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  • Backyard Vacation: This Girl Dad Built A Pool, Camping Area, And DIY Cinema At Home

    It's for his two daughters, so that they could experience "the outside world" despite COVID restrictions.
    by Grace Bautista .
Backyard Vacation: This Girl Dad Built A Pool, Camping Area, And DIY Cinema At Home
PHOTO BY COURTESY OF RICHLYN JIMENEZ
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has lasted longer than any of us imagined it would. For small children, the two years spent under strict quarantine protocols mean being strangers to face-to-face school, play dates, outdoor activities, eating out and movies.

    These activities are now considered ‘non-essential’ , however, these actually play a big role in children’s overall development. Naturally, parents try to look for ways to compensate for their children’s missed opportunities to experience the world.

    Mom Richlyn Jimenez shared with Smart Parenting through an interview how her husband, Justin Jimenez, created spaces within their home so their girls, Sophia (9 years old) and Natalie (6 years old) could experience "the outside world" despite COVID restrictions.

    Within these spaces, the family enjoys a vacation anytime they want!

    Backyard vacation

    To help his girls stay active during the strictest lockdown, Justin set up a big pool in their yard in May 2020 in time for his 40th birthday. Then he set up tents in March and October 2021 for Sophia’s 9th birthday. The family enjoyed camping out and sleeping in in those tents!

    PHOTO COURTESY OF RICHLYN JIMENEZ
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    PHOTO COURTESY OF RICHLYN JIMENEZ
    PHOTO COURTESY OF RICHLYN JIMENEZ
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    PHOTO COURTESY OF RICHLYN JIMENEZ
    PHOTO COURTESY OF RICHLYN JIMENEZ

    The family spent around P5,000 for the tents and air mattresses, and P60,000 for the pool setup, which includes a basic filter and vacuum set.

    The DIY cinema costs around P35,000.

    PHOTO COURTESY OF RICHLYN JIMENEZ
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    PHOTO COURTESY OF RICHLYN JIMENEZ

    Even though all the expenses add up to P100,000, Justin and Richlyn believe they are worth it because their girls are happier with the options they have of things to do at home. Richlyn says Sophia and Natalie continue to be active and adventurous and do not feel bored or stuck at home.

    As they use these activity areas, Richlyn says they "realized that kids need activities that create experiences and quality time with the family. They won’t remember all the toys you give them, but they will remember and cherish precious moments like these with the family."

    If you’re inspired to create a similar setup at home, especially now that summer is fast approaching, here is where you could get similar equipment.

    Swimming pool

    Sizes vary and the price ranges from P5,499.00 to P9,999.00. Available on Lazada.

    PHOTO COURTESY OF LAZADA
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    Tents

    Camping tents vary in size, style and quality and the prices also vary greatly. Make sure to choose ones that are well-reviewed and suit your size requirement.

    Available on Lazada, P519. 

    PHOTO COURTESY OF LAZADA

    A DIY cinema experience 

    Justin wanted his entire family to enjoy a cinema-like movie experience. To achieve this, he thought of putting to good use the projector that they already had in their possession for a couple of years now. He only needed to install a projector screen.

    Once their projector screen was up, the children loved the setup. They did not only used it to sing and dance to their favorite movies, the family also used it when playing Dance Revolution.

    Here are the supplies they used to create their DIY home cinema. All of them are available online. Richlyn says buyers just need to be careful to research and read reviews of whatever products they are buying online to ensure a sulit purchase.

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    • Projector. The family used their existing InFocus projector, which is available in both Shopee and Lazada starting at P17,000. But, there are also many well-reviewed and more affordable projectors like this online.

    Available on Shopee, P2,560.

    PHOTO COURTESY OF SHOPEE

    • Projector screen. It was a bit challenging for Justin to install their projector screen. Richlyn says it is important to measure the projector screen and the area where it will be installed first in order to properly install the screen.

    Available on Shopee, P4,699.

    PHOTO COURTESY OF SHOPEE
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    • Projector mount. For a neater home cinema and to keep your projector out of the way, it is a good idea to mount it. Richlyn and Justin used a ceiling mount like this.

    Available on Shopee, P500.

    PHOTO COURTESY OF SHOPEE

    • Dance pad. To maximize the use of their big screen, they also use it when doing Dance Revolution – a great bonding activity and workout alternative for the whole family! This is where they bought their dance pad.

    Availale on Shopee, P445.

    PHOTO COURTESY OF SHOPEE
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    Read up on other creative ways parents provide playground and camping experiences for their children at home.

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