As our urban centres continue to grow with high-density development, we’re seeing many young families moving into condominiums to raise their children. Although the amenities offered in an urban core can make for enjoyable living (e.g. better access to parks, arts & cultural events, childcare, etc), it is what is in their home surroundings that can negatively affect children when they’re brought up in multi-dwelling units (MDUs). Naturally, children living in MDUs experience such things as more noise pollution and less personal space at home. We've put together 4 easy ways to improve your condo space for raising children:
1. Encourage your kids to organize with you
Look for a family-centre storage cabinet where everyone in the family can have their own little cubby space to organize and store trinkets. When parents and siblings use this space too, you’re naturally teaching by example, and this encourages kids to learn how to organize. Make clean-up time an everyone, all-hands-on-deck activity!
Look for a cabinet that is:
- Approximately 3.5ft tall and has a wide stance. This makes it accessible for toddlers, while being stable and less likely to tip-over for safety.
- Use bins or trays and with names on them (or colour code them) so there's a feeling of organizing their own belongings.
The Family Storage Hub pictured above is our popular Cloud Cabinet.
2. Create spaces within spaces
Open-concept room layouts are the rage these days. However, many ECE educators we speak to tell us that children can benefit from compartmentalizing their play spaces. By creating partitioned spaces (and not enclosed spaces), promotes and encourages children to access their imaginations for things such as dramatic play. Here are some ways to easily create spaces without the use of permanent fixtures or walls:
- Create different areas by placing area rugs so children can quickly identify for example, a reading area from a play area.
- Use open back style cabinets -- ideally low height -- to partition a space, while allowing light to pass from one area to the next without closing-off the space.
- Hang sheer canopies or fabric materials from the ceiling to create a bit of privacy for a reading or dress-up play area.
3. Reduce noise for your kids (and your neighbours below)
- In our showroom, we joke that all kids are born interior designers -- they love to rearrange and drag their furniture all over the room! Choose tables and chairs that have plastic or rubber boots, to reduce noise. You can also try using tennis balls to cap-over chair legs. Your hardwood floors will love you for doing this too :)
- Hang framed canvas art to reduce sounds that reflect and bounce off walls.
- Use area rugs to further dampen floor noise.
- Place larger, heavier furniture such as bookshelves up against walls to absorb sounds from outside or the next room.
- Drape your windows with heavier curtains to block sounds from the hustle-and-bustle of outside. Curtains always block out light for better naps!
4. Multi-purpose tables
From play-time, snack-time, to craft-time -- a multi-purpose activity table should be a staple in any child’s room. Spend a little more on a table that is large enough for various activities and can be height adjusted. Easily move the table against the wall to create more space.
We carry a variety of popular activity tables for different applications.
Do you raise your kids in a condo? Share your tips below!