I love re-designing our kids playroom. Our once dining room is now the most active room in the house. Initially, I got drill happy. I attached just about everything to the walls. The room looked amazing and the kids loved playing in it. Here are some of the fun things I created for them.
I'm learning that the simpler the feature, the more the kids play. This feature took 15 mins to make and thus far is the most popular in our backyard play scape.
I used 3/4 thick PVC pipes, three 90• elbow fittings and one hose to PVC pipe fitting. I drilled holes through the top of the structure, spacing them out about 3" wide. The kids love running through the structure but also love trying to escape the water by going between the streams (the drill spacing). I used PVC cement (glue) to hold the pipes together.
Total cost is less than $10!
We have a tall deck but you can install these anywhere in the backyard. The tunnels are made with black PVC pipes! 10 minutes to make, hours of fun!
I chose a 10ft 4" wide pipe. I cut it in half to make two 5ft tunnels (any hardware store will cut them for you). I added 90• elbows to the ends of each and tied the pipes to our deck railing.
I scored a huge bag of bounce house balls for $3 at a yard sale. You can buy these anywhere for about $20 though.
I chose these because they're soft and perfect for sorting activities. We count the balls as they go down and have the kids drop them by color.
Add to the fun by having other kids hold buckets and catch the balls as they are dropped. Or, give them tennis rackets/bad mitten to hit the balls as they shoot out. The activities are endless!
As an extended feature, I added hoses nearby so the kids can shoot water down the pipes!
From below, we use funnels to catch the water.
This is a fun sand play area. The pirate ship is washed up on a beach. Kids can play with sand in and out of the ship. It's such a fun theme for dramatic and active play. I used PVC pipes to create the sling shot, filled the beach area with real beach sand, placed several pirate accessories around and built a fun hose powered water station.
Inspired by Pinterest, here's what I plan to do with the window. This will be our science lab. I'll have test tubes and equipment stored along the window sill
When you walk in, you're on the stage. I'll use a curved shower rod to create a curtain around the door. This will be our theater. Directly across will be the vetrenarian clinic-equiped with small cages on the wall
I received this used kid craft clubhouse as a gift from a friend. I just planned to paint it and fix it up a little but once I put on the red and white stripe drapes, the Seuss house was born. Kids houses should be fun and inspiring ;)
I added these fun test tube flower pots.
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.
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.
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
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.
While at our local Children's Museum, our kids were drawn to this fun life size pegboard exhibit. Ever since seeing it, i've been planning to make it for their playroom. It's such a fun addition to our quiet play. I used an Ikea Besta shelf as the base. This was a fun Ikea hack!
Our Vet clinic has become such a fun play area for the kids. I found these amazing x-rays online. The company we purchased them from is Roylco. They have so many great science tools and activities for kid play there. I made the x-ray station out of an ikea best shelf.
I used one of the long rectangular sides of an expedit shelf to create this fun dry erase wall for the kids. I scored it in the clearance section! I originally bought it with the intention of turning it into a chalkboard wall but we're loving the dry erase too much! I'll use the smaller square portion of this shelf to create their chalkboard area. It's such a great addition to our playroom!
I'm building the kids a Pet Clinic in their playroom. I really wanted to incorporate a kennel area but didn't want to use actual dog kennels. They cost so much and weren't safe for the kids. I'm so happy with the way this came out. It's an Ikea expedit shelf with gates added to the shelf openings. Here's how I did it.
I'm slowly putting our new playroom together. Just found this adorable scale at Walmart for $14! I bolted it to the shelf so it can't be moved. The kids have been putting the entire contents of the house on it! It's proven to be a great learning tool as they discover what's lighter and what's heavier. We also talk about numbers. I love the aesthetic it brings to our market area but even more, I love the educational opportunity it brings to our play. Sometimes, household items make the best toys!
They come in all sorts of fun colors.
This is a fun twist on the painting with a ziplock bag activity. The kids really enjoyed working with the straws and seeing the paint come through. They also had fun moving the paint around with their hands on the surface.
During our Thanks Giving break from kid programs, I decided to refinish our dated cabinets. It's a process but totally worth the work.
Save your next carton for this fun activity. It keeps my 1yr old, 3 yr old and 4 yr old busy. I really can't explain why but it does work and is a must try. All you need is a carton like this and craft sticks. It's best suited for younger toddlers but the older ones enjoy it too.
During a recent hike with the kids, I had them collect items from the trail so we could make fossil imprints when we got home. The recipe I tried really wasn't good (2 cups flour, 1/2 cup salt and 3/4 water). I'd love to try this again but with a better recipe. The hunt is on! If you have a recipe, please share :)
For Our Indian Theme this week, I made the kids a canoe and created this fun oar to go with it. I filled the oar with corn so it would make sounds when they rowed the canoe.
We covered ours in red and had the kids place red fire ambers inside. The fire explodes with ambers when turned on. We used tissue paper because it was light enough to take air. I wanted the fire as a prop and activity for our Indian Village Theme this week.
This mailing tube makes a great sound toy. We filled ours with corn and covered with fun Duck Tape colors.