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Bunk Beds & Beyond: Bedrooms for Two

Are your children sharing a bedroom? There are many advantages to lodging siblings in one room: The arrangement teaches them how to share, how to compromise, and also how to be assertive when need be. Moreover, it teaches your children how to be mindful and respectful of each other’s property. When it comes to furnishing and decorating, however, you have to remain mindful of the smaller amount of space you have to work with. While you want your children to learn how to share space, you don’t want them stepping over each other’s toes. Read on for some tips on how to furnish and design a visually appealing shared bedroom while conserving space:

Bunk them.

Buy a pair of bunk beds and stand them in one corner of the room. Bunk beds free up a lot of floor room, providing an ample play area for your children. You can add even more compactness by buying a bunk bed with a chest of drawers or a cubbyhole shelf built into the side — extra storage that doesn’t take up any extra square feet. With bunk beds, the interior decor can be as plain or wild as you and your children want — buy elegant wooden bunk beds and decorate with a soft palette or go all-out and create a splashy themed room. Bunk beds can lend the structure to some wonderfully whimsical ideas, like this ‘playground’ bunk bed from CedarWorks, which includes detachable slides. Other themed rooms on Pinterest feature two-level mock houses and mock tree forts.
Bunk beds (Miguel Andrade Wikimedia Commons)

A new twist on an old idea.

Instead of facing the bunk beds in the same direction, you could also try placing them perpendicular to one another. This creates a different design look which opens up new possibilities. You can use the space freed up under the top bunk for a chest of drawers, a small play area, or both. When your children get older, you could also put a desk or a file cabinet in that space for school purposes.

Keep them separated.

If you and your children aren’t keen on the idea of bunk beds, you can keep the bed separate while still maximizing floor space. Put the two beds on risers and install drawers or cubbies beneath each bed, or buy two beds with bottom storage space already built-in. With the storage space underneath the beds, you don’t need to waste any square feet on an extra chest of drawers. Lastly, consider getting a floor rug that helps serve as a natural dividing line, like in this room featured in Homes and Gardens, to help your children minimize any sibling disagreements over floor space.
Perpendicular bunk beds (nooshloves)

Bedtime Kiddie Quandaries and Their Solutions

As a toddler, your child is more mobile, more active, and more of his or her own person than ever before. She is ‘finding her feet,’ both literally and metaphorically speaking. So it’s not too surprising to find that when 8:30 rolls around, your toddler rebels against bedtime.

A sleeping toddler. (Vannessa Q, Wikimedia Commons).

 A toddler looking at a baby book (Jon Mick, Wikimedia Commons).

You may find that your toddler makes request after request to stave off the inevitable lights-out — ‘one more book, Mommy,’ or ‘one more glass of milk, Daddy,’ or ‘there are monsters in my closet, can I watch TV for just a little longer?’ But of course, the more excuses he makes, the later he goes to bed and the grouchier he will be in the morning. So how can you avoid his sleepytime stubbornness? Here are some tried and true techniques:

Stick to a routine. Set a solid bedtime, be sure to stick to it, and don’t let your child forget that he has a deadline. Remind him what time ‘bedtime’ is after dinner, and keep gently reminding him as he brushes his teeth, takes a bath, and gets into his pajamas. By sticking to a routine bedtime each night, you give your toddler structure. He will know what to expect and will also recognize that there’s not a whole lot of wiggle room when it comes to bedtime.

Empower you child. She’s pushing for more independence – so yield when you can. Allow her to make as many bedtime choices as possible; like what book she wants to read before lights out, how many pillows she wants to sleep with, whether she wants to wear the Mickey Mouse pajamas or the Snow White ones, or if she’d like an extra blanket over her comforter. According to Parents magazine writer Allison Winn, the trick is to offer your child two alternatives which are both acceptable to you and give her some autonomy. Winn explains that you don’t want to ask your child, ‘do you want to go to bed now?’ After all, if your child says ‘no,’ then you have a potential dilemma on your hands. Instead, ask something like ‘do you want to go to bed now or in five minutes?’ No matter what decision she takes, you’ve got her cornered — whether it’s now or in five minutes, she’s going to bed at any rate.

