January 2018

Kids love colour. When kids are surrounded by colour, they are opened up to a brilliant, vibrant world. But so many of us are afraid of colour, and fearful of making the wrong choices. {This was me, only five years ago!} Keep reading to learn 10 easy and stylish ways to bring colour into your kid’s space.

Via Lonny

While monochrome is definitely a big trend right now, I have a hard time believing that any child would want to play + live in a black and white world, don’t you? In fact, recent research cautions against an underuse of colour, explaining that colourless interior spaces can be stressful and nonproductive. In other words, an environment with a lack of colour may be as harmful as one that is over-stimulating (Gaines and Curry, 2011). Some studies have shown that active children prefer cool colours and passive children are more comfortable surrounded by warm colours (Torrice and Logrippo, 1989). Further studies (Morton, 1995) argue that the purity and contrast with other colours is more important than colour temperature. In other words, how we use those colours in relation to one another is a very important consideration in predicting its psychological and physiological effect on kids.

Via Project Nursery

 So how much is too much, and how do we weave colour into the environment without overwhelming our kids’ senses?

playroom brillante

I didn’t always embrace colour (remember my a colour-phobia story?), but I now consider myself to be fearless in the face of colour. When chosen thoughtfully, and in balance, colour has the potential to brighten + transform any space. My signature style is a neutral white wall, and pops of colour (that term is so overused) woven throughout the space {in moderation}, and in various forms. The one rule when bringing colour to kids’ spaces: balance. Painting an accent wall or adding wallcovering can be fun, but it is not the only way.  In fact, bringing colour into your kids’ space without permanence is easier than you think.

Here are some manageable ideas to integrate colour stylishly into your child’s space:

1. Art

A wonderful + authentic way to weave colour in to your child’s space is with her ARTWORK! If she has created something really special – at school, home or art class, frame it in a simple white frame, and let the colours in the composition do the talking! Here are some wonderful examples of art bringing in colour on a neutral wall:

Via The Imagination Tree

Look at how beautifully Anna from The Imagination Tree does this in her kids’ studio! Isn’t it brilliant? Just simple white frames, with lots of colour, letting the art tell the children’s story.

These colourful masks are a permanent fixture in our playroom, and are such a vibrant representation of the creativity and fun that goes on in this space

I love how cleverly Jennifer Jones of iHeartOrganizing.com transformed some old kitchen cupboards into the perfect white backdrop for her children’s colourful compositions?

Via iHeartOrganizing

I love how Joy from Mondocherry created a sense of peace and serenity by grouping monochromatic paintings in her child’s playroom. So lovely and calming.

Via Mondocherry

2. Seating

Play tables have never been so stylish + functional, and now many come in various hues + finishes. Here are a few of my favourites:

Via AllModern

Via: AllModern

Via Sprout

3. Rugs

Rugs are a great way to bring in colour AND texture, and help to soften up the space {AND dampen the play noise}. If you child loves to spend time on the floor, a rug makes the space much more inviting. However, if your space is a haven for wet art – a rug may not be the best option.  I love FLOR because of the modular floor tiles that can be switched out and washed if they get dirty. Their colour and pattern options are endless, they have a no-skid back, and their pile is low enough that children can build block towers that won’t tip over because of a wiggly base (like with some higher-pile rugs).

IKEA also has great ever-changing options, and if you’re working within a more modest budget, this is definitely the way to go!

Source: IKEAHalved $149

Boucherouite rugs (traditionally woven with leftover bits of colourful textiles) are having a big moment right now, and I love how they add a delicious pop of colour into your child’s space.

boucherouite rug

Via Baba Souk

Via Project Nursery Source: Land of Nod, from $347.13

4. Toys 

Children’s toys are full of colour. Why not display some of the more beautiful wooden kind {I especially love the vintage variety!} Display some of your nicer colourful toys on open shelves – just a selection, not a whole mish-mosh!

I just love how Lucy Interior Design used the built-in millwork to show off some fun toys!

Via Decorpad

Another example of a thoughtful selection of toys on display on this Oeuf Mini Library shelf, via Pinterest. While I definitely believe that “Less is More,” I also recognize that kids have A LOT of toys. Instead of having them all out on shelves, try putting the more open-ended kinds out {these also happen to often be the most pretty}. Throw the Barbies, superheroes and action figures into baskets.

Via Pinterest

5. Baskets

Woven baskets in all the colours of the rainbow? Yes please! While I love a neutral woven basket in jute, sisal or seagrass, colourful baskets can be so much fun!

I simply love the creative use of these totes to hang sheet music & other piano paraphernalia.

Via Architectural Digest

And look at these gorgeous woven baskets to store toys in this learning space? The texture and colour are so inviting, and make me want to linger and explore!

Via Pinterest

How fun are these multi-coloured sisal containers? Perfect for throwing kids’ stuffies or Lego into!

Via Pinterest

6. Art media

In Reggio-inspired environments, art media are stored in glass jars. The reason for this is two-fold: first, glass lets the light and colour shine through {light is a very important design consideration in Reggio}. Second, kids can “read” the media that are housed within, and are therefore capable of making independent choices about which materials to select. Colourful art supplies are so enticing when children can actually see them! Here are a few examples of how I like to display art materials that are within reach for kids:

7. Pendant Lights / Floor Lamps

Lighting has come a LONG way, and options are virtually endless when it comes to pendant shades and cord colours. Target, Homesense, Homegoods and even Walmart now carry a wide variety of colourful lamps. While wiring a pendant light requires the expertise of an electrician, table lamps and floor lamps provide warm ambience to kids’ spaces and an additional pop of colour.

