Never underestimate the resourcefulness and creativity of a mom especially one on a budget.
Carren Castilloof Davao City and her husband decided to build a playpen for their son, Ravee, who was 6 months old at the time. They wanted one where they could all play together, but big play yards don't come cheap, around P3,000 to P8,000.
"I thought of making a do-it-yourself playpen because I always complain how hard it is for a breastfeeding momma like me to feed my child in a small crib," Carren told SmartParenting.com.ph via Facebook messenger. She decided to look for inspiration on Pinterest and YouTube but found no tutorials on how to build a playpen from scratch. So she and husband got to work.
Carren shared her creation via a Facebook post where she said they only spent P1,000 on these materials: PVC pipes, cable ties, net, and foam or mat. Here's how they did it:
Buy at least two to ten PVC pipes, (they used 3/4-size, from the hardware stores) and cut them according to the desired size. The number of PVC pipes you need depends on how big you want the playpen to be.
Connect the PVC pipes using T-connectors or elbow connector pipes and PVC glue.
Sew the net (choose the variant used make petticoat skirts) from textile markets (e.g. Divisoria), according to playpen size to make it sturdier and not easily torn apart when stretched.
Use cable ties, (they used second to the smallest size, also from hardware), to attach the net on to the PVC pipes.
Ravee was amazed when he saw his new huge playpen. "He was so happy at that time and started crawling and playing with his toys inside," Carren recalled. However, they don't use it as often anymore because their little boy is now 20 months old and strong enough to lift the playpen.
"If we want to use it, kailangan lang lagyan [yung playpen] ng pangpa-steady and pangpabigat sa baba para 'di mabuhat ni baby," Carren explained. She said it can still be used as a mini play yard outdoors. "Lagyan mo lang siya ng balls and slide [and] may mini play yard ka na inside your room," Carren said.
A certified DIY-mom, Carren believes that she can always find ways and create useful stuff for her family. "I believe na walang hindi kayang gawin sa taong matiyaga," she said. In fact, Carren has a Facebook album of her creations. "I always make sure na yung mga bagay na kaya pang magawan paraan, to make something out of them, di ko muna tinatapon," Carren said.
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"If you happen to see your child na may gustong i-keep, like pebbles ba or sticks or papers, na sa tingin din natin ay mapapakinabangan pa, let them keep it," Carren suggests. "[Kids are] curious about everything. Instead of [hindering their creativity], encourage them to turn an ordinary thing to extraordinary."