A child’s brain is always active. During the first year, it triples in size. By the time they’re age 5, their brain is pretty much the same size as an adult’s. From there on out, kids continue to soak in tons of knowledge and experiences that help shape their personalities, preferences and dreams. It’s no surprise that children love books and toys. There’s a good chance their room is filled with everything from puzzles to fuzzy animals that nurture both their sense of imagination and practical motor skills. At Pottery Barn Kids, we want to help encourage your child’s playful nature while also making cleaning up afterward much easier. Bookcases make for a stylish solution.

Babies like to crawl around and experience the world first hand. They like toys featuring different textures. As kids grow, so does their sense of adventure. They create their own stories featuring police cars or mermaids. No matter the age, one thing all children need is a place to play. Many times, that area is the floor of their bedroom. Bookcases provide storage space for things that aren’t in use so the floor stays uncluttered. That way, kids have an open space on which to play.

Bookcases come in various sizes and styles. Some are tall and narrow and have four or five shelves. Others are wider, like a long rectangle that hugs the floor. Knowing what style is right for your kids’ room depends on how old they are, how big their bedroom is and what kind of things you want to store there. With little kids, it’s good to reserve the lower shelves for things they can play with unsupervised – since their curiosity almost definitely leads them to explore. Higher shelves – at least with young children – hold things you want them to ask you for permission to take out.

A bookcase with a single shelf does double duty. It gives you a place to store toys and serves as a small surface for toddlers to have some fun. The interior makes a good spot for an imaginary bank, and the second floor holds helicopters ready to take off. Everything is at eye level for easy access.

If their bedroom doesn’t have a lot of extra places for furniture, choosing a taller bookcase is helpful. It takes advantage of vertical space, so you can still fit their bed and a dresser without problems. A storage bed combines the two for efficient furniture distribution. Narrow bookcases are also very fashionable in rooms with a large window. Place a desk in front of the window for illumination and a pair of tall bookcases on each side to keep things centered.

When kids reach school age, a bookcase is a good place to keep their homework and backpack. That saves time because they know where to look for their textbooks and supplies. A clean desk can make studying less stressful for children because there aren’t a ton of papers to deal with. They just grab the books they need, do their homework and them slip them into their backpack. In the morning, they’re ready to roll.

Use a bookcase in a dedicated playroom along with different bins. Not only does it look bright and fresh, but it also saves you time and work. This is because it’s easy to slide baskets in and out of the open shelves. Bins allow you to organize toys by categories. That way, instead of picking up your children’s entire toy collection, you only need to handle a small part. Building blocks, plush animals, action figures, cars, puzzles and other items can all have their own spot. Both you and your kids know which basket has what they’re seeking.

In a nursery, keep your baby’s favorite stories nearby on a shelf to read before bed. Fill the whole room with your love and affection by adding decor to other areas of the bookcase. Pictures, art and plush pieces are warm and welcoming. On the practical side, you can also store baby blankets and clothing on a shelf so they’re simple to reach during feeding time.

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