(StatePoint) Making sure your kids have all the tools they need for a great school year should include evaluating their space at home. Are your children set up for success with proper study areas and storage spaces?

“Refreshing kids’ bedrooms, homework and play areas, and giving them a dedicated area of their own, will put them in the right frame of mind to do well in school,” says Marika Snider, principle of Snider Architecture and member of the American Institute of Architect’s Small Projects Practitioners Committee.

Snider offers the following tips on creating a productive and energizing space for kids of all ages:

Open-Space Computer Zones

“Many parents realize that Internet and online safety is a must for children,” says Snider. “Proper design of computer rooms can help parents monitor what kids are doing when online.”

Snider recommends creating an open-plan designated homework and Internet space to allow parents to pay closer attention to what kids are doing on their computers. Rather than allowing computers in their bedrooms, Snider recommends that this space be right in or nearby a main area where parents frequently walk by.

A Splash of Color

A fresh coat of paint or an entirely new color is a quick, yet effective way to spruce up a room. To help kids feel even more engaged with the space, parents can even let them pick the color so they have a sense of ownership. Parents can change the color as the tastes of the child changes.

Storage and Space

According to Snider, looking at how a child uses his or her space is very important, so that it can remain neat and organized.

For older children, an armoire is a great way to store a computer, a television and school supplies like notebooks. Simply shutting the door will make the room look clean when those gadgets are not in use. For children of all ages, a large counter top is good, so they can spread out their homework or art projects. Remove clutter and gain easy access to storage with bins.

Utilize Leftover Areas

Many parents may not realize that homes are often full of unused spaces that can be repurposed for a child’s needs.

For example, the areas under stairs can be made into study nooks or private reading spaces. Shelves or triangle-shaped desks can transform an unused corner in a room into an area where homework and other schoolwork can be completed.

For help with implementing these ideas or for more recommendations, an architect can help you decide what would work best in your home. To find an architect in your area, visit: http://ArchitectFinder.aia.org.

Helping your child have a great school year starts at home. For a fresh start, spruce up areas used for work and play.


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