My best friend has three kids all of whom I love dearly. I am their adoptive “aunt” and I am practically living at their house when both of our husbands are working or away (which is ALL the time). The biggest drawback I have found is that the kids always want to come to my home. While they are always welcome, my house was never kid-friendly, causing some stress for my poor friend. While I had no issues when a candlestick got dropped or when food spilled, it always seem to cause considerable stress for my dear friend.
Over the years I had collected toys so that the kids were occupied. Then we moved and my “stash” ended up being donated. So there we were back to our original predicament. Then I found these three tricks to make my home kid-friendly and suddenly my house was not only a blast for the kids, but for the adults too!
Make Your Home Kid-Friendly:
1. Buy a Pool.
We live in Central California where the weather makes perfect sense for a pool. We already had a pool so I didn’t need to buy one, but a fun plastic pool is great too. I took the kids shopping and we bought a ton of kid and adult-friendly pool toys. Now whenever they come over we spend the afternoon outside in the pool. My friend and I have floats to lay on so we can supervise the children while they have a ton of fun playing with the things they picked out.
The toys don’t get to go home with the kids and they only stay at Miss Elizabeth’s (my house) so they are extra special for them. I have purchased life jackets that the kids got to pick out and now there are not as many fights about wearing them. This has been a great way to work off their energy and it doesn’t matter that I don’t have tons of toys in the house. The pool is something they don’t have at home so now, Miss Elizabeth’s house is fun and extra special. The great thing is this is also applicable for when all generations come to visit (i.e. my parents, children and grandchildren) so it is used over and over again.
2. Buy Kid-Friendly Foods.
I keep the basic kid’s foods around the house: PB&J, Annie Goldfish, and juice boxes. I also have some cookie cutters so we can make “design” sandwiches. The last time the kids were over they made jet PB&J sandwiches. This was something fun because it isn’t something they get to do at home. It’s easy to have the food on hand because it lasts for when they “might” come over. It also makes it different from what they are used to at home, but still guaranteeing that they will eat it.
3. Have TV Time
My husband and I don’t have cable, but we do have Hulu and Netflix. On our Netflix account I created a username for the kids. This makes it easier for us to turn on a tv show for them to watch when they want some down time. I cover the couch in blankets so they can eat on the couch. Later, I just throw everything into the wash if needed. It’s clean, easy, and no stress!
Selfishly, having happy kids whom I adore means that mom and I get more adult time. These life hacks were the key to our sanity because my house went from a parent’s burden to super fun! I have learned that even though I don’t care if the kids makes a mess, it makes the parents less stressed. By producing an environment that is kid-friendly with little to no work everyone is able to have more fun.
What easy changes have you made to make your home kid-friendly?2