Interactive Walls for Kid Spaces

by Shelley SmithJune 19, 2013

Just a few days ago was our kids’ first day home for Summer vacation. At about 1:30 pm, I heard the dreaded words… “Mom, I’m booooored”. I was hoping it would take longer than one day, but nevertheless, apparently, now it’s my duty to find fun, interesting activities for my kids to do for the next three months. This got me thinking about all the things that kids like to do, and that keep them entertained for long periods of time. About 99% of them had to do with being creative, and working with their hands, so I thought I would compile a few cool, unique ideas that you could possibly implement for your kids in their spaces, that will help cut out some of that “boredom” from time to time. Whether it’s because they’re small and home with Mom all day, or just out of school for the Summer break.

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Chalkboard walls have been all the rage for the past couple of years, and for good reason! They’re really great to get creative with, and can be used over and over again for fun pieces of artwork. The installation and upkeep for a chalkboard wall is fairly simple and inexpensive as well.

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If you’re looking for a good way to keep numbers, letters or words from this past school year at the forefront of your kids’ minds this summer, a magnetic wall with lots of different shapes, numbers and the alphabet can help you to achieve that. Once all of your movable objects are on your magnetic wall, kids won’t even think twice about the fact that they’re learning to spell or recognize shapes. All they’ll know is that they’re having fun!
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If you don’t have a full wall to layer with magnetic material, then even just a small mounted square can aid in helping you to keep kids’ arts and crafts supplies neat and tidy. It’s the perfect way to reuse old cans or containers, and and easy solution for making cleanup a cinch at the end of the day.

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Whiteboard paint is a bit more expensive and sort of a newer concept than chalkboard paint, but the colors are more vibrant and the art that can be created with all the different dry erase marker shades, is stunning. The mess with whiteboard art also seems like it would be less than all the dust that chalk gives off, but I would advise this treatment for a child that’s old enough to know how to use markers properly.
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Who knew that coloring on walls was actually allowed!? Yup, it is, with color-me-in-wallpaper from a few different companies who thought this would be a cool concept, and were right! I’m not sure if the actual wallpaper is applied with a permanent paste or if it’s removable, but either way, it’s a great idea if you’ve got the right atmosphere and space for it. I would suggest somewhere with a floor that has a more wipeable surface, so that if markers slip out of little hands and land on the ground, no carpet or expensive rugs will be ruined.

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If you don’t want to make the big commitment of wallpapering an entire space with color-me-in wallpaper, then simply tack up an over-sized piece of butcher paper to the wall and let the kids go crazy. This activity is sure to keep them busy for hours.

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I’m the Mom of 3 girls over the age of 5, who were only just barely introduced to Lego’s for the first time this past Christmas, so we haven’t quite caught the “mountainous piles of Lego’s bug” yet, and maybe that’s also why I didn’t know the great wall of Legos idea existed either. How cool is this concept? While you may not be able to build a full-on castle or battleship model and stick it to the wall, you can still come up with some really great artistic ideas by simply using the Lego pieces that you already have.

I could see this interactive wall treatment working well on children, as well as adults. I know I’d like to create something awesome in this space!
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Half the battle of keeping kids entertained and busy during the days and months when they’re out of school or not involved in other activities, is preparation. If you paint a fun wall a few days before you know they’ll be home for long periods of time, or even just buy some supplies for them to draft up works of art in a fun new way, you’ll definitely have some happy, busy kids on your hands.

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Shelley Smith
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