I need some fun and interesting ideas for a 3-year old's bedroom!
January 21, 2016 11:03 AM   Subscribe

Our son, who's 3 (I guess closer to 3.5 if that matters, has essentially been sharing a room with us, his parents, since he was born. We live in a 2-bedroom apartment, and our second bedroom has always been a combination of office, guest bedroom, and miscellaneous storage. We have on multiple occasions in the last three years needed to use the guest room for long term visits from various family members so haven't really converted it to our son's bedroom. Now we are ready to, and I'm kind of blanking on how to make the space really great for him. I'm hoping the hivemind can come through with some interesting ideas.

I'm still emptying the room a bit, but plan to leave in the following items:

-twin size bed (for our son)
-queen size bed (for inevitable guests)
-two of these Ikea 4x4 white Kallax shelving units

On one wall we have these fish decals, which are awesome. Most of our son's toys will stay in the living room at this point, and his dresser will stay in our room for the time being.

So, since I'm hoping to incentivize his move into his own room, and get him excited about the decor and what not. What kind of awesome things can you think of for a kids room? I'm looking for suggestions of cool things to hang from the ceilings, walls, and for curtains, lamp/lighting, kid furniture, etc. He has bedding, but that's about it, no bed-frame yet. I was thinking of something practical for his bed with drawers underneath but feel free to suggest cool bed-frames. Also a kid sized chair might be fun.

He's not into any specific characters or TV shows; he likes so many different things like fish, moon/stars, trucks, Duplo, dollhouse furniture, kitchen/food toys, books books books.

posted by JenMarie to Home & Garden (16 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
If you paint a bit of wall with glow in the dark paint you can draw on it with a green or blue laser pointer (under supervision until the kid is old enough to know not to blind himself with it). A fun activity for bedtime wind-down.
posted by phunniemee at 11:35 AM on January 21, 2016

Kinda cliché but the glow in the dark star stickers he can stick on the wall or ceiling were fun for me as a kid.

A flashlight is a nice thing to have by the bed, especially if the kid has some issues with the dark/being alone. Melissa & Doug make some cute insect ones, or there are endless kid flashlights on Amazon.
posted by Wretch729 at 11:44 AM on January 21, 2016

My little guy loves the tissue paper flowers I have hanging from my bedroom ceiling. We talk about them and their different sizes (I made small, medium and larges ones), colors, materials (some are glittery, etc), and he loves to just stare at them. Because pretty! They're easy to make and the supplies are cheap. Do a few dozen in an afternoon in his favorite colors, colors to match his bedding, or every color/pattern you can possibly find.
posted by weeyin at 11:47 AM on January 21, 2016

Can the guest bed be a murphy bed so that he has more play space in his room? Or could it even be an inflatable bed? A queen sized bed takes up a lot of room!

I think putting most of his toys and clothes in there might make it feel more like it's his room. He's at the age where he can help put things away, can put his blocks in the block space as well as his socks in the socks place. Encourage him to do this. If any of his little friends come over encourage them to play in his room.

What does he think of the room now? Does he have a name for it? (I visit one set of grandchildren every year and they have a very small guest room that I always sleep in; the kids -ages 3.5 and 6- call it Nana's room even though other guests occasionally sleep there and I'm only there for 10 days a year.)

You can also let him choose some of the decor. For instance, make new simple curtains from fabric he chooses at the fabric store. Let him help pick out a rug- even if it's already got carpeting and extra rug is fun. You can even encourage him to pick a paint color if you're up to repainting the room.
posted by mareli at 12:00 PM on January 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

Can the guest bed be a murphy bed so that he has more play space in his room? Or could it even be an inflatable bed? A queen sized bed takes up a lot of room!

Yeah, eventually I want to replace the queen bed with a sofabed. It's a pretty sizable room though so there's still space to play. The main reason I'm not moving all of his toys to his bedroom yet is that he still needs supervision much of the time so I'm not ready to just send him back to his room for all of his playing since we all hang out in the living room. Also he has lots of toys and a kids kitchen and there's a lot more floor space in our living room.

That said, it's a great idea to put some of his toys/clothes in his room so it feels like his space more. I've toyed with the idea of putting his clothing in those baskets made to fit exactly in the Kallax shelving.
posted by JenMarie at 12:18 PM on January 21, 2016

My boys loved the, I am blanking on the name, but the cutout life size sports figures they could put on the walls. They would even say goodnight to them right before saying goodnight to me.
posted by AugustWest at 12:21 PM on January 21, 2016

Fathead is the big brand name for what AugustWest is referring to. Best known for athletes but they do other stuff too.
posted by Wretch729 at 12:25 PM on January 21, 2016

Tent beds are so awesome.
posted by ReluctantViking at 12:38 PM on January 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

Pinterest is your friend here.
Kids Rooms
Kids Bedrooms
Boys Rooms
Mirrors are really fun to decorate, he can even help. Find an old mirror at a thrift store, one with a frame, wander over to toys and get a big bag of toys, use a hot glue gun to stick them to the mirror frame. Lay them out first to find an arrangement you like.
posted by BoscosMom at 1:23 PM on January 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

Is anyone "handy" in your family? DIY wall gears.
Magnetic Wall Gears, fun and educational too! You'd have to mount a piece of metal on the wall but that could be cool too.
I know there is a colorful gear thing that is meant to mount on the wall but I can't seem to find it
posted by BoscosMom at 1:45 PM on January 21, 2016

In terms of incentivizing, the most awesome thing you can do to make him want to move there is to let him make decisions - what color to paint the walls, what kind of bedframe to get, what type of wall stickers, etc. Not advising to let him loose with your credit card or even to show him Pintrest pages that include things you're not willing to have in your house (or put in the money and effort for), but to talk about a couple of ideas and see what he gets excited about. Bring home a few reasonable paint swatches and let him pick among them. etc. It doesn't take a lot to give a kid the sense of "just like I want it and it's all mine" instead of "they're moving me away from them into the guest room".
posted by aimedwander at 1:52 PM on January 21, 2016

Will be be allowed to play on the queen bed? A play mat (like this one with roads, for example) could be fun. Different types of mats out there, some of them are basically just fabric like a blanket, others more rubberized/heavy like a carpet.
Or even just letting him choose the coverlet for it makes it an art installation, not somebody else's stuff in his room.
posted by aimedwander at 1:58 PM on January 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

My uncle invented a product called Clear Neon that would be cool. It is paint that is only visible under blacklight. You could get stencils and paint it yourself, then show the "magic!" when a blacklight is turned on. Or you could let him paint whatever he wants and it will only be visible when you want it to.

I got a box of this and let my son use it for a birthday party. He and his friends spray-painted all of the walls of our living room with graffiti tags, but you'd never know it.
posted by tacodave at 3:43 PM on January 21, 2016

Interactive Kid Walls
Road Tape
Kids Room Inspiration
Ok, I'll quit now.
posted by BoscosMom at 3:49 PM on January 21, 2016

Kids grow fast. Don't do too much that is specific to his current age. Try to get sheets and covers that are like... Blue or green plaid or stripes or something. It is shocking how quickly they grow and you're stuck getting rid of those Diego blankets which are "so not cool".
posted by k8t at 5:41 PM on January 21, 2016

the kallax unit is awesome! for toys, decorations, books, records. it is
NOT awesome for clothes storage. the single drawer is too tall and deep for the width, and the double drawers are too tiny to be anything more than a sock or underwear drawer. got one intending to use it as my daughter's dresser,
she's almost 4 months old and I'm already shopping for something new.
posted by sabh at 6:56 AM on January 22, 2016

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