Toy Blog - Toys, Parenting, and Kids

Make Your Home Into An Art Gallery

If you spend any significant amount of time around children, you are most likely going to be the proud recipient of a handmade gift: a picture of a house, some stick people or another treasure.  And, if you keep these creations, you are probably going to end up with enough artwork to wallpaper the living room within a matter of weeks.  Children love to create, and they love to create when you love to display it.  So, make their artwork into something fabulous with these simple steps.

Find a variety of open frames.  Look at craft stores and discount stores, as well as yard sales and resale shops.  You do not need glass; just a nice sized frame that can be hung on a nail on the wall.  Wooden ones are best; you can spray paint them a uniform color such as gold or black.  Also, look for a variation in sizes and shapes, but make sure they are a good size for a child’s work of art to fit inside.

Next, hang your frames (empty) on a wall.  This can be a hallway, a room, or wherever you want to display works of art.  It is best to keep the frames grouped together, although you can spread them throughout your home as well.  If you want to take it a step further, you may back the area inside the frame with felt or another material, or you can even paint the wall inside the frame a nice contrasting color.

Now you are ready to display!  Place your child’s artwork in the frames, and display as long as you or they would like.  When new artwork comes home, change them out.  Rotate them among the seasons.  And be sure to show the pieces off to any visitors you have.  You will be giving your child a sense of pride and accomplishment, and you will have created an amazing conversation piece for your home, all on a shoestring budget!

Extreme Makeover – Kiddo Edition!

When I first started planning my older son’s decor, the themes available were quite limited.  I wanted something for his room that could carry him through his infant years and into elementary age (and possibly further).  Yet, it was difficult to find themes for him that weren’t too babyish and not too mature.

We decided on a transportation theme.  It was very “boy” and was something I could see staying with him for quite a number of years.  We had sheets with trains, planes and trucks on them.  His comforter was a solid color, but he had a traffic light bedside lamp, a tractor fan pull, a fire truck rocking chair, and a cute school bus rug. 

Then, my husband was transferred, and I was faced with redecorating yet another room.  This time, though, my son was older.  And, he had a few opinions of his own.  While the transportation theme had been cute, age-appropriate and fun, it wasn’t HIS.  He wanted to choose his own style, and my husband and I agreed.

His new room is a space theme.  He (and now his little brother) have handmade quilted comforters with planets, stars and rockets on them.  We painted his room a light navy and adhered glow-in-the-dark stars to the vaulted ceiling.  My son wanted the planets painted on a wall in his room, and while I was happy to oblige, I also wanted him to take ownership in his room.  So, I took artists’ canvas board and painted them to match the wall color.  Then, my son had a ball, painting his own planets on the canvas boards.  We hung them on the wall, and his room is now alive with rockets, stars and space toys.  He creates his own decorations from time to time, and he designed a space mobile that hangs in front of his window.

By allowing my son to take part in the transformation of his space, I have given him ownership and responsibility for it.  He takes great pride in showing everyone his own abilities, and he tends to be more careful with his belongings and furniture, especially since he helped pick it out.  Involving your child in a process such as this is a wonderful way to teach planning, budgeting, organization and ownership.  After all, your child has to live there, too – why not make it someplace they truly enjoy?

Wonderbrains has an amazing assortment of decorating themes for children.  Be sure to check out their products and suggestions.

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