Children’s furniture that grows with the child
Kids quickly outgrow their furniture, but the industry is responding with “change artists” that can be adapted to different ages and activities.
Many parents wonder what to do with a changing table once a child is potty trained. Thankfully, items such as changing tables, high chairs and cribs no longer need to end up in storage or a garage sale, because more and more manufacturers offer children’s furniture that is transformable and multifunctional: a baby’s high chair, for example, can be converted into a chair a child can sit on through to its teens. A crib can become a sofa, a changing table can be turned into a writing desk, and a toy stove can become a bedside cabinet.
More storage space required
Furniture should address a child’s needs. Toys and stuffed animals for toddlers should be kept where they can reach them – low down, near the floor. As children grow, however, their storage space can move up with them. And, as the years go by, more shelving and cupboards are needed to store their possessions. This is when parents who bought extendible furniture systems can reap the benefits. Modular systems are particularly advantageous, enabling combinations that considerably extend the useful life of the original pieces.
Three beds in one
Several furniture manufacturers now offer 3-in-1 beds that help parents avoid buying a larger bed every few years. Using optional accessories, they can be extended from cot size to a mattress length of over 150 cm (suitable for children up to 7 years of age). What’s more, some of these beds can be used later on as chairs or cosy sofas. Even the side rails can serve as coat racks or for Punch and Judy shows. And the curved sections of rail can be turned into climbing frames.
Robust furniture is a must
Children’s writing desks need to be adjustable in height. Preschoolers should be able to do their first artwork there and older kids to complete their homework without damaging their posture. So when you buy furniture that grows with your child’s needs, it’s important to purchase quality products. TÜV labels and GS safety marks are a good indication of quality, along with the RAL seal of approval.
Furniture should be robust enough to cope with many years of intensive use by lively children. Although solid timber definitely meets this requirement, its surface must be protected to resist years of use with felt-tip pens and other implements. Foil, veneer or varnished surfaces enable easy cleaning – in contrast to untreated wood, which is prone to unsightly stains and marks that are difficult to remove.
An article by Tanja Müller