From a very early age, children are familiar with the idea of the house as a place to entertain.
Whether that means making fun of others, decorating the house or decorating themselves, children learn quickly that the decor of the home is a way to be social, connect with others and create a sense of belonging.
That’s because decorating a home has been part of the way in which children have lived their entire lives, says Marjorie Bickert, author of The Story of Children’s Homes.
“Kids are always trying to get their house together and to get to know it and get to have a sense that it is their home and that they have a responsibility to make it that way,” BickERT said.
The idea that children should decorate their homes has been around for decades, but in recent years, parents and educators have begun to see the value in creating a cohesive, welcoming environment for children to experience.
This new generation of homes also offers children the chance to explore their own individual styles.
Bickerton points to a recent study that found children who live in homes with a variety of different shapes and sizes are happier, more outgoing and enjoy spending time with family members, and are less likely to drop out of school.
“There is this universal, universal theme that the more things you have, the more you want to do,” she said.
“I think kids are coming to a place where they are more likely to want to have things that are fun and unique, and have different textures and different styles of furniture.
This is what kids want.
We are seeing that now with homes that have different sizes, colors and materials.”
There are several ways children can decorate a home.
Bicksert says the first thing to do is make sure children are comfortable.
For instance, make sure kids are in the house for the entire day, because they will be spending more time there with their parents than they would in a house that is completely empty.
Next, make certain that the house is well-lit.
The more you light up a room, the less it feels like you are just looking at a big house full of clutter.
Children need to see a bright, colorful space and get excited when they walk through the door, BicksERT said, which is why she recommends lighting up the kitchen with a lot of bright colors.
“If the kids can’t see the house well, they will fall asleep because they won’t be able to remember where they went,” she added.
Next is to create a quiet, comfortable environment.
“Children want to feel that they are at home,” BicksET says.
“They want to be surrounded by a positive family environment.”
And lastly, children need to be able not only to play, but to learn how to do so.
BricksERT says it’s important for parents to be involved with the decorating of the family home, and that there is a need to support the child’s creativity.
“You need to let them have a little bit of freedom,” she says.
Parents can also be part of this creative process, she said, by letting children explore the house by doing things like painting on walls, painting their own furniture and making things that their children can play with.
“Parents can do a lot,” BricksET said.
It’s also important to remember that the design of a house is not just for adults, but for children too.
“It is a very important part of being a child, to be a child of the moment,” BICKERT said to CNN.
“When we decorate our home, we are letting kids become who they are and who they want to become.”
It is also important that children have the opportunity to create their own designs and patterns.
This can be especially important for older children.
“As children grow, their interest in creating new patterns is increasing, so it is very important that the children who are the most adventurous can be creative,” Bickerert said.
BICKERERT is now a professor at the University of Connecticut, where she studies the relationship between families and children.