids Corner (akidscorner.com) includes finger puppets, goal nets and a mini soccer ball that promotes interaction while developing hand-eye coordination.
Even simple furniture additions like coat hangers can be made more interesting and eye-catching. A deer coat hanger from IKEA also serves the purpose of introducing a young child to new shapes and curves as well as the concept of asymmetry.
Finally, organization shouldn’t be overlooked when creating an original space. A toy treasure chest from IKEA (ikea.com) is a roomy storage solution with a soft felt lock the little hands will need to unhook to open. The book case carousel by Guidecraft (allchildrensfurniture.com) can be fully spun for easier access to books and its novel shape and rotating concept are another way to add pizzazz to the every day necessities.
Finally, for the DIY savvy parents there’s a way to literally transform a room into an interactive experience. Dornob (dornob.com) recently featured an indoor tree house that is inarguably the coolest room a kid could have, and the best part (aside from the actual tree house) is that your child can help make it, picking and painting the colours onto the walls.
Finding something creative within each furniture piece will keep a child interested in the item longer, making it a wonderful investment both for the pocketbook and the mind!
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