This is a fun way to keep activities on the table and still out of the way. Buckets Built in! It also helps keep loose toys more organized when in use. Here's Charlotte matching her colors and patterns.
Quality goods can be found for free. It just takes a little hunting. I found a nitch I didn't know I had when I sold my first craigslist find for for a $100 profit. I used that profit to fund more finds. Along the way, my house was furnished temporarily until I found a better replacement. An upgrade in quality.
And that's how you begin.
It requires patience and negotiation. Hold steady when asking for more while selling and make sure to offer less when buying. Labor too. You'll have to haul the items ;). It's my personal way of going to the gym. It gets scary too. I worried many times about losing a rug or worse,a couch on the highway. I'm happy to report that never happened. Here's a few shots of how my home has progressed. Today, I'm actually in the black $3k. Furnished free and for profit. It was a fun project to take on- a game.
I want to build a 30ft metal gazebo out of scraps from other broken down gazebos. I could just buy 3 like gazebos but I want to costumize. I plan to hunt craigslist and yard sales for the frames. Hoping to score all I need for free. Soon to come on my progress.
In a Previous post (ikea-hack-dry-erase-wall-for-kids-room), I dismantled an expedit unit from Ikea and created a fun dry erase wall for the kids playroom. I still had another piece of the unit to use so I created this fun lab table.
This is the expedit Unit I used. The long part of the unit was the perfect length for our window lab table. The surface of the unit is perfect for cleaning up all of our messy science experiments. And it gets messy! This table surface is perfect for kid play.
For the table legs, I used these Ikea Besta shelves. They gave me the perfect height for the table and they fit perfectly with the width of Ikea shelf. I added shelves on the inside openings of the Besta to create more storage. I had to cut the shelf down to fit the space and I drilled new holes to support the shelves. The shelves that came with the Besta would not work because I turned the Besta unit around to give the height.
Pendulum Play is excellent for learning cause and effect, physics, spatial reasoning, experimenting with weight and size, language, vocabulary and teaches kids how to work together. I made this pendulum out of PVC pipes, string and tennis balls. After the initial excitement of knocking blocks down, the kids began experimenting with the the limitations of the ball and began building their towers more strategically. This is a great way for kids to learn through play! Very easy set up!
The boys are really into App games like Angry Birds and Grumpy Snowmen because of the sling shot features. I was surprised to learn how easy it was to create a life size one for them. I chose PVC pipes because they are cheap and very easy to work with. We have been slinging ice cubes with them but I plan to build a few targets this summer so we can all practice our aim.
This is a really great party theme for kids 4 and older. The kids kept asking what game/race is next! Funny enough, I was worried I had too much planned and didn't want it to be too structured. Luckily I was prepared because they couldn't get enough! Here's of few looks at our course. Some of the activities we did were: Egg and spoon race, Crab crawl, Shopping cart derby, Backward team race with baton pass, Disk toss through Olympic Rings, Obstacle course run and Egg Hunt.
I made the hurdles with PVC pipes and spray painted them red. It only cost $4 in materials. It was a much better solution to buying them for $40 retail. I made them 7 inches tall. After testing a few heights with the boys, this seems like the best height for most ages/sizes. For each hurdle, you need two 90 degree elbows and two T caps. The olympic rings and arches are made with pipe insulators and decorated with duct tape. The covers were only .80 each. Another great solution to save money on pricey retail arches.
Our balloon table was the first obstacle. The kids had to crawl through that first. I strung about 6 balloons together and tied them to the table. I repeated that pattern all around. I made sure to keep the balloons loose around the entrance/exit so the kids wouldn't get caught up in them. I also used blue painter's tape to create the flow of the course. It helped keep the kids on track and added to the decor
This was a really easy toy to make for the boys. I picked up these buckets for .50 at the dollar store, cut down a piece of pvc pipe to go under the board and cut down a piece of primed wood. I drilled holes in the wood and attached the pvc pipe with a nut and bolt. I also drilled one hole in the bucket to attach it to the top end of the plank. That too was secured with a nut and bolt. I covered the bottom area in duct tape so the kids wouldn't get splinters. All sorts of things have been flying in the air! When the weather gets nicer, we'll move it outside for some water balloon fun.
Here's a list of our favorite Apps. They are kid tested and mom approved. I'll continue to post updates to this blog entry as there are a ton more that we love and would like to share.
Tally Tots- The kids love it because it's interactive with 20 fun experiences. I love it because the app does teach counting. If my child wants to play a certain experience, he has to listen to the count before it appears. I find him counting along all the time. They also have an Alpha Tots app. The kids seemed to favor the tally more though.
Pattern Recognition by Nth Fusion- This app is intended for Kindergarten and has apps for other grade levels. My 3 year old and 4 year old like it.
Here's a fun way to turn your windowsill into a Science Lab Station for your kids playroom. I drilled holes into a piece of wood that were the same diameter as the test tubes. I suspended the slat of wood by cutting down two small slats to support it on each side of the windowsill frame. Now the kids have a dedicated area for all their science experiments. As a bonus, it adds to the decor of the room! More importantly, it offers spontaneous play. Instead of having the test tubes stored in cabinets, they are out in plain sight and inspire the kids daily to create fun concoctions.