Child-proofing your home is one way to help keep your children safe but often it is confused with making your home more child-friendly. Child or baby-proofing is all about preventing dangerous situations from occurring whereas being more child-friendly is about providing children with a still safe environment in which they can discover things for themselves and exercise their curiosity.
All parents know, or eventually find out, that children are usually far more interested in mundane household items than the expensive flashing musical toys that seemingly litter every surface in your house. Giving children a way to explore these, to them, exciting and wondrous items is a key part of their development.
Kitchens are hazardous environments but children seem attracted to danger and as the kitchen is the heart of the home it’s no surprise children absolutely love being in there. Instead of locking all your cupboards how about arranging some pots, wooden utensils and Tupperware on low shelves for children to pull, prod and bang to their hearts’ desire? Large plastic fridge magnets are always great fun and an excellent way to introduce your child to letters and numbers.
Store your child’s DVDs and videos in sight to attract their attention away from the things you don’t want them to touch. If you have a display cabinet take them out to pick something to go in it that can be theirs. If they know it’s not out of bounds but there are some things they can’t touch they’ll be less interested in playing with the forbidden objects.
We all want to give our children a warm environment to play in but with the cost of utilities these days few people can afford to keep the heating on all day and are turning to portable heaters which pose many dangers themselves. Supplementary heating systems like the electric Verismart Heating ones are a safe way to keep your house warm. They can be installed anywhere with a plug socket so are perfect for your conservatory or playroom and can be secured to a wall so there is no chance of your child accidentally pulling it onto themselves or attempting to push a hot oil-heated radiator around the room. As it’s not gas-powered you don’t have to worry about harmful emissions or leaks and it can be easily programmed to any temperature and schedule you like so there’s no chance of overheating.
Wall-mounted electric radiators are safe, economical and keeping warm will help ward off the winter nasties.Put deadbolts on external doors to keep adventurous fingers from discovering a path to the magical world of outside.
Keep small boxes of toys dotted around the house. You’d be surprised at how much it promotes tidiness and means your child is free to roam the house and play at whim.Make a pretend oven in one corner of the kitchen and give your child some real food to ‘cook’ when you are preparing dinner at the hob. It gets your children interested in food early and helps keep them occupied, away from the oven and feeling involved.
Pick up an old PC keyboard from a charity shop to let your child ‘help’ you when you’re working from home or doing the household budget. They’ll probably get bored and find something else to do but at least they won’t be accidentally erasing your work as they attempt to bash your own keyboard (I found out about that one the hard way).
Try to keep as many areas of your home freely accessible to your child – the more restricted areas you have the less they’ll respect them and the more they’ll want to play with whatever is there.
Homes aren’t meant to be museums so the more you can let your child discover and learn at home, the better.