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Kids have the greatest imaginations. I love that about them. It’s funny how a few cardboard boxes will keep them busy for hours, while those expensive plastic toys on the shelf are deemed boring after a few minutes. Over the years we have played with more Amazon boxes than I can count – good thing I like to shop!
We have made houses, cars, garages, doll houses, Easter Bunny traps and countless other creations. Today was one of those days – I was home alone with the twins while my husband and older son were at baseball. They were getting bored with the toys – so I sent them to the garage to haul in our pile of boxes. My daughter immediately got to work creating a house and was occupied. My little guy just wasn’t into it. Then inspiration struck!
Outdoor Box Painting
I told him to grab his pile of boxes and meet me in the yard. I collected our (washable) paints and a few paintbrushes. I simply told him to paint his boxes. He was in his glory – he painted for 3 hours. His sister caught on and dragged her boxes out as well. They were so busy and so happy – It was amazing! They used up all the paint – that is the only reason this activity ended.
When they were done, we had some amazing box art and some very messy kids. Thank goodness for washable paint. But, I still don’t like those messy, paint covered kids walking through the house, getting handprints on everything, on their way to the sink. Which leads me to “the best thing we ever did” when we built the house.
Kids are Messy
Why an Outdoor Shower is a Great Idea
When we designed our porch and deck we included an outdoor shower. I don’t remember exactly when we thought of the idea – probably after one of our trips to the beach. But, why not? At the beach we always clean the kids off outside before we let them in the house. So, why not at home? Mud, grass, mulch and sweaty little boys are just as messy as sand. After yardwork and mowing my husband isn’t that clean either!
We placed the shower underneath the screened porch – very close to the doors that lead to the finished basement. It is a full working shower with hot and cold water that drains into our main pipes. There is even a cold water faucet at the bottom – perfect for washing feet or filling buckets. I found these super cute outdoor towel hooks which I hung right near the shower so our towels stay clean.
We use this shower all the time – my husband will rinse off after yardwork so he isn’t tracking all that grass and dirt in the house. I can (somewhat) easily rinse off the dog if he gets into something outside. And the kids!! Pretty much all summer they take their showers outside. It is so much quicker and easier. My kids live outside in the summer – so at the end of the day when I drag them inside they are pretty sweaty and disgusting.
I can shower all three kids in under ten minutes. I keep shampoo, body wash and conditioner in the shower. Towels and washcloths are stored in the basement bathroom so I can easily grab them when it is time to wash up. I place their pajamas right inside the basement door – and then we knock out three quick showers. One at a time – get in, get clean, get out. They have clean shower shoes (flip flops) they slip on to walk from the shower to the basement and we are DONE!
I love it. There is no arguing about having to “climb all the way upstairs” for a shower before dinner, no trail of mud or leaves or grass through my kitchen. And on the days they aren’t really dirty it still helps – because it is so nice to get them ready for bed BEFORE dinner!!
It was a very simple thing to add to the design of our outdoor living space. If you are thinking about doing it – go for it. Building an outdoor shower was one of the best decisions we made when designing our home – you won’t regret it!