Posts Tagged ‘children’s bedroom’


When my daughter was little, I was constantly cleaning the walls (okay, well not really, but I should have been). I know lots of mothers who had an entire arsenal of cleaning equipment, and spent a lot of time chasing down the messes, and researching the best way to get colored marker off the refrigerator door.

My (lazy?) solution was always to give my daughter places where she could paint or color, without me worrying, and without stifling her creativity. If it was sunny outside, I would put her in a bathing suit, and let her paint anywhere she wanted to. It didn’t matter if paint spilled, or if she went off the paper; she could add dirt and worms to her art, or paint the grass all day long if she wanted to.

Inside my house, I would use masking tape to outline several large shapes on the wall. She would color inside the tape, and when we peeled it off, she had drawn on the walls, and I had new artwork. Every few weeks I would paint over them, and give her new ones to fill in.

After a while, I wanted her to have more space, so, I used chalkboard paint on my walls. Admittedly, this may not be for the neatnik, or a clutter-free home (it will smudge, and can look quite messy) but it is still definitely one of my favorite options for children of all ages.

As life went on, the chalkboard wall was constantly used, but my daughter still needed actual paper to draw on. Most children want to draw or paint with messy abandon, and a small, neat piece of paper is not their preferred canvas. So, I decided to buy one of those giant rolls of newsprint paper that attach to the wall. She could tear off as much as she wanted (by herself, any time) draw anything at all (any size), and having unlimited sheets of paper gave her an immense feeling of freedom. (We would pin it across the wall afterwards, and she would marvel at the sheer size of what she had created).

Of course, I realize that not every home can be covered in chalkboard paint, and some parents may object to painted worms in the backyard, but there are other ways to keep your walls clean, and your child creative:

  • Consider using a bold, darker color in every room; it will look clean for a lot longer, won’t be as tempting as white, and unwanted drawings will just seem like abstract patterns on the wall.
  • Compromise, with a decorative and creative statement that you all can enjoy. This Picture Frame Wallpaper (above) by Graham & Brown is perfect for any room of the house (use a lot, or a little).
Honestly, no matter how much you try, children will always want to draw on walls; so why not give in, make up your own rules, and just let them…..

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I visited an Art room at school yesterday, and I didn’t want to leave; it was joyfully cluttered, over-flowing with activity, and it smelled of warm crayons. The Art teacher looked so comfortable in her paint-splattered smock, and she welcomed me with such a big smile, that it made me feel like a child again.

Our children’s lives are far more controlled now; school days start at 7:58am (not 7:59am, or you’ll get a tardy slip), they are allowed exactly 1 1/2 minutes to go to the bathroom, and they are driven to sports activities that mandate entire days to practice for a game that is, well, just a game…So, when I walked into this colorful room, it really made me smile.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that we all do our best, and we need rules, but we also need permission to be ourselves, at our own pace. The Art room is that place in school; a perfect oasis of mess, in a ridiculously formal environment.

It’s not just about creativity, it’s about having the freedom to discover what makes you tick, and not to be controlled all of the time. Children need to figure out who they are in-between the activities. Some crave organization, with straight, printed labels, and a place for everything, while others like to grow a mountain of stuff that crawls towards you when you open the door. Many want their favorite color from top to bottom, and others just want a place to play with toys or listen to music. (Strangely enough, they all seem to know where everything is).

I am a firm believer in…(click here to keep reading)


Wendy E. Wrzos http://www.thebluegiraffe.com

Photograph of a Girl on a Swing, by the talented designer, Kate Jackson

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