Decorating a Child’s Room with a Cheap, Easy Space Theme
By Joey Lewitin
The cosmos provides such a wide range of exciting ideas that it is a natural topic to encourage your child to explore. One way to do this is to involve them in a project to decorate their room based on an outer space theme.
You can hold their attention by creatively selecting the most interesting aspects of this far reaching subject, or simply garnishing your research with aliens and space battles.
The intuitive first step for creating a space themed room is to paint the area black. Unfortunately this will have the effect of making the room feel smaller, hotter, and gloomier. Instead, use darkness and light to create the appearance of the blackness of space.
An inexpensive example of this method is to use stars that glow-in-the-dark. Scatter them across the ceiling and walls to create a mini-galaxy. You can take this a step further using glow-in-the-dark-paint. Trace an outline of the object you want to make on the material of your choice, and then cut it out. Paint the object carefully with the iridescent substance. If you are applying the paint directly to the wall, you may want to use tape along the outlines to avoid a mistake. You can attach your materials using thumb tacks or double sided tape.
This method can be used with regular paint to create a daytime galaxy. A mixture of the two however can provide a very interesting look, allowing you to have two different decorative schemes, depending on whether the lights are on or off. You should of course, be careful to monitor the effect glow-in-the-dark materials in the room have on the child’s sleep habits.
Planets and comets can be built using Styrofoam balls, easily purchased at any craft store. Research the size and appearance of the various planets with your child before purchasing materials. Make a scale of the different planets, which will determine how big your Styrofoam balls should be in relation to one another. Bookmark pictures of the various planets you want to create, and use them as a reference when coloring the Styrofoam. As you learn more about planets, engage the child’s imagination by talking about what it must be like on those strange worlds, and what the people living there would be like. Try and get them to ask questions, and help them find the answers in various reference materials.
When placing the planets, use your research to place them in correct relation to one another. If you have a ceiling light you can use this as a sort of sun. Otherwise, you can cut a round piece of cardboard, painted either with glow-in-the-dark or reflective paint, and tape this to the ceiling. A sun will allow you to create orbits around it, for the various planets.
To turn the child’s bed into a space ship, purchase a piece of cardboard that is large enough to cover the long side of their bed. You may have to use two pieces to a side if you can’t find a piece that is big enough by itself. Trace the outline of a spaceship onto the cardboard and then cut it out with a scissor or exact-o knife. Paint the proper colors onto the outline, wait for them to dry, and then attach them to the sides of the child’s bed with tape or thumbtacks. Look in books and articles for ideas about what would be found in a real spaceship, and then create panels and screens using the same method. Wings and joysticks are also a nice effect.
If you find your child is getting bored with all of the research, you can spice your activities by exploring the science fiction aspects of outer space. The best science fiction is based on real science, and this is one way to encourage an interest in the knowledge that we have about outer space, and in science itself. You can explore the ideas of aliens by looking at what we know of other planets, and imagining what kind of alien would live on that world. A space battle can be a way to discuss the physics of what an explosion would look like in outer space. There is really no limit to the ways you can engage your child’s interest in this field.
Children should not try any of these ideas out themselves without the consent and supervision of an adult. Caution should always be used in any activity that involves a child. Make certain that none of your decorative efforts causes any damage to the child’s safety.
Joey Lewitin has vast experience in interiors and design, and is a pioneer in the design of unique home furnishings made from natural stone. His newest designs can be seen at: Pebblez.com - The Rustic Stone Home Décor Store