Friday, July 15, 2011

How to Make your Kids Enjoy Their Summer Reading - A Tutorial!

My kids are avid readers.  This is something I am very happy about as thier parents are too. BBBUUUUTTTT, assigned summer reading, well that is another story.  First of all, it's assigned.  Second of all, we would all rather be swimming. 

Out comes the "Reading Bubble"!  Yep, this is my living room and no it isn't a giant jelly fish.  The kids and I actually made this 4 or 5 years ago when I was trying to institute a regular quiet time.  It worked really well then and still works now.  You can only go inside if you are going to read.
 See.  Umm, sorry about the pic of the shirtless boy.  Please excuse.
 Even a tweener likes hanging out in it.  Actually, parents do too.
1 plastic painters tarp (cheap)
2 rolls duct tape
1 fan (box or round)
1 kitchen trash bag

a. Fold the plastic tarp in half.
b. Use duct tape to seal around all edges. Just like you are making a pillow. (see pic below)

 c. Decide on where the door will be.  Place a length of duct tape vertical and horizantal to make an upside down letter "T".  (see first pic in post).  Note how the corners were reinforced.
d. Now cut through the center of the duct tape to open a tent=like door.  We also added a mail slot. (see first pic in post)
e. Take your trash bag and cut out the bottom so that your trashbag becomes a tube.  Measure the width of the trash bag.
f.  Use scissors and cut an opening through the duct tape that equals the width of the trash bag.
g.  Duct tape one end of the trash bag to the Bubble Room.
h.  Duct tape the other end of the trash bag to the fan.

Project takes about 1 hour.  Younger kids can help hand your strips of duct tape.  Older kids can help place it.  If you don't have room for one this size, simply use scissors and cut the painter's tarp down in size before taping. 

It is really fun to watch the Bubble Room inflate as it looks like a hot air balloon filling.  Small holes  in your room will not matter and if they are large holes, patch them with duct tape.

Throw in pillows and beanbags this room is made for fun! 

Word of Caution:  This is essentually a large plastic bag.  Supervise children at all times when the room is inflated or uninflated.  Do not turn off the fan if people are still inside!


Alyssa said...

I am amazed and speechless... AMAZED! This is AWESOME!

n*stitches said...

Haha! And cheap too! When we are done for the day I pull the tape off the fan, fold it all up and put it away. Today was a rainy day, so perfect timing to bring it out!

Beth @ Free Stylin' said...

You have got to be kidding me - GENIUS!! I love this!! We may just be making our own bubble room - STAT!

Laura at Ms. Smartie Pants said...

I just did this at my church. We just had a camp with a beach theme and the kids go inside to hear stories. WE read the story of Jonah and the Whale and pretend we are in the belly of the whale. The kids love it!!!

Meredith said...

Woah! Great idea!!

n*stitches said...

Thank you for all the wonderful comments! Laura, we used for a children's church play not long ago. We placed a red lamp inside and it became the Fiery Furnace.

Jenn said...

Wow - I have never seen anything like this! Love it. I am following you back!

June@I will craft said...

This looks like great fun!

Kirsten @ Mushki Loves said...

This is so cool! I have all the stuff...I think I see one of these in our future! I found you at Tatertots and jello. I am a new follower! I would love it if you would check out my blog and follow back if you like it! Thanks!

idesign said...

this is incredible!! fun mom!! i cant wait to do this when i have kiddos of my own :D