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  • What is a captain's bed?

    captains bed in the UK

    The aptly named captains bed is inspired by space-saving furniture designs found on sailing ships. Space is at a premium on a boat so beds are designed to be higher off the ground with cleverly built-in storage underneath.

    These beds are just as popular on-land as they are at sea. They are the perfect beds for children as they provide clever storage spaces that don't intrude on bedroom floor space. They are also perfect for adults so there will be no need to replace your child’s bed even as they grow.

    The rise in popularity of the captains bed in the UK proves how versatile and helpful these beds can be. These multipurpose items provide fantastic storage solutions. Moreover, some captains beds also include pull out beds that are perfect for sleepovers.

    Why choose a captain’s bed?

    As parents, we all know that children accumulate stuff and you need somewhere to put all that stuff. Having a kids bed with drawers is the perfect solution for clearing away the clutter and stopping toys from invading your own space. Not only do they have drawers, but you can also choose beds that have shelves and even hidden extra beds.

    When you look for a captain’s bed with storage, you should consider the following:

    1. Where the access to the storage is. This will dictate where the bed is positioned in the bedroom.
    2. What bedding you will need. You don’t want to hinder access to drawers and cupboards.
    3. What furniture you will no longer need. A captains bed with storage will mean you need less furniture in the bedroom, giving you more floor space.

    Captain beds also come in many different designs and colours. You can choose from natural wood colours to the enduringly popular white which many people opt for in their child’s bedroom. The design of a typical captains bed in the UK is stylish and modern. Your child will just love spending time in their bedroom reading or listening to music.

    How to choose a captains bed.

    When you start shopping for a captains bed in the UK, you'll find that suppliers have a wide range of styles and storage solutions.

    Maybe having a kids bed with drawers means you can put away out of season clothes or spare bedding. Perhaps a captains bed with storage that includes shelves means your child has easy access to books and toys. Plus, there is no excuse for them to leave them lying on the floor!

    When choosing a captains bed in the UK, furniture suppliers, including us, have it covered.

  • Are bunk beds safe for toddlers?

    Children grow so fast and in order to do so, they need plenty of sleep. It is, therefore, vital that you find the perfect sleeping solution for your kids. Now your toddler has outgrown their cot, you may be considering buying bunk beds to help minimise space.

    Can toddlers sleep in a bunk bed?

    No child under the age of 6 is allowed to sleep in the top bunk of a bunk bed. However, once your toddler is big enough, there is no reason why they can’t move into the bottom bunk.

    Are there different types of bunk beds?

    There are various models of bunk beds for kids so you can find the ideal bed for your family and home.

    - Standard Bunks The traditional style with one bed on top of another connected by a ladder remains a popular choice. Not only do they save space, but they are also very reasonably priced.

    - Storage Bunks These bunk beds for kids are great when siblings are sharing a room. The extra storage provided means that there is extra space to keep all their belongings.

    - Double Bunks These may help persuade an older child to share with their younger sibling. A single top bunk and a double bunk bed are great when you want to have guests to stay over. Plus, they are perfect for sleepovers.

    - Trundle Bunk Beds These come with a pull out bed and are another great sleepover option. Rather than having a lower double bunk that may take up valuable space, this option means the extra bed can be pushed underneath the bunk beds when not needed.

    - Low Bunk Beds A popular choice, these will give you peace of mind if both your children are younger. Within this range, you will find some amazing designs that will have your children begging to go to bed in the evening.

    - L Shaped Bunk Beds These beds are great if a bedroom has a little more space. The bottom bunk sits at a 90° angle to the top bunk. This means the child on the lower bunk will feel as though they have more space. These beds normally come with extra storage too which is always useful.

    When purchasing bunk beds, you must always consider safety. Follow the assembly instructions carefully. Make sure your children understand that it isn’t a climbing frame and shouldn’t be treated like one. Finally, only let one child on the top bunk at a time.

  • Tips for Homeschooling your children during lockdown

    With schools closed, parents are trying to keep their children entertained. Homeschooling may seem a daunting prospect, but with the right resources and furniture, you can keep children focused on their learning and add some routine to your days.

