The kids have been begging for a TV in their playroom for awhile now. I've always reasoned that it's unnecessary because we have one in the living room and it makes for good family bonding time. Plus, frankly, I want to be in control of everything they're watching.
But then the timing just fell together really well, and we had the space. It was a perfect storm of nagging from the boys, me wanting to reclaim the living room, and a kid-friendly TV coming available all at once. Nate was able to finally upgrade our tiny 42-inch screen to the 75-inch he's been eyeing. For that we used the mount we got from our sponsor, SANUS, and I was SO glad that we picked one that could grow with our needs. So then we were left with this perfectly-usable television, and a perfectly empty space for it in the playroom.
Let me clean up that area to give you a better look at what we were dealing with.
I wanted this super-simple sofa table from IKEA to serve as our TV table. I was not about to run out and buy some specialty console for this project, and I was convinced I could figure out a way to safely mount our TV in this space. SANUS guided us to their Anti-Tip Strap and in a few twists of a wrench, we were ready to screen the kids' favorite shows!
Our TV, like most, has some mounting holes in the back.
Everybody wave to my little helper, Moby. Hi, Moby!
We actually have a mounting system screwed into those holes to hold it upright, but we were able to slip the anti-tip strap in under the mounting legs and use a spacer and screw that came with the strap to secure it tightly into place.
That gets attached to the furniture…
And then to the wall! We tightened the straps in place and gave it a few “test tips” to make sure it held.
This system makes for a super-simple solution to one of the biggest hurdles that stops parents from putting a TV in the playroom.
Once I had the TV, the place for it, and some set rules to ensure that the kids wouldn't just wind up watching the tube all the time, the safety issue did initially have me stressed. I realized how silly that was, though, when I saw how quickly a simple strap could convert my existing furniture into a secure solution!
We filled the remaining spaces with books. The kids are required to read for a set amount of time before they're allowed to watch a show.
Whenever possible, I really love to read a book as a family before watching the movie version. TV can be a phenomenal learning tool if it's used correctly!
It actually took the kids a few minutes to even notice the TV. They came in, exclaimed about all the books, and plopped down to compare pages. Only after that did they happen to glance out of the corner of their eye and squeal a big, excited shriek. I did have one more surprise for them, though: this smart little TV doesn't have a remote. I stashed that away in favor of a controller on my phone. So in order for this to operate, they have to come and put in their request for me to play something on the television through an app. There's no other way of getting it to operate.
My initial concerns that they'd ditch traditional childhood play in favor of TV were totally unfounded. If anything, it's really enhancing our after school situation by offering them guided movement through little kid exercise shows as well as additional educational opportunities. It's also the cutest thing ever to see them ask the neighbor kids to come over and host their own little movie night – complete with popcorn and sleeping bags – while Nate and I have a date night of our own in the living room.
I don't regret that part, not one bit!
And to think that this was all accomplished with some stuff I already had on-hand and a $20 strap.
This one may go down as the greatest little mom hack our house has ever seen.
Do your kids have a TV of their own?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SANUS. The opinions and text are all mine.