Saturday, June 21, 2008

Homemade Baby Gym

I don't know if you have heard of baby gyms, such as this or this. They can get quite expensive. Well, I'm a part of the Welcome Baby program and once a month a volunteer comes and shows me ways to help my baby development, what activities I can do with Alex, and what developmental steps I should expect in the next month. Well, last visit, she showed me how to make a homemade baby gym, that is really easy.

All you do is buy some PVC pipe, two elbow joints, two T-joints, and 4 caps. Then you cut the pipe into four 6-inch pieces, two 16-inch pieces, and one 18-inch piece. Put it together and then you can hang whatever toys you have. When done, it looks like this:

Basically, you just hook each 6-inch piece to another 6-inch piece with a T-joint, then put a cap on each end. Then you put each 16-inch piece in each T-joint, add an elbow joint to the top of each 16-inch piece, and connect with the 18-inch piece in the middle. Simple.

Alex has loved playing with this. What's nice is I can switch up what toys are on it, so he shouldn't get tired, and it can be used to work on different skills. For example, another activity the volunteer showed me was to take a can, put rice, beans, or pasta in it, and then hang it where he could kick at it, working on his legs. Well, easy enough; all I have to do is take off the other toys and put the can on, then pull it a little away from him so he can kick at it. It's been really great. Plus, it can easily be taken apart and stored. I plan to take this with us when we go home for a visit in August because it will hardly take up any room in our luggage and I would probably be bringing toys with us anyway.

The only thing is I wish it weren't so ugly. I would like to figure out a way to paint it so I can still take it apart and put together but look nice. I bet my sister could help me with that; she's really creative. We'll have to see. But it is a really fun and easy idea.

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