Turn Your Garage Into The Ultimate After-School Hangout Space For Your Teen
If your teen is like most, they enjoy hanging out with their friends every chance they get. But if they're not hanging out at your home, it can be tough to keep tabs on them and make sure that they are staying out of trouble. A house full of teens can be noisy though, so consider turning your garage into an ultimate teen hangout spot. Here's how:
Replace the Garage Door Opener
Replacing your garage door opener with a newer SMART option is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your teen's safety while hanging out with friends in the garage whether you are home or not. With a SMART opener installed, you can set it up to visually monitor the garage area from anywhere in the world using a smartphone, tablet, or computer. From work, while running errands, or even from the comfort of your bedroom in the house, you'll be able to monitor who comes and goes while ensuring that your teen follows all the rules that have been established for the space.
You can also program your garage door opener to open and close at scheduled times during the day to control when your teen and their friends have access to the inside area at any given time. Or, if things seem to be getting rowdy when you're at work, you can send everyone home and close the garage door from afar to ensure that nobody sneaks back in.
Bring the Outdoors Inside
Give the kids something fun and physically demanding to do inside the garage so they can expend some of their pent-up energy as they would if they were in the park. This will keep them busy and help ensure that they're calm after leaving the hangout spot to spend time inside with family. Start by hanging a basketball hoop from the ceiling against a wall and hanging a floating shelf next to it so you can fill it with foam basketballs. Stick with foam balls in case your garage door has windows as that will decrease the likelihood of any broken glass.
Put a dart board on the opposite wall, and invest in a folding ping-pong table that can be stowed in a corner and set up when the mood strikes. The idea is to incorporate activities that require body movement as opposed to setting up a video game station. Leave the video games and televisions in the house and encourage your teen to use their body and imagination while hanging out in the garage.
Create a Study Corner
Encourage your teen and their friends to do some homework while spending time together in your garage by creating a study corner for them to utilize. Set a folding table up in a corner, put two or three chairs around it, and line tabletop shelves along the back of the table against the wall. Fill the shelves with reading books, notebooks, and pens, and place a study lamp in the middle of the table for easy reading. Consider adhering a map of the world onto the table and painting over the surface with clear sealant to make the area a little more interesting and educational.
Traditional garage lighting might not be conducive to this, so keep in mind how you may need to change light fixtures or wiring to account for a proper study space.
Make Accommodations for Overnight Guests
The garage is an excellent place for your teen and their friends to spend the night together in, as it will help keep the inside of your home quiet and give the kids a little more freedom during their slumber party. To accommodate overnight guests, just place a foldout couch against a wall and store fresh blankets underneath it. Place a couple end tables with shelves built into them on either side of the couch so they can be used to store clothes and other personal guest items. During the day, the area can be used to sit and hangout, and at night it can be transformed into a bedroom.