    Create the right environment

    Your child needs a quiet, well-lit place to work. Ideally, they should be sat at a desk as this will remind them of school. Our Stompa Furniture range has a cabin bed with desk and a high sleeper with desk which ensures that your child has the perfect place to sit and focus.

    low sleeper beds

    Be organised

    Having the right stationery is important. But pens, pencils, scissors, glue and paper can all pile up. To avoid clutter, a high sleeper with desk or cabin bed with desk also has drawers and optional shelves, so there is a place to organise all the equipment your children will need.

    Avoid distractions

    Switch the TV off. Whilst your children are studying, they should switch off electronic devices. They may need to use a laptop or computer, but televisions, radios and MP3 players can all provide unnecessary diversions.

    Stay healthy

    Research has proven that staying hydrated can improve concentration levels. Furthermore, eating healthy snacks will prepare your children for successful learning. Getting a good night’s sleep is also important. You may wish to consider our Stompa Furniture to find a high sleeper with desk and also choose a comfortable mattress to ensure that your child wakes up refreshed and ready to learn.

    Grey Kids Avenue midsleeper child's bed

    Structure days

    Sit down with your child and help them to prioritise tasks. They may be feeling overwhelmed with the range and quantity of work they have been set. Perhaps, draw up a loose timetable. There will be a place to stick it on a cabin bed with desk so they can visually see how their day is organised.

    Have a break

    Don’t forget to include breaks into the day’s routine. Having a cabin bed with desk will allow your child to be able to relax in their bedroom without being surrounded by the clutter of

  • How to keep a normal routine during lockdown

    Our usual lives may be on hold whilst the world is in lockdown, but routine is still essential in helping children maintain some normality in their lives.

    How do I create a routine?

    First of all, be flexible. Plan a schedule that includes both structured activities as well as free time. Some children may even like planning their routine, so get them involved.

    What could this routine look like?

    There is no one perfect way to organise a routine. Each family is different. However, here are some ideas we think could help.

    Keep Moving: Maintaining physical activity is vital in keeping a healthy body and mind. Get your kids up and moving every day. If you don’t have lots of room, think about getting a kids bed with drawers to make sure everything can be tidied away and ensuring there is more floor space. Jumping jacks, yoga stretches, and burpee challenges can all be easily done in a bedroom.

    Get Studying: Schools are providing work and, although you can’t reproduce a classroom, you can provide a great study area for your children to stop and focus on learning. Having a cabin bed with desk means that there can be a designated study area that doesn’t encroach on other spaces.

    Which cabin bed with desk do you recommend?

    Many of our cabin beds come with a pullout desk, meaning that work can be put away at the end of the day. Our midsleeper cabin bed with desk provides a cosy and durable solution to keeping bedrooms practical yet relaxing.

    kids-bed-with-drawers

    Craft Away: With more time to spend with the kids, why not get creative? Getting a cabin bed with desk means that you can help your children find their artistic streak. The desk space will allow them to make rockets out of recycling or necklaces out of pasta. Having a kids bed with drawers ensures that you have a space for them to store their creations.

    Organise your Space: Think about all the clutter your children have accumulated over the last few years. Get them involved in resorting and reorganising their bedrooms. A girls bed with storage is the perfect piece of furniture to organise toys, clothes, and shoes. A cabin bed with a desk also provides lots of storage solutions; more shelving to place books and room to store toy boxes underneath the bed. If you declutter as a family, you will be amazed at how many forgotten toys will be rediscovered.

    Give Each Other Space: Try and fit in some downtime into your daily routine. Let children go to their bedrooms and relax. Having some free time by themselves is important but, to relax properly, they need a calm space. A girls bed with storage or a kids bed with drawers will help keep bedrooms organised and tidy, creating a more inviting place to sit and read or listen to music.

    Keep in Touch: Another use for a cabin bed with desk is to help your children stay in touch with family and friends. A desk to put a laptop on means videoing calling is easier. It also provides a place where they can write letters and postcards, helping them feel more connected to the outside world.