A ‘big kid’ bed means you get a ‘big kid’ bedtime. After age three, your child has likely outgrown her crib and is setling into her new bed. Use this moment as an opportunity to tell her that a part of getting older is learning how to sleep on your own when bedtime rolls around. Encourage and praise her whenever she stays put in her bed. If she can’t resist the urge to go wandering after lights-out, gently take back to bed, tell her that it’s time to sleep, and leave – don’t linger. Above all, show your child that a big kid bed comes with a big kid responsibility – that is, going to bed at a reasonable hour and getting a good night’s sleep.

3 Great Costume Ideas Using Old Bed Sheets

While most of the little boys in our neighborhood wanted to be superheroes for Halloween, my son wanted to dress as his favorite fruit: grapes. After driving to several costume retailers and not being able to find what we were looking for, I decided it was time to seek alternative options. I researched homemade costumes and found an array of cheap and simple methods of creating my sons look as well as many others. Utilizing some old beds sheets and a couple of other materials, I was able to create a fantastic bushel of grapes. Not only did my homemade creation earn me some extra cool points with my little one, but I was able to save lots of money as well.

Dressing up is one of the best aspects of Halloween, however, it can also be one of the most wasteful. Every year, millions of parents purchase ready-made-costumes for their children. Their costume is usually worn one time then it’s cast aside. Instead of purchasing another costume, join me and get creative. With minimal materials, you can easily make some of the most unique and fun Halloween outfits for your children. It’s okay if you don’t know where to start as I have included 3 costume ideas you can make just by using some old bed sheets.

1. Grape Costume

Photo Courtesy of Coolest Homemade Costumes

You will need:

  • A purple or green sheet
  • A pack of purple or green balloons
  • Safety pins
  • A piece of green felt
  • A stocking cap
  • Scissors

Instructions:

First, take your scissors and cut out a hole from the sheet for your child’s head. Next, fashion sleeves out of the sheet and fasten them together with the safety pins. Now blow up balloons, and begin fastening the edge of them all over the sheet until no empty space remains. Finally, cut leaf shapes out of the felt and fasten them to the stocking cap. Now your child’s costume is complete.

2. Mummy Costume

You will need:

  • A white sheet
  • Scissors

Instructions:

With your scissors, begin cutting a variety of strips to accommodate all the different parts of your child’s body. Once you have cut all your strips, begin wrapping them around your child. Voila, you child is a mummy.

3. Greek or Roman

You will need:

  • A white sheet
  • A gold rope or belt

Instructions:

Fold the sheet in the middle, and place the folded part over your child’s shoulder. Open the ends of the sheet to wrap around your child’s body. The neckline can be as low or high as you’d like. Just remember that draping is the key. A gold rope or belt can be used to secure the sheet at the waist.

Making Your Little Girl’s Dream Room

Has your daughter outgrown her room décor? I know it’s fun to decorate your little girl’s room with Disney or cartoon characters, but as your daughter gets closer to her pre-teen or teenage years cartoons and princesses just doesn’t work anymore.

How can you create a décor that suits your daughter and lets her grown into her own space? Follow these trends:

Bright colors in combination – Don’t be a afraid to experiment with colors – greens, blues, purples, oranges, and yellow. Consider painting stripes or alternating walls. Keep the furniture simple – plain white, and add color with sheets and comforters.

Go Parisian – What’s more sophisticated than a Parisian bedroom. Use alternating stripes of white and pink paint on the wall, with lots of pictures of French landmarks. Add frilly pillows and bed skirts with lots of extra throw pillows – of all colors.
Trendy Toile – Toile is an incredibly popular fabric. Toile is a repeating scene of one color against a white background. These fabrics are a little busy, but are great accents when used with plain white sheets or comforters. Add embroidered or eyelet white bed skirts for an elegant look.
It’s time to give your daughter a space that lets her feel a little bit grown up, while still letting her be a kid. These styles make for a great girls bedroom.