Monday, April 17, 2006

Oy, the length of time it's been since I posted! Just a quick one today, since I'm deep in the throes of deadlines that I'm hoping will end by May 1 and then give me a month to do whatever I want....

Those who work at home with toddlers might benefit from getting an indoor/outdoor play structure like this one. Despite the fact that it looks like a multicolored decon tent, this has so far occupied my son's time to such an extent that I can almost - almost - sit quietly and work for a whole half hour.

It's better than making a "house" out of the couch cushions for him, because those fall over. No matter what permutations he twists this thing into, it's rugged. It doesn't collapse, which means he won't inadvertently suffocate himself. And yet it can fold into a compact, baggable toy.

It's "open" enough for him to think up his own games. His favorite right now is tossing a ball into the hole in the middle and then climbing in after it (not using the tunnel). I am sure it won't be long before he discovers that he can drive his trucks through it, too.

Obviously this is going to have to be a rainy day/heavy work day treat for him, but it might just be the best investment I've ever made. And hey, if I can figure out how to rig a shower inside it? I might indeed be able to use it as a decon tent. Spaghetti, anyone?


Blogger Karen said...

One of the best things I ever bought was one of those low plastic tables with two large compartments -- one for sand and one for water. (Which of course means both will be filled with mud after about 3 minutes!) My kids logged endless hours standing there with shovels and cups.

17/4/06 2:48 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

Maybe when it's outside, you can stick a garden hose down the top of the thing? Instant shower. Where were these things when I had kids?!?!

17/4/06 3:09 PM  
Blogger Mary Louisa said...

We are sooooo buying this, and soon. Thanks for the rec. I'm confused, though. Spaghetti?

Karen, we have one of those sand and water tables. It IS a great activity center for outside. I know of some people who fill it with other things and make it an indoor table, too (e.g., rice, cotton balls).

18/4/06 8:36 AM  
Blogger PJ said...

You ever wonder why the decon tent blurb said "...can inflate in less than 250 seconds..." instead of "inflates in about 4 minutes? Once the time's over a minutes, using only seconds as a measurement seems about as silly as using only cents once you're over a dollar. A salesman on the phone never says, "All our units cost less than 4,995 cents."

:-) Just an oddity I noted.

I think those tent-like things are great. We have two: one that looks like a firetruck and one that looks like Thomas. Keeps the younger one busy most of the time.

Hope things are going well!


18/4/06 3:02 PM  
Blogger M. G. Tarquini said...

My kids LOVED stuff like this. Good choice.

23/4/06 11:40 AM  
Blogger Christa M. Miller said...

Karen - I'll look into that table! When we had our septic tank pumped last fall, the boy immediately co-opted the 2-foot-wide space they dug up in our lawn for his trucks. My husband just replanted grass seed there, so the kid needs a new place to dig!

Mom - there's nothing to secure the hose, which will fall out when pressurized. There is, however, the Elmo sprinkler I can put in the bottom. Now that would be a sight for a decon tent...

ML - spaghetti. You know. Toxic biohazard when child under 4 gets ahold of it.

PJ - enough with the math! My eyes cross! ;) Seriously, not sure. I think it's a weird appeal to the "every second counts" mentality of mass casualty first responders, even though most will take quite awhile to respond to an incident like that, and then does it really matter whether it's 4 extra minutes when mustard gas is burning your eyes out?

OK, now that I've totally outed myself as a public safety geek...

I will have to look for the Thomas tent. The kid will be beside himself with delight!

Thanks Mindy!

24/4/06 10:57 PM  
Blogger Daniel Hatadi said...

You're covered in deadlines and you STILL had time to look at my article. What a trooper. Thanks so much, Christa.

27/4/06 6:32 AM  

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