Full disclosure: this picture is not one of my own children’s bedroom. So the assessment is unbiased and objective. I believe certain items are must haves in a little one’s bedroom so he/she can develop a healthy general curiosity about everything and start learning important life values and lessons, all while playing too. And when I saw this picture from my friend after they just moved in to their new house, I spotted a lot of, I believe, helpful (must have?) items parents can use to lead their children onto the path of knowledge, via a healthy balance of fun and educative experiences. I could not stop saying this is great, that too, and so that is, and that… So I thought I’d share the photo with you, list what I love about it, and ask for your thoughts on what should be in a “perfect” child’s bedroom?
I tried to make this a Top 5 items list, but no way, this bedroom is at least a Top 6 in my books! It has, and I love:
- Books! A big portion of that one wall captured here is dedicated to books, with lots of empty space to fill with more, as kids grow older. The earlier we get children interested in watching picture books, the more intuitive and real their interest will become. Some may say, start with toys. Sure, also, but I would argue that picture books are just like toys. Both Green Girl and Green Baby loved flipping through the pages themselves, watching the big patches of colors and hearing the simple stories, again and again. Also a great occasion for parents to spend quality time with their kids since until they learn how to read, there is no way around it with books… And isn’t that big rocket sticker on the wall the perfect visual way to suggest to… let the reading session take off (as my friend smartly put it to caption her photo)?!
- Bean bag alert! Or any other fun space where children can sit quietly in their own bedroom, close to their books, for as long as they want to. They will get into picking up a book without parents suggesting it if it becomes the occasion to sit comfortably for a session of some alone, quiet, relaxing time. They could also use this comfortable seat for any other activities requiring some concentration. So definitely a good item to have.
- The Earth globe… There are even two of them here. One seems to include a computer type of game, probably intended to help teach continents, countries, languages… A great way to keep the rest of the world in our children’s mind so they become aware of their surroundings early on. This might be obvious in small countries. But for bigger ones like the US, where visiting a different state can sometimes feel like being on a different planet, it may not be that intuitive to have a sense of foreign countries and the world in general. (Note to self: Find one asap). Another sign of openness to the rest of the world? That little Eiffel Tower on the top of the shelf. The owner of this bedroom likely knows what it is and where it comes from. A good starting point to share about other countries, famous places, cultural landmarks…
- Toys! Because well, kids need to be kids, so they need toys. I particularly like the wooden push toy for a young child (unless it is painted with lead paint, wood is a better option than plastic in terms of toxic chemicals offgassing) and the ball of course, to make sure they get a lot of exercise!! I suspect there are other interesting toys in the colored bins, and I absolutely believe they are a must. They teach kids to relax, have fun, think and strategize (check out that rubix cube!)… and how to share with siblings and friends!
- Easel with alphabet letters & numbers. The perfect tool to mix learn and play, fun and knowledge. Using magnetic colorful pieces is a nice option to alternate with tracing on a notebook and reading from an exercise book. The easel also encourages children to experiment: they can try to add up on their own, or write down their own words using the sound of each letter as a guide. This is a versatile item they can also use to draw, paint, or chalk write, depending on the options available.
- The piggy bank! I mentioned it before, I absolutely believe in teaching kids the value of money early on. And that obviously includes the concept of saving money!
Now you may wonder how it makes this bedroom a green-spirited one, or what this list has to do with green living? Well if you refer to the wide definition of being green from La Vie En Green, a lot! Like the idea of books being present in children’s life early on, because knowledge is power and we need to raise responsible citizens for tomorrow’s world. The fact that there isn’t an over abundance of plain, plastic, passive, press-the-button, light-flashing and talking types of toys (I don’t even see any actually) but rather smarter toys meant to keep kids alert and learning. That leads me to the ball, as a great toy to to have to teach children the essential need to care for their health and enjoy physical activity and sports in general from an early age… The easel, as a sharable medium to display what they are doing to others, or even better, create at 4 or more hands. A team-spirited mind and the love of partnering on projects may come in handy later in life. The piggy bank is a valuable symbol to help children grow into responsible grown ups who know the importance of preparing for the future vs spending all they have as they go, or worse, spending money they don’t have… Last but not least, getting a sense of the challenges our planet faces today starts with an awareness of the scale of the world, our world. That is the basis to develop a sense of responsibility in its caring, an interest in being part of its healing process…. One can pretty much add a green side to all 6 points noted above.
What do you think belong to children’s bedrooms and what age-specific items do you think are must haves?
Picture: Thank You to Claire for the inspiration!