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If you have children, its likely you want them to have a bathroom that is safe, with accessible fixtures, and an inviting atmosphere which encourages the development of good hygiene habits. To make this happen, all you need is a little planning and a few do-it-yourself hours. Whether you have a bathroom exclusively used by the kids, or one shared by whole family, adjustments can be made to accomplish your kid-friendly goals.

For homes with a separate kid's bathroom, the creative design options are seemingly limitless. Keep in mind that the room needs to evoke fun. If it does, the youngsters just might look forward to doing their hygienic chores. You can begin the design process by developing an overall theme based on the child's interests. This might revolve around a particular cartoon character, animal, or setting. Perhaps it features Winnie-the-Pooh, or monkeys, or a nautical scene. Whatever the specific theme choice, carry it out consistently around the room, but not to an extreme. Too much of a good thing can create chaos. Balance the accessories with the background. For example, if you have a Spider-Man soap dispenser, shower curtain, toothbrush holder, toilet seat cover, towels, etc.; then keep the walls a solid color. And the reverse is true. If you have Spider-Man portrayed on wallpaper all around the room, limit the amount of similar images of him on other elements, and simply use the same family of colors to provide contrast.

If you have no specific theme, think through all your color options. Kids generally like bold, bright colors. They're fun. All the vivid colors of the spectrum could be used across the room at one time, but if so, be aware that in order for those colors to "pop" you'll need some white areas for them to contrast against. Alternatively, a one or two-color scheme can be employed by using a mixture of light, medium, and dark tones of that same color. For example, if all your children are girls, pink or purple colors might dominate. A camouflage blend or bold solid colors related to action heroes could be what your boys want. But, don't guess or accept stereotypes! Check with your kids and follow up on their specific likes. And remember that compromises may have to be made if sons and daughters are sharing the room.

There are numerous distinctive accessories on the market which can accent a bathroom, making it fun for the kids, while keeping it functional for the parents. Perhaps the easiest items to find are decorative soap dispensers and toothbrush holders featuring popular characters, animals, or wild geometric designs. But almost any fixture in the bathroom can receive a kid-oriented overhaul. Here's a few creative ideas. Shelves could be built out of old skateboards (with or without the wheels). Mirrors could be framed in colorful soft fuzzy fabric. Towel racks could be personalized by adhering building block letters that spell out the child's name above each hook. The creative ideas are only limited by your imagination.

Decals of every imaginable subject matter can be applied to walls, tubs, cabinets, windows, and even the toilet seat. And, it still doesn't stop there. The shower curtain, towels, rugs, light fixtures, wall-hangings, window curtains, etc., can all become bright, decorative and fun. If you don't find what you dream of in the marketplace, get creative and consider making it yourself!

Its an obvious fact, but often overlooked, that toddlers are a lot shorter than us grown-ups. Things we take for granted to be able to reach, these little guys just can't. What can we do to help them out? Plenty. Start with a stool. Keep it near the sink where they can easily find it and be able to wash their hands and brush their teeth. And why not paint it in fun colors of their choosing? Light switches can be as hard to reach as faucets. Simple extenders are readily available for toddlers to use. Even motion-activated lights and faucets could be added to make operating these fixtures safely automatic. And don't forget to add a shelf and towel rack a few inches lower on the wall, filled with specially-colored towels designated for each kid. This, and assigned drawers or baskets for toy storage can help with their sense of organization as well.

Of course, the first thing we should have discussed was safety. Many of the precautions we adults take for ourselves, will protect the kids as well. Everyone will benefit from non-slip pads in the shower or tub. Non-slip rugs are equally logical. And grab bars around the toilet or tub are a great idea for old and young alike. In the shower, an anti-scald device can be added to fixtures to eliminate dangerous surges in temperature.

There are further precautions which can help protect the toddlers. A soft toilet seat can prevent pinched fingers, and a discreet, simple toilet clamp can deter unwanted exploration. Safety locks and plugs can be put on cabinets and outlets. Breakable glasses or other utensils in the bath could be a disaster; there are plenty of cool, colorful, plastic or paper ones available. In the tub, you can find cute cushy covers for the faucet and handles which will soften any accidental bumps. And, if you are starting from scratch with the bathroom makeover, strive to use cabinets and counters with rounded corners.

With all these options, it can be difficult to narrow down the choices to what is best for you and your kids. The best word of advice is just to be practical. Your children are growing, rapidly. In no time, their interest in Big Bird will fade and it will be time to re-decorate again. Spare your budget and your time by investing in décor ideas that can be altered without too much effort. And have fun as you create memories for your children.