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How to Transition from a Nursery to a Toddler's Room

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Your little baby is suddenly not a baby anymore. She took her first wobbly steps, sputtered her first words and has developed an ever-increasing need to know "why". You are now the proud parent of a toddler. Besides trading in her crib for a big-kid bed, it may also be time to make other changes in her bedroom to reflect her evolving personality and growing mind. With a little creativity and the following helpful tips, you can transform your nursery into an adorable and functional bedroom for your curious toddler.

Get creative with paint

Baby pastels or bold primary colors are perfect for your nursery, but when transitioning to a big kid room, you may want to upgrade to a slightly more mature appearance. You can keep the innocence of childhood in the atmosphere and still express your child's continued growth with your design scheme. Play with fun color combinations, such as complementary shades (blue and orange, purple and yellow, or red and green) or monochromatic themes (varying shades of the same hue). Beautifulvinyl wall designs or murals of animals, trees or flowers can add a sophisticated flair while still indulging your child's innocence. Nature is both aesthetic and educational, making it a perfect theme when decorating a little one's room.

Add a work table

After eliminating baby-centric furniture like your changing table and rocking chair, it's time to introduce some pieces suited for active, growing minds and bodies. A work table or desk with chairs is perfect for your little one to express his imagination. Creating a functional space to play, read, and make art will continue to be useful as he grows older, starts school, and makes friends. Make sure the table is low to the ground, made of durable materials to withstand scratches, and is safe for a wobbly toddler. Sharp edges can be hazardous to your little one's head if he should sustain a fall. If you are worried about stains from art supplies, washable plastic tables work best-or simply apply a vinyl covering in a fun print to protect the surface from stray crayon marks or finger paint smears.

Decorate to educate

At this stage in life, your child's mind is an expanding sponge, constantly sucking up knowledge and ideas. When choosing decorative accents, wall hangings and artwork, trade in the cartoon characters for educational themes. Alphabet displays, numbers, maps, or pictures of plants and animals can all serve as both wall art and educational tools. Feed your child's growing curiosity by adding interactive elements to the room-a blackboard for drawing pictures and practicing writing; a magnetic board adorned with movable letters, numbers, shapes, and other fun objects; or a ribbon wall so your child can create a life-sized scrapbook with photographs, drawings and other mementos.

Increase storage

Now that your child is no longer a crawling baby, her needs cannot be accommodated as easily-or in as little space! More clothes, more toys, more books, and more supplies means an increased need for storage. A wardrobe closet can be useful to stow a variety of things, from hanging clothes, to art supplies and toys in the lower drawers. If room permits, a bookshelf is a great addition to house the variety of books your fast learner will soon be reading. If your toddler's room is on the small side, get creative with extra storage-plastic bins can be easily stowed under the bed, and hanging baskets or wall hammocks can hold toys and stuffed animals.

Use classic patterns

Children grow up quickly, and their tastes change rapidly. If you want your child's room to age well, stick with classic patterns for bedding and drapery, such as stripes, solids or polka dots. You will save significant money in the long run if your child's interest in a certain kiddie trend wanes in a year and suddenly a new favorite has taken its place. The décor can always be jazzed up with accents, paint and a little creativity, to take your little one right through each childhood stage!

Photo by: David Castillo Dominici (Freedigitalphotos.net)

Nicole La Capria  Posted by Nicole La Capria on March 21, 2014

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