  • Introducing our favourite beds with desks

    With the spread of the coronavirus completely upending everyday life, we’re all scrambling to adapt. On top of getting to grips with social distancing, educating ourselves on virus transmission and learning to live our entire lives indoors, we’ve also got to contend with having kids at home - all day, every day. To ensure they don’t spend all of this time glued to a screen, and are spending at least some of this time productively, many parents are scrambling to create suitable workspaces. With this in mind, we’ve tried to highlight some of our bestselling beds that come with desks.

    Steens pull-out desk in cool grey

    Midsleepers are a popular choice because of their ability to make the most of a small space. On top of a sturdy, robust and stylish bed, they give you the ability to use this additional space generated however you see fit. It might be that you need it for storage - for anything from bedding to books - or you might prefer to use it as a play area (this pink midsleeper from Steens is a fantastic example). 

    This cool grey pull-out desk for kids from Steens is a slick option for those looking to give their child a space to do their work. With a rounded edge that fits neatly onto a midsleeper, it’s functional as well as attractively designed. There’s storage space for all of your kids’ books and folders too.

    Gami duplex highsleeper

    highsleeper beds with desks

    This highsleeper bed from French brand Gami is elegantly constructed: it features a gorgeous chestnut finish that complements a gleaming black foil surface. It’s got everything a stuck-at-home student could possibly need - from shelves for books, paper and folders to a solid and sizeable desk that can cater for laptops and anything they’re currently working on. There are loads of additional options to choose from too. So, whether you want an extra comfortable memoflex mattress or a bunky light, it’s all available.

    Kidsaw JCB desk and chair

    desk with chair

    For those who’ve only just started at nursery or school, you might want something a bit more lively and engaging. Learning and creating is meant to be fun and this desk and chair is definitely that. Designed to look like an anthropomorphised JCB, it’s a great way to attract their attention and encourage them to take a seat and make their way through anything they’d like to work on.

    We’re still operating as usual. We can deliver any product you need directly to your doorstep. If you aren’t comfortable with our couriers coming into your home, please let us know - we’re happy to accommodate any of your requirements. For the latest on what is a constantly evolving situation, consult our blog or social media. If your question is urgent, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

  • Creating the perfect study space

    cabin bed with a desk

    Governments are doing everything they can to slow the spread of coronavirus. Just a few days ago, the UK took the unprecedented decision to close schools. With it, the education system has ground firmly to a halt - exams have been cancelled and teachers sent home. Already under pressure parents are now being asked to scramble to cobble together a suitable workspace. 

    While a corner of the table can work when it’s only expected to handle an hour or so of homework a night, when you’re expected to provide something a bit more substantial for a longer period of time - and source it inexpensively and quickly - it can be a close to impossible task. To help you out, we’ve compiled all of the helpful advice we can think of into one easily digestible piece. Follow the advice detailed and you shouldn’t have a problem creating a quiet and comfortable working environment that will allow your child to concentrate on their studies.

    Quiet

    In the modern age, homes are full of distractions both big and small: TV’s, laptops, tablets , phones and even smartwatches. Creating a space where all of these distractions are absent can be difficult but putting the effort in will surely be rewarded with a ready-to-work and laser-focused child. If the rest of the home is noisy - as it is likely to be with the whole family cloistered indoors -  it might be an idea to drown out any head-turning background noise with some ambient music. Songs without lyrics allow your children to dedicate themselves to the task at hand.

    Greenery

    Sometimes practical limitations mean you simply can’t afford to allocate one of the bigger, brighter rooms to study. There are, however, ways you can make the space you do have available more inviting. House plants have become extremely popular in recent months. In part, because they can help re-establish a connection to the outside world in even the smallest, darkest corners but also because they can remove toxins from the air, bolster mood and improve concentration. 

