Children and rugs enjoy a pretty fractious relationship. They’re constantly threatening to do each other harm and yet they’re thick as thieves when matched up properly. If you’ve got a child’s room to decorate or your living room needs sprucing up in a child-friendly manner, then you need an idea of the sorts of rugs that work well in family settings.

Soft rugs

Our kids spend their days an awful lot closer to the floor than we do and so the texture of a family rug is a major consideration. It’s generally best to go for something soft – shaggy rugs and sheepskin rugs come to mind – but remember that certain rugs with a deep pile might not be the most practical.

For instance, in a child’s room the centre of the floor might be the perfect place for playing with Lego and other toys with small parts. These can get lost among the fibres and we can all call to mind the almost unrivalled agony of kneeling on a Lego brick. So, have texture in mind, but not to the exclusion of more practical considerations.

Synthetic rugs

There’s also the likelihood that your kids will have more sensitive skin than you. Just because the wool in a rug feels soft enough to you, doesn’t mean it will to them and the last thing you want is for your kids to seek out play areas other than their own bedrooms. Then you’ll be treading on Lego bricks all over the house.

Synthetic rugs are sometimes a safer option in terms of how they feel against the skin.

Washable rugs

Of course, the fractious relationship between rugs and kids isn’t just one-way aggravation. For all the Lego-hiding and skin-bothering antics of your rugs, they exist in a chronic state of unease thanks to the domestic Sword of Damacles known as potential spillage.

Kids are bound to spill things. You can’t really stop it from happening. Instead, you can prepare to deal with the consequences by getting some rugs that are machine washable. That beats buying new designer rugs every time a gummed rusk finds its way to the floor.

Themed rugs

Of course, you may be thinking that the considerations have all been a little practical, a little substance-over-style so far, in which case it’s worth discussing themed rugs. There are loads of rugs out there that are great at appealing to children’s sense of fun, which is second only to their sense of spillage.

Colourful rugs depicting bright scenes of nature, space, your child’s favourite TV programme or the world around them are ideal. It’s entirely up to you whether you go down the pink-for-a-girl, blue-for-a-boy route, but there’s plenty of choice if you’d prefer to sidestep the stereotypes.

Road map rugs and play mats

There are some classic play mats out there like hopscotch rugs and, of course, the iconic road map rug. These aren’t the most versatile rugs in the world and they’re really only suitable in play rooms and bedrooms, but they definitely appeal to that great sense of fun and they offer a ready-made plaything.

It’s all about weighing up the influential factors – setting, maintenance, style, texture – and coming to a conclusion that pretty much satisfies everything. However, it definitely helps to have your childish head on when shopping for kids’ rugs.