As loving, careful parents we concentrate on keeping our children safe, but kids have a natural love of adventure. They want to venture beyond their secure pastel bedrooms, and experience a journey of excitement. Books and movies, from “Where the Wild Things Are” to “Harry Potter”, can help kids experience these things in a safe way.
Another great way to foster a child’s urge to explore and use their imagination is to transform his or her bedroom into a new environment with a custom jungle mural. Tropical jungles filled with lions or other wild beasts can stimulate a child’s imagination in many ways. They can be a Tarzan-like figure, living with the wild animals, or an intrepid archaeologist like Indiana Jones. They can pretend to be an explorer who penetrates the darkest jungles searching for unknown peoples and animals. On another day, he might pretend to be a warrior, a king, or a witch doctor-any of the people who live in a jungle society. Perhaps she would like to be a pilot who crashed in the jungle, and is trying to find her way back to civilization. The possibilities are endless, and kids will come up with their own list of exciting adventures.
A custom jungle mural for the wall of a room comes in two types, both of them easy to install. One type is adhesive, a durable, slick, non-reflective, vinyl material which also works well outdoors. It is peel-and-stick, which makes it easy and convenient to install. It’s water and stain resistant, too.
The other type is non-adhesive. It is also a durable vinyl, which will withstand weather. A thick coating of latex protects the surface. The advantage to the non-adhesive mural is that it’s reusable. If you move to a new home, or switch bedrooms in your house, simply remove and reinstall in the new room.
Before installing either of these products, ensure that the wall is clean, dry and smooth. Sanding with an electric sander is the fastest and best way to ensure a smooth surface, unless there are too many imperfections in the wall. In that case, you should use drywall compound first. With a broad spackling knife, spread a smooth, thin layer of compound on the wall. When it dries, use a sanding sponge to smooth any bumps or ridges. The final step is to wipe the dry surface with a cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol. Now you’re ready to apply your mural.
To hang the adhesive mural on the wall, enlist the help of a friend. You’ll also need a couple of ladders, a pencil, a squeegee, and a razor knife. Remove all switch plates and outlet covers. Step by step instructions are available online, but essentially you begin by marking the wall for the left-most panel, peel the backing sheet of the panel from the top and apply. It’s not difficult, but it does need a steady hand and careful marking and placement.
The non-adhesive application is similar, but this time you’ll use a tack and frame system. Again, you’ll need a friend, a couple of ladders, and a razor knife, but you’ll also need a hammer and 1″ to 1 1/2″ nails. You’ll be tacking the vinyl to the wall, first at the top, then at the bottom. With this method, it’s highly advisable to finish the installation with crown molding, available from your local home improvement store.
Murals are available in several standard sizes, as well as custom sizes to fit the entire wall or just a certain section of your child’s room. You can use one of the many available scenes, or even upload a photo of your own. Whichever of the sizes, photos, or materials you choose, you’ll have a lovely, exciting room in which your child can play, dream and imagine exciting adventures every day.