    Pick a study room and stick to it

    Working in the same room where you’d normally watch TV, play games or relax with a book can take a bit of adjustment. Each room in your house is likely to evoke a different frame of mind, which is why we’d recommend selecting a room for studying and sticking to it. When your kids enter that room, they’ll know what is expected of them and should have a better chance of getting on with their work without incident or interruption.

    We have a broad range of beds and desks available on our site. Whether you’re looking for a temporary stop-gap solution or a cabin bed with a desk that’s going to last years and years, we’re confident we can partner you with the perfect product. And, for a limited time only, if you spend over £300, you can get free room of choice delivery. Got any questions? Don’t hesitate to get in touch!

  • Bite-size guide to the KonMari method

    mid sleeper with storage

    A new year brings with it new challenges. And some of them are entirely of our own creation.

    After mining our last twelve months for positives and negatives, we resolve to make changes that we hope will make the next twelve months even more enjoyable.

    For many, the key to a better year lies in our appearance. We take up new sports, change our daily routine and follow an exacting nutritional plan to warp our bodies into our imagined ideal. Even if the pursuit proves futile, we’ll reap the benefits of living a healthier lifestyle.

    Others decide that their immediate environment is a more deserving recipient of their turn-of-the-year enthusiasm – or at least, it is a target that is more easily accomplished. The reality is though, if you’re contemplating a complete revamp of our home or just a few minor tweaks, the task ahead can be daunting.

    Naturally, if you’ve got a tenuous grasp on the basics of both home management and interior design, you’ve got to look elsewhere for inspiration. And whether you’ve turned on the TV or made the effort to read up on the subject, you’ve likely encountered Marie Kondo.

    A bestselling book, The Art of Tidying, and a Netflix show, Tidying up with Marie Kondo, have made her simple organisational philosophy – the KonMari method – ubiquitous.

    But if you haven’t got the time to read 256 pages or sit through eight 45 minute episodes, what are you meant to do?

    To help you get to grips with the essentials of the KonMari method without wasting a minute, we've distilled everything you need to know into one simple, digestible blog post. You’ll be making real strides in your goals for the New Year in no time at all.

    Does it spark joy?

    The most important aspect of the method is, when determining whether to keep or throw away an item, assessing its capacity to ‘spark joy’. If it does, you keep it. If it doesn’t, you don’t. It’s a simple approach that has been embraced by thousands. Enthusiastically so too; ‘spark joy’ has worked its way into the lexicon of the cognoscenti – appearing on the signs of protestors in the UK and the US.

    The process

    To break down what can be an arduous, lengthy and complex process into its more easily digestible constituent parts, Kondo recommends sorting your belongings in the following order:

    •         Clothing
    •         Books
    •         Paper
    •         Komono (miscellaneous items)
    •         Sentimental items

     Kondo recommends pooling all of your belongings into one place and then systematically working through them item-by-item. Ordered this way, you can work your way through items in ascending order of their emotional value. The things that are most difficult to throw away are saved for last.

    She is also fond of humanising every item – asking how your socks, for example, might feel balled up and stuffed away in the corner of a drawer. Bizarre as it may seem, some people find that this perspective helps them better appreciate the value of their things.

    The benefits

    Your mind can take on the characteristics of your home. When your living space is cluttered, your thinking can become muddled and convoluted. Scientific studies have demonstrated the health benefits of a cleaner, clearer space and several participants in the show talk enthusiastically about the improvements to their mental health. 

    Adopting Marie Kondo’s methods is a great starting point for decluttering your home. If you want a head start, why not look at a space-savvy mid sleeper with storage?

  • What is The Healthiest Sleeping Position?

    Self Sleeping Habits for Infants and parents

    When it comes to catching those all-important zzz’s the sleeping position you and your children choose could be affecting the quality of sleep as well as having negative impacts on the body. Your most loved sleeping pose could be the cause of aches and pains, tummy troubles and even premature wrinkles (for the parents). We wanted to address some of these issues and help you discover the best sleeping positions and childrens beds for you and your little ones.

