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Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Redecorating Your Garage with the Kids

Summer’s still out and the kids are bored, and so are you. You know you need to keep them entertained but the only place you can graciously let them use is the garage, where they can’t scratch the wooden furniture, break the glass ornaments, and make like a race course with your newly polished floor. With all the shelves and stuff in the garage, however, how are you going to keep them entertained? Here are a few ideas. Don’t worry; we’ve got your best interest in mind.

First, if you have a car, park it in the driveway, outside the garage – to keep it out of harm’s way. With kids, you’ll never know what will happen. Now you’ll want to clean the garage floor and remove any grease and whatever dirt and residues there are. You can use Acid Magic to clean the concrete. You can also etch the concrete with fun designs while you’re at it. Once it’s clean you can use it as a mural for the kids to paint on.

Just like your house, the easiest way to use the garage as a children’s activity center is to have them paint on the walls and the flooring. They’re sure to love this because what kid won’t appreciate a huge space that they can paint anything they want on? Watch the smile on their faces when you tell them they can paint what they want. Just remember, use only kid-safe, non-toxic paint.

Another idea is to have the kids draw or paint designs on the cabinets and shelving – the ones that are low enough for them to reach, that is. Think of a theme for them to follow – if your kids are girls, flowers and butterflies would be a good idea. For little boys, how about painting animals or their favorite cartoon? Again, have them use only non-toxic paint.

Another variation to the painting project is to buy cutout stencils (you can get them at any crafts store) and stencil crayons or paints. The stencils will have cutout designs that the kids can paint in. For the younger kids, make it easy by choosing simple stencils, the ones with basic shapes. For the older ones you can get stencils that come in several layers, which they can paint using a different color for each layer. If the kids can draw or paint in a straight line, you might actually get lucky and not have to cover up their artwork later.

If you want the kids to be artistic and productive (meaning helpful) at the same time, how about getting them to help organize things in the garage, but in such a way that they don’t actually feel they’re doing chores? Remember that pegboard you were planning to hang tools from but never got around to installing? You can hang it now and have the kids draw on it, either in freehand or using stencils. Then, get them to hang the hooks on the pegboard. Skip the next step – hanging the tools – because you don’t want a hammer or vise grip to fall on your kid’s toes.

Now if you want them to do an art project and feel that they’re working just like Dad, you can get a bench seat or a small children’s table from a yard sale or the flea market and have them paint it with a design of their choice. They get to place it in their room when it’s finished.

There are many art activities the kids can do to decorate the garage – make wall hangings on bond or craft paper, do little paper cutouts, and even paint a mural on a big piece of fabric to hang on the garage wall. You can use an old desk or changing table as their work bench, and if you place the fabric on top of the table that’ll protect the surface from being painted on.

These should keep the kids busy and your sanity intact. If all else fails, bring them to the park for a game of tag or baseball.


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