Children want to have fun. And they need to be in an environment which enables them to do so. This is true, whether it is at home or on family vacation in a hotel or at a resort.
So, in what ways can a kid’s or children’s room be designed and painted that will create a great fun, and safe, atmosphere? While also keeping a child from becoming bored?
Here are some essential ingredients to liven up a kid’s or children’s room:
* Use multiple bright paint colors on the walls, ones shown to have a calming effect on children.
Examples: Sky Blue, Kelly Green, Hot Pink, Sun Yellow.
* Hang pictures of cartoon characters, action heroes and sports figures on the walls adjacent to the child’s bed.
Examples: Curious George, Pokémon, Hernandez.
* Create an area in the room, where children can draw and express themselves, and you can still protect the surfaces from damage.
Example: Dry erase board.
I have found that children tend to draw on anything within their reach.
* Install simple games, which are fixed to a surface, and have few small pieces that can get lost.
* Create an interactive character window, where children can play act and be photographed as some famous person, or cartoon character.
Examples: Mickey Mouse, cowboy, astronaut.
Designing the space is not enough!
What types of paint or finishes are formulated to hold up the best under the energy of children? I recommend the following:
* Ease of washing and abrasion resistant: Gloss enamel or gloss acrylic latex. Either is the best choice when considering ease of workability.
* Superior durability: Gloss epoxy. Notes: This product is more difficult to work with; and the odor can be overwhelming.
* Wood as the finished material/surface: Satin varnish, or polyurethane clear finish is the most suitable choice.
* Hand-painted murals as part of decor: Use sign painter enamel finishes; then a protective clear coat to ensure a lasting quality.
Making a children’s room a fun place is hardly new.
To make it happen, the approach involves one or more creative adults, and/or talented teens.
There is one prerequisite, really, to get started: Ask the children! Usually, they have definite opinions about what makes for a fun environment. Including in their bedrooms. And, they know how to bring that fun environment idea to life!
Use lots of color! The more the better. Add some unbridled artistic talent, too.
Painting for kids can be great fun.
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Two KidSuite-Children’s Room True Tales:
1. Two children had gotten very creative in their KidSuite. On two walls, they had drawn and painted in favorite cartoon animals: Curious George, Dinosaur Rex, Rolo the Dog, etc. Over half of the “filling-in” had been done with permanent markers. (Artistically, the 1st grader and preschooler did a great job!)
I used a soft scrub sponge to gently clean the surface with mild sudsy soap and warm water. After the family checked out two days later, I went back and used a “kids-safe” and odor-free latex paint to repaint the entire KidSuite.
Less than a month later, the walls in the same KidSuite had to be scrubbed again, and repainted. Three children, one only age three, had gotten super creative. With a large set of permanent markers, they had “painted” a “mural” along the walls, across bed frames, over the TV-dresser console, etc.
The children were very funny, and lovable. But way too creative and energetic to be holed up, on a rainy day, with nothing to do.
2. A Cocoa Beach hotel engineer told me about this problem, while his department was still trying to resolve it…
Here’s what the housekeepers, and painter, found when they entered a vacated family suite. Crayolas, permanent markers, paints, colored pencils, colored chalk, and make-up had been used to draw and paint on nearly every surface in the children’s sleeping area, and one-half bath. Also, on two walls in the main sitting area.
The painter and an engineering tech worked on the area an entire day with minimal luck. The engineer asked me for suggestions to deter “future creative repeats at this level…” I suggested either of the following:
- washable, wood-look wall paneling, or
- washable, wrap-around kids paint-it mural, or activity paper.
Children hotel guests do not set out to damage room/suite walls, furniture, etc. They set out to have lots of fun. To entertain themselves. To get unbored.
Children’s hotel rooms and KidSuites need to make room for their energy, creativity, and curiosity.
And, the people who operate, clean, paint, and maintain these “special-guest” rooms and suites might want to explore – and install – more user-friendly surfaces!
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Children are people, too! So were we adults when we were their ages.
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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”