Thursday, March 14, 2013

8:43 PM

Immediately after daylight savings last weekend we enjoyed several incredibly warm days. The long, mild evenings meant that, upon arriving home from work/school, we were able to spend 30 minutes or so playing in our local park before dinner. The dog and the kids got a great runaround, and mommy and/or daddy got a little time to decompress before the sometimes mind-numbing dinner/bath/bed routine commenced. We also had fun discovering (and building our own) fairy houses - just in time for leprechaun season:

Made: Lean-To Fairy House w/ Living Roof
Found: Fairy House Complete w/ Chair

Today, however, was gray and cold, and so we returned to our pre-daylight savings routine, which is to play inside.  

Previously I shared with you what we have done to build a gym in our garage (Home Sweet Home Gym). I also mentioned that we have converted the other half of the garage into a kid play area that includes:
  • Small trampoline
  • Trapeze & rings
  • Swing 
  • Basketball hoop
  • Scooters
  • Play Mat
  • Art table
  • Toys (train set, balls galore, blocks, etc)
By re-purposing the garage in this fashion we have created a space where we can all hang out together, with everybody getting some play, exercise, or chores accomplished (one part of the room is dominated by laundry mountain). This space has proved invaluable on days when it has been too cold or rainy to go outside, and it serves to hold the kids at bay while one of us prepares dinner or gets some last minute work done.

To give you a sense of what the space includes, and how we use it as part of full-force play time, here is some footage of the Kid Gym in action today.

Trampoline Lounge
Girl on a Flying Trapeze

Swing Time
Pumping Iron (2 lbs)
Slam Dunk

I also wanted to share another spin on the theme. Here are a few pictures of the indoor play space our friends have created in their garage with some gymnastics mats, a trampoline, and a play structure. They too had a 20-minute - get all the energy out - hard play this evening before dinner. Phew!

High Flyer

The great thing about rethinking how you utilize your garage is that, even as a shared space, there is often little than can get broken or damaged. Furthermore, the noise and mess can be contained, and a little floor covering, improved lighting and a coat of paint can do wonders for increasing the appeal of the space. Of course, you have to be willing to leave your car outside in the elements, but if your car looks anything like mine (after years of kids in the back seat my ride has been fully "mommed") that isn't so much of a concern.

As a parting shot, here is my daughter using our TRX - perhaps just outside of the standard format:

IMG 1141[1] from MommyTasker on Vimeo.

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