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The “Now” Normal – Creating a flexible space for children Main Photo

The “Now” Normal – Creating a flexible space for children


Posted: July 08, 2020 by Cori Seraydarian

Upon reflection so much of our children’s days involved a place that was outside our home. School, play dates, sleepovers, vacation, shopping, parks…even during the summer when school was out most activities involved other places.

During this time your children are likely staying home instead of going to school or daycare, and it can be easy (and understandable) for everyone to feel overwhelmed. We are inundated with information and most articles speak about the “new normal”. As a parent we know that every day brings new changes as our kids grow. Taking things one day at a time is okay. Perhaps it is easier to think of the “now normal” and remain flexible to an ever changing situation.

Most kids (and adults) are comforted by routines. While it’s understandable to want to adapt the kids’ space to reflect the need for virtual learning, for entertainment and even for exercise all having to take place indoors, perhaps there is a way to make the room(s) suit a variety of purpose without tearing things apart completely. Instead of making the change feel permanent it might be better to think of the changes as shorter term.

Learning Space

If possible, it is a good idea to create “zones” within the room. A moveable bookcase between the bed and the desk cuts off the view of the bed while seated and clearly makes the desk a part of the schoolroom. Is it possible to coordinate with your child’s teacher and print some of the same artwork she is used to seeing on the walls of her classroom? Often that same art is available for easy purchase. Placing the art around the desk reminds your student that it is schooltime.

Arrange the materials used for school to be as easy to gather and use as possible. Allow your child to gather the days materials herself but make sure that everything is easily to a child’s hands.

Entertainment/play space

Children, like adults, need time to relax in private. Is there a place in the room that is not the bed that can be used for play or reading? A large fuzzy beanbag chair works well. They are great to curl up inside and can be a wonderful mountain for the cars to fly off. A full length mirror not only bounces light keeping things sunny but is also good for dancing and being silly not to mention getting oneself dressed for “school”. Even if its across the room the dress for school should be the same as f you were getting on the bus. No pajamas for school time.  

Bedtime

The bed is only for sleep or pre-sleep reading. Especially since your son or daughter is spending a lot of time in this room good sleep hygiene means the bed is only for that – sleeping. If you need to shoehorn more furniture in the room for alternate places to sit it is worth the effort. If school happens on the bed and play happens on the bed it will be confusing when bedtime comes. Better that piece of furniture is saved for its main purpose.

One day at a time and, like the space, stay flexible!

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