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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that kids who watch this series, especially younger ones, are going to want these rooms. Badly. Older kids might watch just for the entertainment and to get ideas, but viewers in the lower grades will just see a room that's infinitely more interesting than their own and start asking why they can't have what they're seeing on TV.
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What's the story?
KIDSPACE is a While You Were Out-like series for kids' rooms and play spaces. Parents work with a designer to create a dream room for kids from newborn to 16. The show (hosted by Ereka Vetrini) follows what's become the standard DIY format: Here's the old space, here's what the owners want for it, and here's our design, which we'll accomplish on a remarkably low budget and in a single weekend because we have tons of free labor. Then comes the \"reveal\" of the beautiful new space and the delight of the family: Like all of these shows, they make it look easy, but that's part of the fun. The projects actually are generally inexpensive, doable, creative uses of the space, with lots of kid appeal.
Is it any good?
This show is fun to watch and a great way to gather ideas for your own home, but it's hard to tell if kids are really the intended audience. The (older) kids who are getting the room do talk to the camera about their wishes and desires, but the audience doesn't really get to know them. Younger viewers especially might wonder: If I'm not going to get to play in the room, why would I want to watch them build it?
But this is fun viewing for kids who are interested. And it's fun for parent addicts of home improvement shows, too. If you're considering revising your child's space, both of you might get some fun, inexpensive ideas here, although you'll certainly want to address the dubious premise that while the kids express their wishes, the parents do all the work (which is a bit questionable, even in the name of surprise).
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why the parents end up doing all the work. Shouldn't the kids be contributing some labor for their dream play room? With older kids, families can even discuss some of the more dubious economic rationales -- i.e. "we won't buy another door, because doors are too expensive, but we will have the carpenter build one." How much will a few hours of a carpenter's time cost a family who isn't getting the labor for free? Do you really think these projects are that easy, or that quick? Do you think most people can do it at home? Many episodes also teach one of the most valuable DIY lessons: Measure twice, cut once.
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