Guest Post by Jay Harris
When you work from home and have children, finding a proper work/life balance can be challenging. One option for keeping your kids out of your home office so you can actually accomplish something during the workday, is to set up their own little home base.
From establishing a separate play area in the next room, to equipping full-on outdoor playsets, if you are willing to invest in a “quality time” project with your child on the front end, you can pave the way for more productive workdays down the road.
Create a Custom Play Area.
Since the invention of chalkboard paint, those expensive, trying, and time-consuming days of painting over your kids’ wall graffiti are gone. By selecting a large bookshelf or wooden toy chest for your multi-purpose painting project, your pint-sized Picasso has multiple surfaces on which to draw, write, scribble, or whatever. At the same time, she has somewhere to store her books and toys after she’s finished playing with them.
Consider these painting pointers:
- Paint the entire playroom to match your home’s décor, or choose from loads of paint colors available.
- For the little Type-A angel, paint each shelf a different color that relates to a specific item that “lives” there. For example, store books on blue, cars and trucks on teal, the stuffed Rabbit family on red, and so on.
- Always paint in a properly ventilated room and allow adequate drying time before using your new pieces.
- Make sure the shelf is sturdy and attached to the wall so your child can’t pull it down. Also, make sure the toy chest does not have a lid that can come crashing down.
Take it Outside.
For kids who don’t need constant supervision, here are some basic tips for making sure your child is safe and sound when out of your sight and spending time with his or her outdoor playsets during your workday:
- Make sure all areas are covered with shock-absorbing materials like rubber or mulch that can serve as a buffer between your child’s head and the hard ground.
- Wooden swing sets should have soft rubber seats, not ones made of hard wood.
- Don’t attach any other ropes or cords to the play set — there’s no need to “Pimp your Playset” with dangerous extras!
- Be aware of exposed areas of metal that can harm your child. For example, chains that can pinch and large bolts with jagged, protruding surfaces should be covered with protective materials.
What new ideas for occupying your kids during the day come to mind?
Jay Harris is a regular contributor to Home Depot’s website. His interests range from providing tips on playsets, to homeowner advice on outdoor projects.