One of the greatest joys in life is becoming a grandparent. You can watch your own children learn and grow as parents themselves. You can love on your grandkids, have fun with them, and then send them home when you get tired.
However, if it’s been a long time since you last had little ones in your home you may need to prepare. It’s very easy for small children to hurt themselves in ways big people may never even think of. What can you do to make your home more baby-friendly? Read on for 10 home improvement suggestions for Grandma and Grandpa.
1.Put in a Swimming Pool
Swimming pools are great ways to stay in shape – in fact many seniors swear that swimming weekly (if not daily) helps them feel young and strong. Kids love pools, too. Use the time you spend teaching your grandchildren to swim to create special memories. Of course, you should also remember that pools require special safety measures. Kids should only use the pool when adults are present. Put up a gate to keep kids out when no one is around. You might also want to consider investing in proper-fitting child flotation devices.
2.Install a Patio
Patios give you space to relax and play with your whole family when the weather is nice. Use your patio to grill out, roast marshmallows or to relax and read a story together. You have your choice of different materials to construct your patio. Some common materials are cement, tile, brick or stone.
3.Turn an Unused Bedroom into a Playroom
Many seniors find they have more space than they know what to do with once their children have grown up and left home. Turn an unused bedroom or office into a comfortable playroom for your grandchildren. Consider installing a nice, thick carpet so that little ones can’t fall and hurt themselves. Paint the walls a bright, pretty color, or build an attractive storage system in which to keep books and toys in.
4.Put up a Swing Set
Swing sets give you another opportunity to have fun with your grandchildren while out of doors. There are all kinds of swing sets on the market. Some come with lots of different activities for children, including jungle gyms, slides and see-saws. The kind of set that you want will depend on how much you want to spend and the size of your yard.
5.Secure your Bookshelves
There are some safety measures you should take to get your home ready for kids, too. If you have high bookshelves in your home, you should make sure that they are securely attached to the wall. Little ones are experts at finding new and innovative ways to hurt themselves. Protect them from pulling bookshelves down on themselves and causing serious injury.
6.Install Safety Gates
Safety gates help protect your kids from going places in your home that they don’t belong in. Put them at the bottom and tops of stairs to keep them from tumbling down or from climbing up when you aren’t there to watch them. You can use them to keep little ones from the kitchen if there are lots of hot pots cooking, or away from a burning fireplace. Most safety gates are pretty easy to install yourself, but if you aren’t up to the task, you can have one installed for a pretty reasonable price.
7.Install Safety Latches and Locks
Keep little hands away from potentially poisonous household chemicals by outfitting the cabinets and drawers in your home with safety latches and locks. If they are old enough, you should also take the time to teach your kids that some things aren’t safe for them to eat and drink and that they should stay away from them.
8.Secure your Furniture
The tables and chairs in your home are no big deal for you, but they could really hurt a small child. Use anchors to secure heavy items like coffee tables, TV stands and music players. You can also put bumpers around pieces of furniture that have sharp edges so that little ones don’t hurt themselves toddling around them.
Make sure that kids don’t hurt themselves in the bathtub. Anti-scald devices are designed to help prevent little ones from burning themselves accidentally while using a bathtub, shower, or faucet. It’s very easy for small children, who typically have more sensitive skin than adults, to get serious burns from water. Outfit the water outlets in your home with anti-scald devices if they don’t already have them. If your home is old, you may want to look into upgrading your device.
Grandkids are great. They keep you youthful by allowing you to look at the world through the eyes of a child all over again. When a new baby joins the family, it changes everything forever. Keep up with the changes by ensuring that your home is ready to adapt and grow with your growing family.