We all have times when we just need to chill out. And children are no exception. Whether it’s a space they can take themselves to when the world seems too much, and they just need to feel safe in their own emotions. Somewhere to read and sulk when boundaries have been overstepped. Or somewhere you can both retreat to for a pre-bedtime wind-down. Having a personal chill-out zone is a lovely thing for a child. But how can you create the perfect space?
Five Tips for Creating the Perfect Chill Out Zone for Younger Children
Select your space wisely
For older kids, privacy and a space to be alone in can be really important. But for a lot of younger children, being totally separate is scary. They might be angry or hyped or sad, but they still need to be near you. So, if you want your chill out zone to be used, create a space that is theirs within the communal part of the home. A corner of the sitting room is perfect. If you have a large hallway, that could work well too. While older children may prefer to use a cosy spot in their bedroom.
Find a way to define the space
While your littles might like to remain close to you, they’ll still like to know that their space is their own. So, you can either clearly delineate the space, using a separate colour scheme, create boundaries – a rug makes the perfect floor marker – or use a small structure. A Teepee Tent, for example, can make the ideal retreat. With blankets and cushions, it quickly becomes cosy. Making it into a room within a room for your child to call their own.
Select calming colours
Colours can have a dramatic impact on your mood. Selecting light, soothing colours that can calm the savage temper, or relax your little one into sleep is really important if you want your chill out zone to serve its purpose. Get the colours wrong, and you’ll create an incredible play zone. But it won’t be much use as a place to relax.
Choose seating to flomp into
Whether you’re feeling tired, sulky, or snuggly, nothing beats a seat that you can really flomp into. And a junior bean bag in soft cord can provide the ultimate flomping experience! It’s easily movable. It can be shifted into multiple snuggly positions. And the beans mould themselves to the body, providing the ultimate support and relaxation. If you’re looking for a bit more shape, there are a whole range of children’s bean bag chairs and sofas to choose from. Just make sure that the bean bag you choose is age appropriate.
A chill out zone shouldn’t be overly cluttered, but it should still have enough in it to entertain. A little lava lamp can provide calming lighting and a focus. Books are one of the best screen-free ways for kids (and grownups) to wind down. And audio systems, whether a radio or something more advanced, like a Yoto Box or Toonies Box, can be a great way for kids to learn as well as to listen to relaxing music.
Having a safe space to relax in can be hugely beneficial to children. Helping them to understand the benefit of ‘me time’, get a handle on their emotions, and practice mindfulness in its most basic form. And it can be a great way for parents to help their children at times of anger, sadness, or when they’re simply feeling overwhelmed.
Check out the Big Bertha Just for Kids collection for more ideas on how to decorate your child’s chill out zone.