Apr 14th, 2008
It’s been just over a month since I moved into the new house. I’ve been traveling a lot in addition to moving, and it’s been hard to find the time and mental energy to keep up with the blog. However, now that I’m ensconced, the niece/nephews have started coming over to play, and there should be a lot of inspiring blog fodder.
What is an indispensable part of the new homeowner’s tool kit that also makes a great plaything for the niece/nephews?
(If you answered “cordless drill,” I’m taking away your aunting license.)
Correct answer: masking tape. I had a whole roll of it on hand, as I am more or less repainting every room in the house.
I discovered this non-painting use for masking tape while the kids were playing with that other standard cheap repurposed toy: the cardboard box. I have a huge one from IKEA, after buying a little fold-out sofa (Solsta) for the upstairs den. It is literally big enough for all three kids to fit into.
Dash and Violet were in the living room, taking turns getting into the box and closing the flaps, when Dash comes over to ask, “Jean, do you have any tape?”
I do have packing tape, but my mind immediately jumped ahead to an image of one of them being sealed shut in the box while I wasn’t looking, panic ensuing, followed by tense moments with the utility knife.
I also have Scotch tape, but that didn’t seem practical: too ineffective in small quantities, and they could easily use up a whole roll.
Then I remembered the masking tape: secure enough, but easily removed, doesn’t leave a mark on floors or walls. Added bonus: my roll was purple.
They had a blast with it. The addition of masking tape easily extended the entertainment value of the cardboard box for another 30 minutes. And Dash found an interesting secondary use: removable face painting.
Aunt hack ratings:
Age group: 5-10
Duration of activity: 30 minutes each for tape and box
Cost: Masking tape: $3. (If you don’t buy the good stuff, it will stick and leave marks.) Box: free with a Solsta couch from IKEA ($129)
Child/aunt fun ratio: 70/30. It was fun to watch, and even better, easy to clean up.