While we all want to conserve resources, prevent energy leaks, and arm ourselves by readying our homes for the onslaught of cold weather, the dark, confining days of winter can also affect kids’ energy levels. Sometimes the practice of hunkering down can turn active, happy-go-lucky, track running, ball-playing, goal scoring dynamos into proverbial Gloomy Guses. But what if you could save energy, bring in the sun, and turn up the fun in the great indoors?!
For starters, and more for practical purposes, taking those extra steps to insulate will both keep kids warm and hold down excess energy bills. If you live in a consistently cold, snowy winter climate where the need to open windows goes away for a few months, make sure storm windows are pulled down securely, maybe even caulking to completely prevent icy drafts from creeping in. At the very least, older single pane windows should be replaced with energy efficient double pane glass.
Drapes of heavy and/or textured material (some are even called thermal drapes) can also aid in keeping kids’ spaces warm and toasty, with the option to open them during the day to court any sun making its way around to the room, also known as passive solar heating. To brighten the environment, as heavy drapes tend to be dark, look for rich, bright, jewel-like colors and tones such as red, yellow, light green, pink or orange in soft, velvety textures. Rolled fabric draft stoppers (or draft dodgers) placed at the door will also serve to keep heat from escaping, and can be decorated with shiny faux jewels and trinkets from the bead store.
For toasty toes if floors are not carpeted, try using a series of plush area rugs especially around the bed and in the center of the room. Flannel sheets (again, look for bright colors) and a down comforter layered on top of a woolen blanket are great for the coldest nights, and for snuggling under when doing homework. For sheets, rugs, and comforters, seek out bold, stimulating prints that complement the drapes and provide an oasis of light and bright in the room, and add extra throw pillows in bright velvets for warmth and pizzazz.
If your child’s room already has a ceiling fan, or a ceiling and fixture base substantial enough to accommodate one (consulting with an electrician is warranted in this situation), a reverse ceiling fan will send hot air back down into the room instead of the up and away-type action preferred in warmer months. In fact many newer models have both normal and reverse switch options which makes flipping from summer to winter quite simple. For a real boost in energy (your child’s, that is), dare to paint the ceiling fan golden yellow like the sun, even adding beads and sparkles, making it possible for the room to “shine” on the gloomiest of days.
These energy conservation and winter decorating tips and tricks will help create bright, cheery winter bedroom oases that every child will want to come home to. In fact it may be hard to get them to leave!