Living in a small house with a toddler like I do has its obvious limitations; space, clutter, frustration. It also has some limitations that come up out of no where and need to be faced along the way. For instance, my kitchen is one place that the munchkin isn't allowed to play in no matter what because it has become the safe haven for the cat when he's inside (he's an 18 year old and he's grumpy one. He requires a place to hide from tail pulling and the baby attempting to pet him while in reality shes playing basketball with his brain.)
The kitchen also serves as a mud room, storage for any cleaners that we need around the house, recycling center, the on again off again sewing center, the craft center, the list literally just goes on and on and on. For obvious reasons the bathroom is off limits too. And as far as my bedroom, I'd prefer the walking space not become a graveyard for toys that I'll never be able to find again (I'm speaking from experience here...I have yet to find the little lambs from the mobile on her swing and the last time I saw them she was headed straight for my room.) So that basically leaves her bedroom and the living room for her to play and explore in.
From visiting with other friends of mine that have more space for munchkins to roam I learn different things that Hannah likes. For instance, I found out one night over at my sister in law's house that Hannah LOVES fridge magnets. Ever since that night I thought about it from time to time. What could I possibly do??? The kitchen really isn't a safe place for her, and I'm not willing to compromise her safety over a bunch of magnets. Well, I've learned over the past few months to think these matters over and have become rather creative with placing her things so that we get the most amount of play space possible.
And then it occurred to me! Cookie sheets!!!! Those are magnetic! Our entertainment center in the living room happens to be my old computer cabinet complete with a file cabinet that conveniently swings out just far enough. It also just so happens to have the perfect amount of space for my idea! A trip to Walmart and we're in business.
Here's what I got:
2 Small Mainstays cookie sheets ($0.96 each)
1 Package of magnetic numbers ($1.27)
1 Package of Command hanging velcro sheets. (around $5.00 I believe.)
Once I got home the set up process was maybe 3 or so minutes, and most of that was chasing the baby down to get my velcro strips back.
Here's what I did:
-Holding the pan horizontally place one velcro strip in each of the two top corners.
-Now (without removing the paper strip from the back of it) connect a second strip to the one that you've just placed.
-Remove the paper strips and firmly press the cookie sheet into place on your flat surface.
-Repeat this process for the second cookie sheet.
-Place the magnets on the cookie sheets
-Let your munchkin have at it! Enjoy the wonders of cheap yet effective entertainment! I know I am.
I will tell you that my munchkin has already figured out that the cookie sheets do come undone from the cabinet if you pull hard enough. This made me very very glad that I chose to use the velcro mounts instead of something that was just double sided. You just pick up the cookie sheet and put it right back where it was.
I can't help but love simple and cheap solutions. What DIY projects have you done that made you smile? I'd love to know! =)