our everyday life

Ideas on How to Darken a Kid's Room on a Budget

by April Sanders, studioD

Most of us love the sun, but it's hard to sleep when it's shining in your eyes. This is especially true for children. Nap time and even bedtime can be tricky when the sun is lighting up the room, especially during daylight savings time and in the summer when it tends to stay light out later. Window blinds are one solution but they can be expensive. Fortunately, there are other, more budget-friendly options.

Importance of Light

Light triggers our brains to shift into different sleep cycles, according to the University of Michigan Health System. Although some may advocate training your child to sleep when it is light outside, the cycle of dark and light actually helps your child fall into a deeper -- or lighter -- sleep. For this reason, darkening a room may help your child achieve a more restful sleep.

Dark Fabric

Thick, dark colored curtains will instantly darken a room. Blackout curtains are lined with fabric to block more light, but even a standard blanket will work. If you don't want to install curtain rods -- or if you are renting and can't drill holes into the walls -- try using a pressure curtain rod, such as one that you would use to hang a shower curtain. Then, drape a blanket over it.


You can easily prop up cardboard in a window or tape it to the frame to darken a room. Not only is it inexpensive, but it is easy to remove when you want to see the light again. Just cutting down one cardboard box will likely be enough to cover at least half of the window -- you don't need a lot of cardboard to cover a lot of space.

Window Film

Black-out window film is often used to create privacy, but it blocks the light just as well as it blocks the view. It is also easy to install -- many use static to cling to the window. Others stick well enough to remain in place, but loosely enough to easily peel off.

Aluminum Foil

In a pinch, head to your kitchen drawer and pull out a roll of aluminum foil. It's easy to mold foil to the shape of your windows. Not only that, but it will reflect the heat so if your child's room tends to get hot, the foil will help keep it cool. Use painter's tape to attach the aluminum foil to the window frame.

About the Author

April Sanders is a writer, teacher and the mother of three boys. Raised on an organic farm, she is an avid gardener and believes that good growth starts with a rich, supportive foundation -- a philosophy that serves her well in both gardening and teaching. Sanders has written for Nickelodeon, Warner Brothers, Smarted Balanced, PARCC and others.

Photo Credits

  • David De Lossy/Digital Vision/Getty Images