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So the schools are about to break up for the summer but it’s still raining? Enquiring minds really need to have somewhere nice to hang out indoors, and lots of things to do, or else the next six weeks are going to be a living hell for all concerned.
Why not encourage your child’s creative genius by asking them to come up with ideas for decoration – maybe you could set up a Pinterest account (have you got one yet? I’m hooked and can spend hours on perusing must-have items and adding them to my collections) and set them free on the Internet, under close supervision, finding furniture, decorations and cool accessories to make their rooms look exciting again?
Get them started with a few ideas we’ve found, and let their imaginations go crazy!
The Junior Bean Bag
“I am irresistible to any child and child-resistant at the same time. How’d I pull that one off, you ask? Well, unlike most toys, I don’t break. I don’t need superglue to get fixed up. I will even endure tantrums thrown by the most ruthless kids. And, last but not least, I have the power to make anyone with baby teeth fall asleep.”
Price £ 115 – www.fcilondon.co.uk
What child wouldn’t love one of these? The doodle duvet is a top quality 200 thread count white cotton duvet cover printed to resemble a giant piece of file paper, complete with printed holes, lines and red margins on both sides. The duvet comes with its own pack of 8 wash-out doodle colour pens, perfect for writing down your ‘to do list’, draw a masterpiece, write a story or leave a message – but the great thing is that it washes out so you have a blank canvas on laundry day. It just needs a standard 40 degree wash to remove all traces of doodle and scribble ready for another session at bedtime…
Price: £39.95 www.doodlebystitch.com
R2D2 Smart Safe Moneybank
This R2D2 Smart Safe Moneybank will keep big kids happy as well as small ones, and is perfect for storing bits and pieces in. Works with smartphones, just set the four-digit code up and R2D2 will keep your secrets safe…
Give the room a bit of a spruce up with a bit of arty wallpaper. There are lots of seriously cool designs to choose from, but most kids aren’t really excited by cool and trendy, or even arty, they want robots. And pigs. And fairies. Indulge them with something special from Wallpapered.com, something with Noah’s Ark on it, perhaps? Or maybe you could go for the stark but really rather fun Robot Range from Ferm Living, which gives you a really quick way to change the look of a bedroom without forking out for decorators and having the hassle of moving the furniture out.
Robot wall Sticker – £24.99 www.nubie.co.uk
Wall paper based upon the story of Noahs Ark by ChaCha – www.wallpapered.com/chacha £138 per roll
Interior design Genius Apps
Just for fun, why not get your kids to try their hand at designing a Victorian, Tudor or Modern room. The easy-peasy app on the The Geffrye Museum website is simple to use and lets kids click on walls, furniture and lighting to play around with some really simple interior designs. Try it out at: www.geffrye-museum.org.uk/kidszone (if they get bored they can also design a garden.)
If you’ve got older children who want to try their hand at a bit of design, introduce them to www.homestyler.com where there’s an altogether much more sophisticated interior design option. It’s also free and once they’ve worked out how to use it they can have hours of fun making houses up online. You can play with premium branded furniture and try and fit it into odd-shaped rooms, and then you get to see your finished result in 3D. It’s actually very addictive for grown ups too.
Another 3D room design option is mydeco.com/3d-planner/ where you can design from scratch, upload an actual floor plan and the easy option, use one of the ‘wizards’ to help you out.