Welcoming a new addition to your family? What an exciting time! Here are some tips and fun ideas for a kids bedroom that can help them quickly feel at home. While this article focuses on adopted or foster kids, this article can help all families no matter what the situation is!
How to Set Up a Kids Bedroom
The arrival of a child into your home is a moment of great excitement and anticipation, but it’s also important to be sensitive to the sheer scale of change they are undergoing and to remain aware of how they are doing with the adjustment. It’s easy to want to shower them with direct love and affection, but it’s also important to remember the situation they are coming from and consider things like their emotional health and general wellbeing. Give them time to adjust and, above all, be patient.
A great way to start this relationship off on a high note while also establishing an immediate bond with the child is by cultivating the right environment prior to arrival. You can do this by:
- Use a soft color palette to promote a calm environment. Loud color palettes can overwhelm a child.
- Include only a few textures to help the child from becoming over stimulated. For example, simple window treatments, comforter set, decorations, and toys. Too many throw pillows, ornate window treatments, and lots of decor can over stimulate a child’s sensory abilities and cause them to shut down.
- Also consider leaving some space as a ‘blank canvas’ so the child can add his or her own identity to the space. For example, leave space on the nightstand or on a bookshelf where he/she can place items.
Most foster parents have been through the long and sometimes arduous process of home visits, training, and other hoops to jump through; at this point, parents are simply eager to begin modifying a space in their home for the pending new family member. This article jumps into a few more important things to consider during this process so you can create a welcoming environment.
Include The Essentials
The first step and most important element of this environment is something that can be easy to overlook: the essentials. This list includes things like bathroom items [toothbrush, toothpaste, hygiene items, etc.] and anything else required to fulfill the basic needs of a child. This will be a common theme of this article, but it can be smart to remain neutral when it comes to choosing design/style.
You make think that Barbie toothbrush is just too cute not to love, but you simply never know what your foster child will prefer. In this situation, it’s important to make them feel as stable as possible. Their world is currently being turned upside down, so a great way to bond can be to stay neutral initially. We like the idea of being neutral first and then taking them shopping for items that align with their personal preferences.
The same goes for another essential item: clothes. This foster care blog advises only purchasing a few, simple clothing items prior to your foster child’s arrival. That way you are still prepared but can allow them to have control over their new wardrobe. We’ve seen foster kids wearing shoes that are clearly falling apart or the wrong size, but those shoes were one of the only items they have from home. It can take time for a child to open up to new items, a full closet or dresser may be too intimidating at first.
Remain Neutral in Terms of Style & Decor
We hinted at this earlier, one of the most important pieces of advice we can give: remain neutral. If you’re painting the walls in anticipation, choose a soft, calming color that is neutral in scale. If the child arrives head-to-toe in bright pink clothing, announcing it proudly as their favorite color, then by all means begin to make adjustments. The key here is that this will be a room ready for any child to live in comfortably.
The same is true for bed sheets, curtains, and furniture. A race car bed might seem enticing if you’re dead-set on fostering or adopting a little boy, but it’s important to remember that little boy is a beautifully unique person and he might not love race cars. Again, this strategy also sets you up for some awesome shopping-bonding time: starting neutral and then customizing to match the child once they arrive.
Choose Books/Toys Carefully
It’s also important to be mindful when filling the shelves of your child’s room with toys or books. Select classic toys and books that are age appropriate. Be understanding that some children may be behind on reading or fine motor skills. Adding classics to a room can be more familiar to a child. We understand that sometimes parents do not receive much notice when a child needs to be placed in foster care. If that is the case for you, contact us. We are happy to go through our donations to help find a few books or toys that would be a good fit.
For a more general selection, check out this website of great books for kids.
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