Summer Camp At Home- Setting Up the Garage for Maximum Fun!


summer camp at home

Many people are under the misguided idea that garages are meant as storage homes for your cars…..  ha ha ha!  While it’s true that in the winter we manage to clear out enough space to squeeze in my hubby’s SUV, once summer rolls around, that vehicle makes its overnight home in the driveway so that our garage can be set up for maximum summer fun! Here’s how to go about setting up the garage for summer camp at home!

Cleaning Out and Organizing

Even with the sun shining and free time beckoning, I was able to wrangle my children into helping me with garage clean out for an hour on Sunday afternoon this past weekend.  They helped me cart all of the toys, bikes, scooters, and sports equipment out of the garage and into the grass, where it was sorted out by category- football / soccer / basketball / baseball / lacrosse / water play / beach supplies / air rockets / roller skates / bug collecting supplies / chalk and bubbles /  and misc.  We weeded out the items that were broken or no longer used, and then we washed out all of the big plastic bins that we store stuff in.  Getting the kids to help out with the bin washing was the easy part…  a hot day, a cold garden hose….  you get the idea!  They were all soaked when they were finished, but had a great time- and I had a clean garage, that’s (almost) all set up for our summer camp fun!

Bike Parking!

With 8 bikes, we had to create a special “parking area” to accommodate them.

Summer Garage Set Up bikes Momof6 300x200 Summer Camp At Home   Setting Up the Garage for Maximum Fun!

Last summer we decided to invest in 4 sets of bike stands that each park 2 bikes, after one too many times of kids knocking down 4 other bikes when trying to pull their own out of the garage.  (We found these at amazon.)

Summer Garage Set Up bike rack Momof6 300x200 Summer Camp At Home   Setting Up the Garage for Maximum Fun!

Balls, Toys and Sports Equipment

We use a combination of rubbermaid plastic storage bins (without the lids) and giant pop-up canvas bags to hold all of the balls, toys, and sports equipment.

Summer Garage Set Up sportsball bins Momof6 300x200 Summer Camp At Home   Setting Up the Garage for Maximum Fun!

The bins are set up in 2 rows down the center of the garage.  You can kind of see in the back of this picture, that I have an old bookshelf against the wall that I use as a gardening supply center.  On this bookshelf I have a bin of kid-sized gardening gloves and a bucket of gardening shovels so the kids can help me out in the garden using their own kid-sized equipment.

Summer Garage Set Up sports bins Momof6 300x200 Summer Camp At Home   Setting Up the Garage for Maximum Fun!


Scooter Parking Too!

One of the things that is still challenging to store neatly are the scooters.  Even when we lean them against the wall, they fall over…  and when one kid tries to grab just his scooter, they all fall everywhere. I did see some scooter racks online, but they ran around $25 each- and there is no way I am spending $150 on scooter racks. So we’ll just deal with it….

Summer Garage Set Up scooter collection Momof6 300x257 Summer Camp At Home   Setting Up the Garage for Maximum Fun!

We use an old desk to hold bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and other small items.  On the shelves above the desk, we store games sets- such as croquet and badminton.  And in the big plastic bin I store all of the kids bike helmets.

Summer Garage Set Up bike helmet bin Momof6 300x200 Summer Camp At Home   Setting Up the Garage for Maximum Fun!

I am not quite done yet…..I still need to carry out two knock-down tables and 6 folding chairs from the basement and stack them against a wall in the garage.  We love to work on our craft projects outdoors under a tree and having the tables and chairs in the garage makes setting up craft time quick and easy.  I also need to re-stock our supply of bubbles and wands!

When setting up a garage for summer fun, it is important to remove any harmful chemicals such as gasoline and find another place to store them safely away from the kids (translation: it might be time to make that trip over to Home Depot to buy a storage shed!).  You want the kids to be able to go into the garage and get to their toys and equipment even without you by their side….  so you need to know that all of the dangerous stuff has been stored elsewhere!


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lynne Stark May 31, 2011 at 6:52 am

I’m cracking up! i was so impressed with myself yesterday when Amy and I cleaned out our one measly bin that we keep for outdoor “stuff”. BTW, she also had “the best time” washing down some of the smaller toys with windex and paper towels. I was too lazy to get out the hose. :)


2 Sharon
Twitter: sharonmomof6
May 31, 2011 at 9:06 am

You’ve seen my garage! It looks like a Modell’s stockroom! Windex and paper towels wasn’t going to go too far around here-


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