I just love the play on shape and colour with these fun pendants!

Via Hem

And how about these beautiful woven pendants styled by Live Loud Girl?

Via Live Loud Girl

Or these two-toned drum pendants with colour-infused cords?

Via Quirk

Here is a concept board I created for a client with colourful pops of orange, repeated with the floor lamp.

8. Poufs, pillows, floor cushions, bean bag chairs

I am a big fan of flexible seating in play spaces and classrooms. Think of a space you enjoy hanging out. It’s probably inviting and comfortable. Poufs, pillows and floor cushions offer versatility and choice, and in my opinion, can provide the BEST source for colour and texture. I love these colourful  cushions from IKEA’s new JASSA collection, and Etsy offers a plethora of patterns and sizes to choose from {you do the stuffing at home!}

Via IKEA

Fatboy has become my all-time favourite beanbag chair because of the selection of colour, as well as the durability and washability factor.

Or how about these vibrant knitted poufs from Surya? So fun, right?

Via Surya

And this multicoloured, multitextured pouf from Plumo?

colourful pouf

Via Handmade Charlotte

9. Books

Children’s books are a GREAT way to bring in colour and interest into a space. There are SO many beautiful books out there that also happen to be great stories {sure, there are some that look great on the shelf, but the story is nothing of substance}. Choosing good kid lit is a bit of an art in itself, but there are plenty of great resources out there to help you {like here, and here, and here}. I love to display children’s books on picture ledges or  acrylic bookshelves. When books are forward-facing, children are naturally more drawn in to choose a book to read.

acrylic book shelf

Via Sissy + Marley

10. Collections

Collections are a great way to bring souvenirs and mementos to life, and to bring colour in. When grouped together, they look so interesting and always tell a story. In design, this is the principle of repetition, and repetition always adds visual interest to a space.

Locally made handmade dolls showcase colourful patterns and textures that are irresistible to little ones. Display them in baskets or on  shelves.

Here is our collection of handmade Mexican felt giraffes: a wonderful memento of family vacations past.

There are so many inexpensive and non-permanent ways to bring colour into our environment. Colour has enormous impact in the space that surrounds us, and has the power to alter our mood from dull to dramatic, from boring to cheerful.  The one rule? In balance. All colours are beautiful: in moderation. I can guarantee your kids love colour. But tell me, do YOU? And are you ready to start embracing colour in your child’s space?  Tell me: Are you a colour-fiend or colour-phoebe?

References

Gaines, K. and Curry, Z. (2011). The Inclusive Classroom: The Effects of Color on Learning and Behavior. Journal of Family & Consumer Sciences Education, 29(1).

Morton, J. (1995). Color Matters. Retrieved from http://www.colormatters.com.

Torrice, A F., Logrippo, R. (1989). In my Room: Designing for and with Children. New York: Ballantine Books.

Creative Ideas for Learning with Holiday Photo Cards

04 Jan 2018, Posted by alanacherneck_0 in Uncategorized

If you’re like me, and you’re starting to climb out of the “Holiday Aftermath” of stuff… you probably have a collection of holiday photo cards from family and friends.

holiday photo cards

 

And if you’re also like me, it sort of breaks your heart to throw these away {or recycle them!}

Today, I’m sharing the create way we up-cycle these holiday photo cards into fun learning experiences for the girls.

 

holiday cards

Step 1

Have your child cut out the pictures of familiar friends and family. Talk about who is in the pictures, and share special memories you may have about them.

 

holiday photo cards

Step 2


Attach the photos to wooden popsicle sticks.

holiday art

Step 3

Make a puppet show.  Outline your story with a beginning, middle and end. Simple is good!

 

 

Here’s one of ours: 

“Daniel was sad. He had no one to play with.”

“Sam noticed that Daniel was sad. He said: “Daniel, do you want to play with me?”

“Daniel said ‘sure!’ And the two of them ran off to play with their light sabres.

You can also use the puppets to share ideas for conflict resolution.  Simply make up a scenario that has occurred in your home, and have your kids think of possible solutions to the problem.

 

creative ideas for holiday photo cards

 

A story about sharing:

Jennifer was so excited! She got a new toy for her birthday.

“Look, I got a new toy today! I’m so excited to play with it!”

Andy was jealous. He wanted a new toy. He grabbed her toy. 

Jennifer got VERY mad. She started to cry.

What can Jennifer do to solve her problem?

 

You don’t have to look very far to get good material for simple stories! Just think about the last problem your children had a hard time working through. Dramatizing the story makes it fun and meaningful for the kids, and gives them strategies for how to work through issues going forward.

You can also attach the pictures to magnetic stickers (Dollar store). We use these “magnets” for math story problems, using tiny objects as concrete manipulatives.

 

holiday card magnets

 

Olivia had six presents. She gave three to Baxter. How many does Olivia have now?

I hope you enjoy these ideas on ways to up-cycle those holiday cards! Your kids will love to see familiar faces as they explore math and language in meaningful, fun ways!

 

*P.S. If you’re in PURGE mode, like me, I will be running a FREE 5-Day Playroom Purge Challenge. Are you on board? Sign up below!

Playroom Purge

playroom purge