Friday, May 21, 2010

Hammers and Nails and Screws, oh my!

My husband and I recently purchased our first home, a house that is 50 years old and needs a little updating. We are replacing all the flooring and repainting all the walls, just for starters.

Add to all that work the two small children...

What do you do with your kids while you are remodeling?

It's difficult to have the kids around when there are open buckets of paint, power tools on the loose, and Mom and Dad's minds are trying to focus on other things to get the job done.

When you don't have a babysitter available, what tips and tricks do you have to keep the kids out of trouble while the projects are in progress?

For those times when things can't be cleaned up in a day, how do you keep the projects protected?

Any other answers to questions I haven't thought to ask about remodeling while being a parent?



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Alyssa Harper said...

Tie them to furniture? Kidding. Totally kidding.

You might have to take the project slower than you'd like, painting or redoing the floors one room at a time and block entry to that room for the kids. Make it fun, like when you're repainting their room, you could organize a "camp-out" in the living room where the whole family sleeps together.

You could also arrange a play date at someone else's house...basically babysitting, I guess, but you'll be able to return the favor after you're done project-ing.

Good luck!

Erin said...

Do you have any really big boxes? We made forts for the kids and put blankets and pillows in there. We got Derrick's laptop and played movies for them (be sure to tape cardboard over the keys unless you want all the keys removed - ask me how I know this). It was a LOT of movie watching, but it was ok for a few days. Snacks. Get new toys from the dollar store and give them a new one when they get bored. Let them roam around in the back yard if it's fenced off. I would put Hayden back there with some balls and a blanket to lay down on and stare at the sky... he was content for hours. Get a big bucket of water and let them play outside. Invest in some gates! Then you can trap them in one room or out of a room. Let them do less messy version of what you are doing. If you are painting, give them watercolors to play with for instance. Or those paint with water coloring books which I hear they have at Target. We let Hayden play with some of the power tools as long as we were there. Then there wasn't that huge temptation to do it behind our backs if he knew he could do it if he asked first . (nothing dangerous... a drill or something.) I found that we really did just have to stop sometimes and do something as a family or pay special attention to them. Maybe even take turns so at least one of us could be working the whole time. We couldn't put off meals or naptimes, even it wasn't convenient for us. It went slower than normal but we just had to remember how unfair it was to them and sacrifice a little time. This kept us all less frustrated. We did a lot of late nights after they went to bed.

I would just clean up the projects as much as we could. We would NEVER leave paint cans open or where the kids could get to them. So some things we would have to clean up like anything really messy or anything dangerous. Things I didn't mind leavign were dropcloths and... that's about it. hehe it's more work to get it back out, but we found we really did just have to clean up as much as we could.

Delia said...

For babies I think a pack and play would do wonders. Just get new toys for them to play with in there. I agree with movies for a toddler. We haven't remodeled a house but when we move we set our son up with a movie and snacks and then try to get as much done as possible in two hours.

For one person jobs I would have one parent take the kids to the park and the other one can get stuff done in the house without little hands everywhere. It may take longer with just one person but think about how long it takes with two people and kids around. Not much different in either situation, but one person sans kids is less stressful for sure. GOod luck with everything!