While kids are now allowed to go outside the home, it’s still better to limit their time outdoors especially since they aren’t vaccinated against COVID-19 yet. Instead, you can get creative when it comes to creating a play area where your little one can play safely, like what soon-to-be mom of two Jannica Suillan did.
“Raising a child is already a challenge to begin with, tapos during a pandemic pa. Ang hirap ng nakakulong lang sila sa bahay, lalo na there’s an urge to explore, to learn about the world around them. As a mom, lagi akong nag-iisip na, ‘how can I give my child a normal childhood kung nasa house lang palagi,’” she opens up to SmartParenting.com.ph.
Not wanting to risk their health, Jannica had to think of a way to bring the outdoors into their home without traveling. Fortunately, there’s an empty space that’s adjacent their new apartment that can function as a play area/mini garden.
According to Jannica, the space is located between their apartment and a neighbor’s home. “When we renovated the unit, we used windows that give access to the space…empty concrete space lang siya,” she recalls.
After getting approval from the owner of the building and their neighbors, Jannica and her husband, Kristoff, started conceptualizing and gathering ideas for the space. In just one month, they were able to turn the dark and unused area into a welcoming space ideal for playing.
Creating a play area with an outdoor feel
“Since hindi kami nakakalabas masyado, gusto ko magkaroon ng somewhat ‘outdoor’ feel sa apartment namin. Like a park with a playground,” shares Jannica. Given the size of the space which is around 8 to 10sqm, they focused on turning it into a garden where toys can be added.
The couple spent around Php5, 000 which already covers the wall stickers, the artificial grass that covers the concrete flooring, the plant rack, the potted plants, the artificial hanging flowers, and the LED light bulb. Since Asher already has a Pikler triangle with slide in his indoor playroom, they focused on having outdoor toys for the play area.
One of the focal points of the space is the wooden swing which they had customized for Php3, 500. “We were searching for a toddler-safe wooden swing online but unfortunately, ‘yung mga nahanap namin, hindi okay ang material tapos walang sandalan and harang sa legs. Mga hindi pang outdoor,” Jannica says.
Since their family driver has a relative that makes furniture pieces for a living, they decided to have the swing customized. “Nagsend lang kami ng picture ng design na gusto namin and its dimensions,” she adds.
Asher definitely enjoys spending time in the space! He can play with his toys, have fun on the swing, and even develop his motor skills.
Aside from planning to install a hook on the wall where they can hang the swing when it’s not in use, Jannica and Kristoff are also looking into installing sturdy rock-climbing stones on one side of the wall to maximize it for outdoor play.
“Seeing my child enjoy his childhood sa nagawa naming transformation compared sa itsura nya before, nakakatuwa. Para kang nasa outdoors kahit talagang nasa apartment ka in Binondo. It’s small but not cramped since it’s well-ventilated and puno ng greenery,” Jannica shares.
This bright and charming play area is proof that you don’t need a big space to create a special spot for your kids. “Utilize every corner of your house. Kahit maliit lang ang space, basta may imagination and creativity, madami kayong pwedeng magawa at ma-improve even with a tight budget,” she advises.
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