SOLUTION #1: CREATE A COMMAND CENTRAL
If you have very small children, kitchen-cabinet baskets or easy to reach drawers are a wonderful place to swap out the potatoes and veggies and store crayons, markers, coloring books, puzzles, or small toys. Storage should be smart and work for your needs. Under counter refrigerator drawers allow your kids to get their own drinks and snacks — quite empowering to do things for themselves. If you have room to build a custom desk in their rooms, we can help with this too. Here we created a desk area in black cabinetry in a teen boy’s bedroom.
I personally love a kitchen island with stools if you have the room. It is a perfect place for kids to spread out their books and papers. There is also nothing better than being in the same room to encourage conversation while cooking and capture their attention in the morning while eating breakfast. For years (and I still do this), I kept a small chalkboard like this one from our Amazon affiliate on the kitchen island. I add a vocabulary word each day to it. By the weekend there are five new words. For every word the kids remember, I’d give them a dollar. That is their allowance; chores are mandatory. Some weeks I let the kids choose the words, and they would try to stump us with their picks. In our home, the kitchen island naturally became our homework station. In some instances, a kitchen island can potentially eliminate the need for a separate kitchen table. In an ideal world, you have room for both. Work with your designer to determine what works best for your family.
If your microwave doesn’t have a clock, add a clock to the kitchen. Some kitchen clocks are so beautiful they look like art in and of themselves. I wouldn’t bother setting the clocks ahead to avoid being late. My kids figured that out quickly and knew exactly how fast the clock was and how much time they “really” had.
Showcasing your children’s art is a wonderful way to add personality to the kitchen (or any room) and make them feel valued. There are plenty of ways to display artwork, ceramic projects, and certificates attractively. This frame is designed to easily swap out artwork, and you can always use a countertop display stand or cake pedestal to showcase their ceramic creations.
If your children are athletes with a lot of sporting equipment, then you may want to create a mudroom if you have the space. A mudroom is also a fantastic place to display their creative works. See this post: The Secret to a Great Kitchen is a Great Mudroom. Another fun idea is to take a picture of your child’s artwork. Later, you can create a photo book timeline of their creations.
With a few simple modifications, you can turn your kitchen into a place that encourages school success.