It’s time to teach your old nursery themes new tricks! As classic and time-honored as typical nursery ideas are, it should be a journey to try a few twists on the usual themes. Push the envelope a little without going overboard, and you may come up with an idea that will inspire others and make your first moments with your newborn an adventure all its own until their own gifted personality inevitably springs out and brings with it an exciting and unique change in decoration.
1. Astrology, Western or Eastern
Whether by seasons or by years, children come into the world positioned into an astrological category and animal sign. Whether you put stock in these beliefs or not, an astrological nursery theme signifying a child’s birth position or zodiac is a wonderfully fun way to express their presence in their new world.
- Fire: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
- Earth: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
- Air: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
- Water: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
The Animals of the Chinese Zodiac: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig
A unique tribute to a newborn’s life is to recognize and understand how their birthtime might be celebrated and themed in other corners of the world. Beyond blocks, pastels, and florals lies a unique astrological symbol or animal theme. While a rat-themed nursery might not seem too enticing, a sheep or monkey-themed nursery specific to your child’s birth year could be quite the adorable catch! This is definitely a more creative way to express traditional nursery animals when they are instead tied to the year of birth.
2. Story Themes
It’s impossible to know what kind of stories, figures, and themes a child may grow up to be interested in one day, but Mom and Dad can honor their own childhood fantasies and interests in an engaging nursery theme for their new baby.
- The Powerpuff Girls: Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup
- Sesame Street: Cookie Monster, Big Bird
- Cinderella, Snow White, The Wizard of Oz
- Prince Charming, King Arthur, Robin Hood
If a fictional theme doesn’t speak to you, look for inspiration in history! You could create a pilot theme for your baby girl inspired by Amelia Earhart, the first female to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean or an astronomy theme inspired by Katherine Johnson, one of the first African-American females to work for NASA. For a newborn, think of positive figures with true heart and character. Obviously, you needn’t place pictures of figures all over the walls, but a significant figure could inspire a simpler theme like the aforementioned flying and astronomy, and it’s never too early to expose your child to positive role models.
3. Colors as Flavors
Instead of rolling out the traditional pastels in pinks, blues, and yellows, try color themes that spin on flavors! Find inspiration from your favorite Kool-Aid or Jell-O flavors or maybe your favorite candy, like Twizzlers or gummy bears. You already know your favorite flavors and fruits, but here’s a few to spark your creativity:
- Vanilla Bean
…Just to name a few. Of course, chocolate goes with just about everything. Try mixing tones by mixing flavors! This option provides a “twist” on the usual pastels inspired by our favorite sweet treats and delights without resorting to a simple color theme.
4. Ocean, Land, Sky, Minerals
Look at the world around you. There are vast oceans, exotic lands, vivid skies painted with stars and planets, and a universe all its own found in the rocks and minerals formed within our own planet. Why not build a nursery that sparks visions of the dreamy world around us? Introduce your baby to the wonders of the world with these special, wordly themes.
- Mediterranean Blue Seas
- Earthy Sandalwood in the forests of Bali
- Cosmic planets/stars like Mercury, Mars, Betelgeuse, or the Big Dipper
- Minerals, like gold, silver, jade, ruby, amethyst, onyx, pearl, or sapphire
If your travel dreams have been momentarily delayed due to your new parental duties, take yourself on a trip theming the nursery around a desired vacation spot. Sprinkle stars on the ceiling, install lava lamps and star-shaped night lights, splash a paint galaxy onto the walls. Think of your baby’s birthstone and incorporate those colors into the room. Make the theme exciting for your future world explorer!
5. Old-School Cartoons or Video Games
Remember your favorite cartoons and video games from “back in the day”? Honor your most precious memories and pass them on to the next generation with a cartoon/game nursery theme.
- The Jetsons or Flintstones
- Bugs Bunny or Road Runner
- Super Mario
- Mickey & Minnie Mouse
- PacMan or Ms. PacMan
Older cartoons and games are distinctive, sentimental opportunities to share your best-loved childhood memories with your newborn. These themes are the toybox where you get to “play” again and welcome your little loved one with what you love in the world. Pass it on! Share the love, and have fun!
McKenzie Brower is a contributing writer and media relations specialist for Newton Baby. She writes for a variety of mom and baby blogs and is always keeping track of the latest and greatest trends and products for children and families.