    Let them sleep alone

    Babies ideally, shouldn’t co-sleep with a parent or adult for any reason. This is easily said than done. You could consider having your baby or infant sleep in the same room as you, just not in the same bed, especially for the first six months as recommended by the NHS. Placing your baby on their back to sleep from the very beginning, both during the day and night will reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) which brings us to our next point.

    Put them on their back

    Place babies on their backs to sleep every time. This position has reduced the amount of SIDS nationwide by more than 50% according to recent studies. As babies grow, it’s ok if they roll over on their own during their sleep. So long as you keep their sleeping area clear and have a tightly fitted sheet and firm mattress this should ensure a good sleep.

    Making their sleeping space safe

    It’s important not to allow babies or infants to sleep in an adult bed, on a sofa or in a chair. Instead, use safety approved cots, bassinet’s or for infant’s appropriate childrens beds. Make sure all sleeping spaces are kept clear, include a firm mattress, and are covered with a tightly fitted sheet. Objects such as toys, cushions and blankets should be kept out of the way. You may want to consider a one-piece wearable blanket rather than loose blankets to keep children warm.

    Sleeping positions that are good

    Sleeping on the back is recommended for a good night’s sleep. This posture also prevents neck and back pain by maintaining a neutral position for the head, neck and spine. It can also reduce the risk of acid reflux by keeping your head elevated above your stomach. And for adults, you’ll be please know can minimise wrinkles as there is nothing pushing against your face. The only downside to lying on the back is that it can encourage snoring.

    Sleeping positions that are ok

    So, if you wish to reduce the snoring perhaps you may want to try sleeping on the side as this elongates the spine. This, like sleeping on the back will also help to prevent acid reflux by keeping the head elevated above the stomach. For mums to be, however, this can be a useful position during pregnancy as sleeping on the left is ideal for blood flow. Unfortunately, though, it is considered bad for the face and breasts as it pushes on the body parts and can cause prominent sagging. 

    Sleeping positions that are bad

    Although another position that can be useful during pregnancy, the fetal pose can be considered bad for others. This position can have a bigger effect on adults as it increases arthritic pain as knees are bent for long periods of time. It can also be bad for the neck and spine posture and it is crucial not to curve your back too much. As well as this, curling up in your sleep can restrict deep breathing which is useful to slow your body and heart rate down making it easier to drift off to sleep.

    Sleeping positions to avoid

    Sleeping on the stomach should be avoided as it is difficult to maintain a neutral spine and can put pressure on joints and muscles which can irritate nerves leading to tingling, numbness and sometimes pain. This is usually the position that causes aching in the neck, shoulders or back. However, if you don’t suffer from body aches and pains and you often snore, then keeping the face down will help keep your upper airways open so perhaps this is the position for you.

    As well as sourcing the right childrens beds we encourage you to find the perfect pillow and mattress to ensure you and your little ones get the best night’s sleep you deserve!

  • 5 Fun Ways to Get Your Children Reading

    It’s never too early to start reading with your kids. Whether you read them the morning newspaper at breakfast or tuck them into their childrens beds for a nighttime story. Reading can have a very positive impact on children’s early brain development so it’s important to take the time out of our busy schedules to help with your child’s reading habits. 90% of a child’s brain is developed in his or her’s first three years. Research shows that the associations between home reading exposure are positively associated with activation of the brain during a story listening task, and reading aloud to children is more effective than talking when it comes to building literacy. 

    It’s important for parents to continue reading aloud to older children too. Even after they become fluent in reading, students who read 15 minutes or more start seeing substantial positive gains in reading achievement and so keep reading to your kids up to age 14. 87% of children ages 6 to 11 said they enjoyed being read to and wished their parent would continue reading to them.

    If you find it difficult to find time to read to your children take a look at the five fun ways to get your child reading that we have put together below.

    Read out loud

    Reading 15 minutes per day exposes children to over 1,000,000 words per year. And reading aloud lets parents model how pleasant, valuable, and exciting reading to kids can be. More often than not children will catch their enthusiasm and adopt this positive energy.

