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With the kids stuck at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, parents are understandably worried about the lack of social skills as well as the extended gadget use of their children. It’s for this reason that mom Dee Aquino, 29, was inspired to build an indoor playgroundfor her 2-year-old son, Teo.
“Like every parent’s dilemma, we began to rely on screen time for Teo’s entertainment. I started to research the best learning toys for toddlers, and it led me to the Montessori method,” Dee tells SmartParenting.com.ph in an email.
“I love that this method teaches kids self-confidence, which I find practical for us since I know at some point I have to be away and I want him to be independent as much as he can,” she adds.
How to build a DIY indoor playground
The single mom took inspiration from Pinterest, YouTube, and our parenting community, Smart Parenting Village. But because she knew it would cost a lot of money to build this kind of playroom, she enlisted the help of Teo’s lolo, Ricky Aquino, to DIY some of the items.
“Teo was blessed to have a lolo who did all the gritty work! Cutting, sawing, drilling and installing,” she shares. “All the artsy designs were done by me. I know that aesthetic is a big part, too — the colors of the space need to be inviting and stimulating at the same time.”
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It took almost two months to complete the playroom. Most of the materials were from reclaimed wood from old furniture, hand-me-down toys, and books that they received as gifts.
“For the things we had to buy — the Pikler triangle, trampoline, table set, mat, etc — we spent more or less nine thousand. It’s a big tipid since Montessori materials or kiddie-sized furniture cost a lot,” Dee says.
Dee says that Teo now plays in his indoor playground every day and it’s the best feeling in the world. “Sometimes I would catch him reading a book by himself at his little table and he can now put back his books and toys on his own,” she shares.
“We definitely lessened screen time, which was a great win,” she adds.
Take a look at how Dee designed her son’s indoor playground below: