How A Child's Bedroom Impacts Development
When it comes to creating the right living and sleeping environment for a child, we’re all aware of the basics. No TV or media devices in the bedroom, the right lighting that makes a child feel safe without disturbance, a comfortable space to sleep. However, we rarely factor in the elements that actually have a direct impact on the way a child’s mind develops.
Creating the right environment that is conducive to sleep, play and education is crucial for your child’s developmental progress. As your child moves through the various stages of childhood, from infancy to their teenage years, the needs for their bedroom change and so the space must be adapted to meet these needs.
So how does a child’s bedroom impact their development?
Sleep is one of the most important factors that contribute to your child’s development. A lack of sleep can cause increased hyperactivity, behavioural problems, difficulties to maintain a healthy weight and could even cause long term sleep problems well into adulthood (The Sleep Council).
This means it’s important to ensure your child’s bedroom is set up in a way that enables them to have a healthy sleep cycle. Make your child’s bedroom a technology-free zone, apart from when required for school work, etc. Keeping blue light out of your child’s bedroom, particularly at night, means their brains are able to effectively release the correct sleep hormones without disturbance or distraction.
A child’s bedroom should also be cool, quiet and dark. The optimal room temperature for a good night’s rest is around 16-18 degrees celsius, however young children may need a slightly warmer environment. Temperatures over 24 degrees celsius are likely to cause restlessness when trying to sleep. Keeping a thermometer in your child’s bedroom is a great way to ensure it’s at the right temperature.
Lighting is also an important factor to enable your child to get the best night’s rest. Complete darkness is best as our bodies are ‘programmed’ to wake up in the face of light. However, we know this is often a struggle with children who feel safe when they have light present.
Instead of opting for a night light that emits a constant glow that could disturb your child, provide a small light that can be kept close by that your child can manually turn on if they wake up and feel afraid. Knowing this light is there if they need it is sure to comfort them, without affecting their sleep. Try our clip on light, a flexible light that simply clips on and off the bed frame. It’s great as a handy light to keep close by to flick on through the night or use as a reading light during wind down time.
Play is an essential part of a child’s development. Having the freedom to explore and be inquisitive has many benefits for a child. It’s great for physical movement to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it prevents stress and anxieties and helps children to learn more about themselves to boost self-esteem and confidence.
Play contributes to cognitive, physical, social and emotional well-being for all children. While it’s important for engagement and bonding to involve yourself in play as a parent or guardian, child-driven play is seen to be the most effective for the aforementioned well-being aspects.
This is because it gives the child the opportunity to develop independently, exploring their own creativity, learning valuable decision-making skills and how to move at their own pace. Independent play allows children to discover their own areas of interest, as opposed to those influenced by parents or friends. It enables them to learn leadership skills outside of the ‘rules’ and concerns that parents express (The American Academy of Pediatrics).
To create an environment that encourages child-driven play, it is important that the space is free of clutter to move around freely. This can be challenging in a child’s bedroom, particularly if your space is restricted, however there are things you can do to combat this.
Teaching your child the importance of remaining tidy and putting things away is often easier said than done as they have a natural tendency to make a mess. Making tidying more structured can help with this, as children respond well to rules and schedules. Keeping the room tidy allows more space to play and offers a better environment for more relaxing activities too.
You can further maximise your child’s bedroom floor space with clever storage furniture, such as beds with storage space. A bed with added storage space can encourage a child to keep everything in its place and provides extra floor space for more active play. Check out our extensive range of storage beds to see how you can save on floor space.
It goes without saying that education has a huge impact on your child’s development. It helps them use their mind widely, developing skills for the future as well as exercising their creativity. This means it’s incredibly important that your child has a space at home where they can continue their learning outside of school. In fact, according to a paper published by the British Academy, a child’s home learning environment can have an even greater impact on their development than their school environment.
When a child is forced to do homework while sat at a dining table or at a desk in a study built for an adult, it can feel boring and become tedious or stressful for them to complete. By introducing into their own space a place where they can independently work away on their tasks, you encourage them that completing their homework can be fun, done in the environment they feel most happy and relaxed in and could even get them thinking that it is their choice to do it!
The space for your child to do their homework in needs to be fun, but not so much so that they will be distracted from actually completing the task at hand. You want to include a space in their room for education, but equally you don’t want them to assume their room is a boring place associated only with work, as this could cause complications in other aspects of their development.
At HUDEL Living, we think a great way to get the right balance is through the use of a handy pull out desk. This way your child can easily open out the desk when it’s time to get to work, and then simply fold it away when it comes to play time once more. This is also a great space saver and prevents your child from viewing their room negatively.
Lastly, it’s important that your child enjoys being in their bedroom space and feels happy, content and safe while spending time there. Making the bedroom a fun environment, without disturbing sleep or educational activities can be a difficult balance to strike, but with the right equipment, it can become easily achievable.
Involve your child in the process of decorating their room and choosing their furniture, but be sure that you’re not choosing options that could negatively affect their development by using the sleep, play, education and enjoyment rule. Much like play, the decor of a child’s room can form lifelong traits, helping them to express their individuality, likes and interests (Mompreneurs).
At HUDEL Living, we provide a huge range of furniture options that are conducive to helping your child sleep well, learn effectively and play freely. Browse our full range of clever furniture that both you and your child will love for many years to come.