    Think outside the box

    Reading to your children doesn’t have to be limited to the childrens beds. Think outside the bedroom and find other quiet moments throughout the daily routine to share a story or recite a few words. Before mealtimes at breakfast, lunch or dinner may work for you or bath time is also a great alternative.

    Reading on the move

    Often we have to travel with our little ones, whether it be to nursery, school or the local supermarket. Take a book with you for older children who can quietly read whilst they enjoy the car journey or if you don’t have to take the driver’s seat, spend the time reading a story to your child, you may even want to put on an audiobook to utilise the travelling time.

    Create a childrens treasure hunt

    A fun way to incorporate reading into your child's routine could be through a treasure hunt. Leave clues that lead them around the house to discover their favourite storybook in an unexpected place.

    Pay attention to their taste

    Lastly, accept that you may have different reading tastes to your children. Encouraging them to choose their own books with not only make the reading time more enjoyable for them but will give them some independence when it comes to making decisions.

    Check out some of our favourite storybooks here to get started with your child’s reading.

  • Introducing your child to a new sport

    low sleeper beds

    With the arrival of the New Year, it’s natural to start eagerly looking for ways to make the next 12 months even better than the last.  For many of us, to realise our aspirations for a happier, healthier life, we need to change our lifestyle. It might be something simple (like eating less sugary, fattening foods) or something drastic (like sticking religiously to a personalised training and diet plan). Whatever it is, this period of self-reflection typically produces positive results and leads us to also think about the lifestyles of those closest to us - our children.

    One year older and growing all the time, if they’re aren’t already participating in some kind of physical activity, it might be the time to introduce them to a new sport. It’s a great way to ensure your child gets the vital exercise they need. (We’ve already written about the importance of regular exercise here.) But, when they’re starting their very first sport, it can be difficult to gauge how long their interest will last.

    A little bit of trial-and-error is probably unavoidable. The sport their closest friends at school love - which they insist on taking part in too - might not deliver them the same kind of joy. To give you the best possible chance of selecting the right sport straight away (and avoiding the cost of your child starting and then quickly abandoning an activity) we’ve summarised the appeal of three of the most popular activities and recommended some useful tools.

    Swimming

    Swimming was the most popular physical pursuit for kids aged between 5 and 10 (and the second most popular for kids aged 11 and 15). It’s easy to see why. Being able to swim is an important life skill and a prerequisite for spending time in the pool or on the beach. It helps improve cardiovascular endurance and builds strength. Although it’s an individual sport, lessons normally take place in a group which allows for some - if limited - psychosocial benefit.

    Cycling

    Cycling is popular for largely the same reasons as swimming - many see being able to ride a bike as an important life skill that is best learnt young. It improves health and gives children the means to travel further distances than they would be able to otherwise - on their own or with a group of friends.

    Football

    Football continues to appear at the top (or near the top) of the list of most popular sports for children in the UK. In a football-obsessed nation, this is no surprise. Its popularity is, in part, explained by the challenge of testing the limits of your endurance, speed and agility. But the psychosocial benefits of training and competing as a team are an important draw too.

    While this is far from an exhaustive list, we’ve tried to give you an insight into a selection of the UK’s most popular sports. If, however, all of these activities have failed to pique your child’s interest, there’s an extremely useful resource that might be able to lend a helping hand.

    The Healthy Sport Index allows you to rate the importance of three different criteria - physical activity, safety and psychosocial benefits - and gives you a list of sports to choose from in order of their corresponding suitability. It also factors in gender too.

    Bear in mind that this tool is primarily targeted at a US audience so don’t be surprised if it introduces you to a range of fiercely American sports like baseball and cheerleading. And, of course, try not to roll your eyes too hard if ‘soccer’ pops up as an option.

    Taking up a new sport is bound to lead to exhaustion. To make sure they get a solid night’s sleep to rest and recharge, get them a comfortable bed that snugly fits the dimensions of their room. Regardless of your taste in interior design - or any practical limitations - we’ve got a comprehensive range of products that can cater to all possibilities: from simple low sleeper beds to more complex children’s midsleeper beds with in-built storage.

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