by Staff Writer
Create the comfort zone that every child needs with quality kids' furniture for your home. Whether you're looking for kids' beds or kids' storage furniture, you can find children's furniture that will take your sons and daughters through every age. This kids' furniture buying guide will provide you with some directions; it is organized by age group to help you find the right furniture pieces for every stage of childhood.
Beds. Once your child is at least 35 inches tall or strong enough to climb out of his crib, he is ready for toddler furniture. Beds made especially for kids aged 18 to 24 months help them know they aren't babies anymore. Toddler beds are just the right size for your little one to get in and out of without any help, fostering a feeling of independence. Low to the ground like a twin bed, toddler beds usually hold a crib mattress. This is an economical choice because you can use the same crib mattress and baby bedding as you did when your child was younger. This also makes your child's adjustment to a "big kid bed" easier. Some of these kids' beds also have small side rails to prevent your toddler from rolling out of bed.
Tables. Once your toddler starts walking around, he may feel like everything is adult-sized. Give him a place to play that is just his size with kids' tables and kids' chairs. Kids' tables are great places to make crafts, play games and eat snacks. You'll find that most children's furniture requires very little maintenance: Unlike your other tables, kids' tables are made to withstand the rigors of play time, so bring on the finger paint. A regular wipe-down with a non-toxic household cleaner should be all you need to maintain your kids' furniture.
Allow creativity. As your children grow, you'll see their tastes start to emerge. Give your children the opportunity to have some input on what furniture they'll have in the bedroom. Encourage reading with bookshelves sized for your child's height and a small rocking chair to sit in while she reads her books. A kids' bean bag chair has all the comfort of a grown-up chair, but it's small enough to give your child a perfect place to unwind and maybe even take a nap. Kids' chairs that are meant for outdoor use invite your child to sit with you on the deck or patio. Many children's chairs are available in styles to coordinate with your other furniture, while other kids' tables and kids' chairs are available in fun themes to match your child's burgeoning tastes. A kid's table decorated with sports themes, princesses, racecars or trains can spark the imaginations of your little ones.
Children's beds. Kids' twin beds are just the right place for children to dream. Some of these kids' beds even incorporate storage underneath; styles range from classics, like canopy beds and sleigh beds, to whimsical theme beds for modern kids' furniture. A trundle bed features a second mattress (usually twin-size) that slides under the main mattress, giving you the option of a second sleeping space that you can tuck away when not in use. Memories are made when siblings share a bunk bed; as an added bonus, you'll have room for all the other furniture they need. Check to make sure that the bunk bed has safety features such as guard rails and a sturdy ladder, and only let children seven and older use the upper bunk. Another great space-saver is the loft bunk bed, which include kids' desks, futons or shelves on the first level and a bed on the second level.
Kids' storage. You'll want to make sure you have plenty of kids' storage furniture in your child's room or any room where he plays with his toys. Children's bookshelves don't have to be used just for books: Toys, dolls, games, stuffed animals, trophies and art projects can all be stored and displayed on bookshelves. Baskets or bins that can be kept on bookshelves or in closets can be used for added kids' storage furniture. Coat racks will not only keep coats and jackets handy, but they can also keep a backpack full of homework ready for school. Toy bins along walls or at the foot of a child's bed are another good solution for making clean-up time a breeze. Kids' dressers are meant to hold clothes, but putting aside a drawer for even more toys can help when you have an out-of-control playroom. Encourage a lifetime of organization by creating children's storage, including kids' dressers and bins, that your kids can use on their own.
Look for bigger beds. Tweens and teens need bedroom furniture that reflects their older age, but that doesn't mean they need adult furniture yet. Your teen may be ready to upgrade her twin bed to a full-size bed. If the styles seem too drastic of a departure from kids' twin beds, adding brightly colored bedding will help maintain a youthful look. Like kids' twin beds, full-size beds come in many styles: canopy, sleigh and poster, to name a few.
Invest in desks. Your children will be spending more time on schoolwork than they ever have before. Give them a homework zone with the right kids' desks. Choose a computer desk if she'll have her own desktop computer. If she'll just be using a laptop or pen and paper, any kid's desk that appeals to you both will work. Coordinate the color, style or material to the bed for a cohesive look, but don't feel too restrained; a kids' room should be more about fun than matching. For creative kids, a kid's desk may also be a place for arts and crafts projects, so if your child is artistically inclined, choose a desk that can be cleaned easily and that stores a lot of supplies. Modern kids' furniture may also appeal to creative kids. Don't forget good task lighting for your child's desk.