Kids’ Furniture Buying Guide
Kids’ Furniture 101
As children grow from toddlers into teens, their furniture needs and tastes change with them. Choosing the right bed, chair or dresser for your child starts with taking age into account. If you provide your kids with furniture suited to their stage of development, they're more likely to use it independently and safely. For example, a toddler bed with safety rails is a great transitional bed for little ones graduating from their cribs. Similarly, a kids' dresser is less likely to tip and has small drawers sized just right for kids’ clothing. Other factors to consider when buying kids' furniture include space, durability, budget and style. When choosing colours, patterns and themes, keep in mind that the decor your kids love now might be rejected a few years down the road. Selecting a neutral scheme could mean fewer redecorating projects.
Types of Kids Furniture
When your little one is big and strong enough to climb out of the crib, it's time for a bed. Low-to-the floor toddler beds can ease the transition from crib to big-kid bed. Toddler beds are equipped with safety rails to prevent falls and to help your child feel more secure. An alternative to a toddler bed is a regular twin bed with safety rails. If the rails are detachable, this purchase has the potential to last right through the teen years. Upgrade from a basic twin bed to a captain's bed and benefit from additional storage beneath the mattress. For older children, you can consider other types of kids' beds such as space-saving loft beds and bunk beds. Loft beds are great because they raise the bed off the floor like an upper bunk bed, creating space below for a play area, storage or a desk. To accommodate two children in one room, a classic bunk bed is an ideal choice.
Kids' dressers are generally smaller than adult versions. They typically feature easy-to-grab handles or knobs, and the drawers are shorter and shallower to accommodate child-sized physiques, clothing and accessories. A taller, narrower kids' dresser will save space in a small bedroom, but be sure to anchor the dresser to a wall to prevent tipping. Wider side-by-side dressers take up extra floor space, but offer more surface space to hold your child's lamps, trophies, books and other items. From traditional wood finishes to bright kid-friendly colours, dressers are available in an endless variety of styles to suit the decor of any child's room. Safety features to look for include rounded corners and drawer stops to prevent drawers from falling.
A dedicated homework zone helps kids work comfortably and stay organized. If your child has a computer, choose a desk with cord cut-outs and a place for a keyboard. For children who prefer to use desks for drawing or painting, consider a drafting-style desk with a top that tilts. Some desks may have the option of adding a matching hutch, which can be secured to the wall above the desk for additional storage. When purchasing a desk for your child's room, look for one with adequate storage for essential school and craft supplies and a desktop that can be easily cleaned.
Encourage your kids to read by providing them with a dedicated space to store and display their books. In a child's room, a short and sturdy kids' bookcase is a safe option as it's less likely to tip. A taller bookcase may provide increased storage capacity, but be sure to anchor it to the wall for support. In addition to storing books, a bookcase is a great way to display trophies, collectibles, pictures and more. You can buy kids' bookcases in a range of colours and materials to best suit your child's style and your budget. For young children, a sling bookcase may be preferable as the books are stored with the cover facing out, making them easier to organize and find.
From classic wood rocking chairs to comfy oversized beanbag chairs, there are plenty of seating options for kids. Whether your little ones are reading, playing video games, crafting or having a snack, they will likely be more comfortable in a chair that's built to their scale. Choose a miniature version of a classic arm chair to complement your grown-up decor or a fun plush chair decorated with cartoon characters for a playroom. Folding chairs or stacking stools can be stored away easily when not in use. Because children tend to use chairs for more than just sitting, choose one that's solid enough to stand up to use as a step stool, fort wall or whatever else your kids dream up.
Given all of the toys, books, games and other stuff kids accumulate, storage becomes a key element of their bedroom or playroom. Toy boxes and storage benches are a good way to store items out of sight in one convenient place. An added benefit of a storage bench is it provides your little ones with an additional sitting area and playing surface. Modular storage systems with bins and baskets of various sizes can hold and organize all kinds of kids' toys while keeping them visible and accessible. Other kids' storage options include: bedside tables with drawers or shelves; closet organizers with hooks, shelves, and cubbies; wall shelves and bookcases; and under-the-bed boxes. By introducing your child to the idea of organized storage at an early age, you're teaching them to keep their rooms tidy and encouraging important lifelong habits.
A child-sized table lets kids play and interact comfortably and independently. This type of table is ideal for doing crafts and puzzles, playing with toys or eating snacks. To stand up to the rigours of tea parties and train sets, a kids' table should be solidly constructed and easy to clean. Most kids' tables are constructed from durable materials like plastics and wood. You can get them in classic neutrals or bright primary colours, and many models are decorated with popular children's characters. Not only will these pint-sized tables delight your kids, they'll help prevent stains and scratches from appearing on your grown-up tables.
Kids’ Room Decor
Choose a soothing wall colour like light blue or lavender to help promote easy sleep. Make sure there’s plenty of venues to display your child’s schoolwork: clear acrylic frames can be frequently updated, corkboards allow easy mounting and removal, and wire along one wall can be used to hang larger pieces of art. A multi-pocket organizer on a closet door makes a great catch-all for favourite toys and school items. Clear storage containers make for less mess while searching for an elusive game or book, and curtains serve well to hide cluttered shelves. Storage closets can be covered with magnetic boards or chalkboards to encourage play and learning.
Kids’ Outdoor Furniture
Help your kids safely enjoy the outdoors with fun furniture meant just for them. Little legs can easily climb into and out of kid-sized lawn furniture, picnic tables and playhouses without the risks associated with large-scale adult furniture. Playing with kids' furniture also helps kids develop their creativity and social skills while providing hours of pretend fun. When deciding on outdoor furnishings for kids, look for items that can be easily folded and stored when out of season. The best kids' furniture is made from durable materials such as plastic and finished wood that can be easily wiped down in case of spills.
Kids’ Furniture Buying Tips:
- Measure your space to ensure the furniture will fit, particularly with larger items like kids' beds
- Look for furniture with washable and durable surfaces
- Choose styles and colours your child will like not only now, but well into the future
- Look for secure, well-constructed furniture with rounded corners to avoid injury
- Save space with dual-purpose kids' furniture like storage benches and captain's beds
- Minimize clutter with closet organizers and under-the-bed storage boxes
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Kids’ Furniture Safety Tips:
- Check nuts and bolts on a regular basis to ensure they are tight
- Place large or heavy items on lower shelves to avoid injury if they fall
- Ensure toddler beds, bunk beds and loft beds have properly secured safety rails to prevent falls
- Reinforce weight-bearing furniture with additional screws for strength
- Anchor dressers and bookshelves to walls to prevent tipping
- Avoid tables and chairs with sharp edges
- Use furniture that is age, height and weight appropriate for your children
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