Project office door replacement finally kicked off after 7.5 years of living in our house. Hubby realized the sanity I would gain being able to see the boys in the playroom, but not having to hear their craziness.
“Find the door. Get a deal on it and I’ll replace it.”
The white, 6-panel hollow core door was now being replaced with a solid 4-pane glass door.
I allowed our oldest son to take the door off the hinges and to pry the trim off around the door frame. I thought that was a pretty creative way to entertain him while he had to “lay low” because of a broken big toe.
What I didn’t expect was my husband to out create my creativity.
I don’t think I give my hubby enough credit when it comes to creativity. I know he’s great at coming up with “fixes” and making my DIY designs come to life. But when it comes to coming up with kid activities, well let’s just say it’s not his forte.
You can imagine my surprise when my husband carried up the office door that we were replacing from the basement and asked our boys who were playing outside, “Do you guys want to color on this door?”
Overhearing this question, I stammered something like, “Wait. What?”
The door, he explained, had been custom cut to fit the doorframe. So instead of our usual way of removing something from our house by donating it, the door was headed to the curb to be picked up by the trash man.
So instead of just throwing it away, he thought it would be a fun activity for the boys.
Hubby addressed the boys again, “You could make a ramp out of this for your monster trucks. You could color on it or draw lane lines for the truck and then use the door as a ramp.”
And in a flash, all three boys were headed off to make the idea come to life. One child headed for the markers. One child headed for the sidewalk chalk. One went for the basket of monster trucks. And they all reconvened on the front porch to transform the door into a monster-truck racing ramp.
Our oldest son turned the door panels into sand pits with help of the brown chalk.
Our middle son just enjoyed coloring the door. Nothing fancy, just bringing color to the door. The wood grain being a medium he’d never colored on previously (thank goodness).
And our youngest son labeled the door with the Monster Jam title spelled out right down the middle of the door with fruity smelling markers.
Once the ramp was decorated to their desire, it came time to position it.
Not wanting to damage the monster trucks with a crash onto the sidewalk, the boys worked together to find the best placement for the door. Using the landscaping border worked well, but didn’t give enough of an angle that would allow the trucks to flip off the door into the grass.
One child went to find a step stool that could be used as a support.
One child just went in search of “something”.
The oldest child was the project engineer (a.k.a. the boss of his brothers).
And once the structure was properly angled and adjusted, the races were on. And the races went on for at least an hour.
Big monster truck vs big monster truck.
Big monster truck vs small monster truck.
Small monster truck vs small monster truck.
The boys’ brains were engaged in where to place their truck. Which path was the fastest? Which truck was the fastest? Which one would flip at the bottom?
A simple old door that was destined for the trash, with a little imagination, became not just a monster truck ramp for three little boys. It was now an experiment in physics and math and engineering. It transformed an ordinary summer afternoon into one of Monster Truck racing fun… and learning!
Previously we’ve made monster truck ramps out of old boards, but nothing nearly this big or cool. The neighborhood kids made a “ticket booth” out of a refrigerator box and brought down to my boys’ lemonade stand. We’ve also made race cars and robot Halloween costumes out of cardboard boxes.
So my challenge for you is this… if an old door can be transformed into a Monster Truck ramp, what could you do with:
- An old pizza box?
- A jar?
- A cereal box?
- A bucket?
- A picture frame?
I’d love to hear about or see the creativity you and your kids have come up with to re-purpose items for play! Please share in the comments below.