Hooray its bathtime! The highlight of any kid's day - all those splashes, bubbles and squirty toys are hard to beat. So if you're doing up your bathroom to cater for your children's needs think about how you can make bathtime even more fun and the room a safe and happy part of your home.
There are several elements to a bathroom and each can be made more child friendly. One of the challenges with decorating a bathroom for children is that their taste and preferences change quickly, so stick with a plain bathroom suite and tiles and introduce interest in the accessories that can be updated.
Low sided baths are much easier for everyone to get in and out of, especially kids with short legs! And a bath with taps at the side allows two children to sit comfortably, one at each end with neither pulling the short straw and having to lean on uncomfortable taps.
When choosing taps, look out for all sorts of interesting designs. Some allow water to run with a waterfall effect which has an "oooo aaahhh" factor. It's also handy to have a hand held shower head, for hair washing and of course karaoke performances! A hand held shower gets toddlers used to the idea of showers which can be introduced once they are steady on their feet.
Bath curtains, to protect the bathroom from inevitable waterspray, can add a big splash of colour. Countless children's designs are available, and as they are relatively cheap you can change them with your child's latest colour or character obsession.
Kids are experts at splashing and throwing bubbles around so definitely go for a tiled floor. Wet carpet will rot quickly so you need some sort of waterproof surface. If you are tiling then look into installing underfloor heating while you're at it. The floor will feel really cosy underfoot. As a result children will be much more willing to co-operate at the end of bathtime.
Similarly a heated towel rail will provide a welcoming warm towel to be wrapped up in. However make sure you teach your children to keep well away from the towel rail itself as they get very hot.
If you are choosing a new toilet get a dual flush system. This can help teach children about water conservation and making appropriate choices - and children love pulling levers and pressing buttons. For younger children you can get a separate child toilet seat which sits on top and is tailored to a toddler's size. For older children there are all sorts of decorated toilet seats on the market to add a bit of fun.
When selecting a sink get the largest one you can. Children can be messy when brushing their teeth and washing hands so a large sink will cut out a lot of water mess. Also choose lever taps rather than twisting ones as they will be less stiff and kids can be more independent.
What kids love in the bathroom is lots of toys to play with. And what you want is tranquillity. So make sure you have plenty of storage. Get different coloured baskets for different types of toys and let the children decide how to organise them all. This may even encourage them to tidy up and leave the bathroom pristine for you!
Kids love little gadgets. Get a tooth brushing timer so your children brush their teeth for long enough. They are like egg timers but decorated with characters to make them more appealing. Bubble machines go down a treat and encourage children to wash. They also love toothbrush holders, cups, soaps and bottles of handwash decorated with their favourite characters. These are cheap and can easily be replaced when necessary.
Lastly, don't forget safety. Put a lock on the bathroom door that can be opened from the outside, to avoid panics. If you are tiling the floor make sure the tiles are suitable for wet use and are not too slippery. Get steps for easy access to the toilet and sinks for smaller children and make sure they have non-slip feet. And if you are keeping medicines or domestic cleaners in the bathroom store them out of reach or fit cupboard doors with child locks.
Children should have fun in the bathroom and enjoy water and bubble play, so make the experience a happy, safe one that can be easily adapted as your family grows up.