Decorating your child’s room can be a challenge. Kids are messy, they’re tough on furniture and their taste changes with the wind. Not only that, but as a parent you also want them to feel comfortable in their space and to give them a haven in which they can thrive. All in all, there’s a lot to think about when the process kicks off. For some parents, though, a much more profound factor has to be taken into account: their child being differently-abled.
Designing and decorating for kiddos with different abilities (or diffently-abled people of any age, for that matter) is a topic too often overlooked by our community. Today we are setting out to change that. We’ve partnered with advocate and mother of three, Rachel Fox Kipphut, and put together 5 Decorating Tips for Your Differently-Abled Child. Rachel is a wealth of knowledge. Her four-year-old daughter Eva was born with Down Syndrome, which meant her room and play areas needed specific attention when it was time to decorate. Coordinating colors, playing to your child’s strengths and finding ways to empower them are just a few of the tips we can all learn from Rachel and her tot.
Not only is she sharing with us all that she learned from the design process, but Rachel’s also helped us put together a great giveaway. One lucky reader will get a prize package full of goodies that are Eva-approved. Every item is stylish, useful and made by a brand that’s inclusive of those who are differently-abled. Major kudos! Click through for the tips and to enter. Enjoy. —Garrett
Photography by Rachel Fox Kipphut
“In the past, Eva’s room was filled with all her toys and things she loved. What we found as she grew is that Eva is easily frustrated with too much stimuli and many choices,” Rachel tells us. To combat this, the family has broken Eva’s toys and books up amongst the areas she plays in. Rachel also color coordinated the books and such so Eva doesn’t become too overwhelmed when having to make a choice come play time.
To help make the transition from school – where there’s a lot of visual and auditory stimulation and structure – to home as smooth as possible, Rachel created a quiet room where Eva can decompress. Each day when she gets home, Eva spends an hour doing something she enjoys here. It’s designed to be cozy and relaxing with cool tones throughout and lots of comfy pillows.
“Eva enjoys dancing and dressing up these days,” Rachel shares. Putting dress-up clothes, a mirror and toys at eye level has not only empowered Eva to make her own playtime choices, but “when things are neat and easily accessible and away from other distracting things” playtime’s made more pleasant.
Air purifying plants have been great for Eva and her family. They keep the air clean and have proven to be a great teaching tool for Eva, teaching her how to care for others and how to be responsible.
Playing To Strengths
Eva loves art, so Rachel has decorated her room and the playroom in all of the fabulous work Eva’s done. She also made sure to provide her with a colorful, designated space to create to her heart’s content.
Do you have any other tips to share? Let us know by leaving a comment below by midnight Central Time on October 11th and you’ll be entered to win a bundle of great, inclusive goodies. One (1) lucky reader will win a prize package containing a $25.00 shop credit to Chrome Classic Kids, an Increment Studios O-Ring Sensory Toy, a shirt of their choice from Littlest Warrior Apparel, a leather play mat from Gathre and goods from Todd Parr’s North American Bear Co. collection.