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How to Create a Kid-Friendly Bathroom
How To:

Create a Kid-Friendly Bathroom

The great thing about bathrooms is that it's simple to add lots of color and character to make them inviting for kids. Towels, shower curtains, bath mats and more all lend themselves well to playful themes and bright palettes. Plus, bath time itself is one of childhood's most fun rituals – splashing, bubbles, toys and lots of one-and-one time with mom or dad make it a part of the day that just about everyone looks forward to. Even if you and your kids are sharing a bathroom, it's easy to make it work for both of you by giving them their own personalized towels and accessories with a fun theme.

Choose a Theme

Water-inspired themes tend to be favorites with kids in nearly any room of the house, and the bathroom is no exception. Boats, marine life, mermaids, pirates – there are so many fascinating things the sea has to offer. There are plenty of bathroom themes beyond ocean-loving ones, too – everything from cars to zoo animals to bright blossoms. The great thing is that you don't have to worry too much about choosing a theme that your kids will love for many years to come; it's easy (and even practical) to update towels and other linens as your kids grow and their tastes change.

Bathrooms lend themselves well to bright colors and bold contrasts, so it's an opportunity to indulge your child if they love vivid orange or the brightest primary colors. Bathroom fixtures (sink bowls, the bathtub) are most often white, which creates a fresh backdrop for colorful towels, shower curtains, bath mats and accessories. Make the walls fun by painting an accent wall in a bright color, or add character with vinyl decals. Decals work well in the bathroom because they're not affected by moisture, and they're easy to apply and remove whenever your kids are ready for an update.

Make It Accessible

Consider the bathroom from your child's height while you're creating your design. Especially as they're growing and establishing more independence, they'll want to be able to reach everything on their own. A solid wood step stool is almost guaranteed to see daily use, while they brush their teeth, wash their hands, or even get in and out of the bath if you have a deep soaking tub. Make sure their toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, hairbrush, and so on) are easy for them to reach -- save the high shelves in the cabinet for cold and flu remedies. Pick out a galvanized metal bucket or basket to keep their shampoo and bubble bath accessible while they bathe.

Towel racks and hooks tend to be high on the wall, but it's a great idea to install some lower down so your kids can reach and hang up their towels and washcloths on their own. If there isn't an easy spot for you to hang a low towel rod, get creative – you could repurpose a salvaged ladder or an upright valet to keep towels off the floor. Encourage them to wash their hands without your help by putting some fun-smelling soap by the sink and hanging a colorful hand towel where they can reach it on their own.

Plan for Organization and Storage

One of the easiest ways to get kids to take responsibility for their own belongings is personalization. Towels, toiletry bags, step stools and storage buckets that feature their name will give them a welcome sense of ownership, and help encourage them to keep their things together and tidy. Matching towels in two different colors that each feature your kids' names or initials is a great way to give them each a sense of individual ownership while keeping the style cohesive.

Something that sets kids' bathrooms apart is, of course, bath toys. There tend to be many of them, and you'll need a way to keep them organized between baths.

A couple of galvanized buckets next to the bath are a great option, or look for an open bin in a water-resistant material such as resin.

Rather than putting towels away on the high shelves of a linen closet, consider storing them on low open shelving, where kids can reach them, or using a lined woven basket with a lid as linen storage. Even something as simple and versatile as a stool or chair can serve as a convenient place to stack colorful towels – they'll become part of the room's decor. It's also a great idea to have a laundry hamper conveniently situated in the bathroom so they have somewhere to put their clothes or pajamas when they're getting into the bath.