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Pretend, Practice Outlet

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How to teach children electrical outlet safety: Making our own pretend outlet so we could teach our son to properly plug and unplug electrical cords. 

My parenting motto: If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

We have come to the conclusion that baby proofing is failing. Baby G has figured most of it out and he’s fascinated with our electrical outlets, something that is giving me gray hairs. We have tried three or four types of baby proofing at this point and he’s “hacked” them all. I decided that the best option at this point may be to teach him how to safely use outlets instead of continuing a losing battle.

We went to our local hardware store and picked up the cheapest supplies possible to make a “fake” practice outlet. Because the outlet isn’t going to be connected to electricity, we didn’t need any fancy supplies to prevent shocks, etc. IF YOU MAKE THIS DO NOT CONNECT IT TO ELECTRICITY. Baby G loves switches too so we picked up a switch too. Fun!

What you need:
  • Outlet Cover: $1 
  • Switch: $0.55
  • Electrical Outlet: $0.38
  • Box for Outlet: $0.79

    Total: $2.72

You’ll need a screwdriver to screw it all together, but it came with all the screws. We also used a spare cord we had sitting around. It’s one that disconnected from whatever item it belonged to so it’s not actually hooked to anything (convenient for Baby G dragging this around).

I’m hoping the baby proofing now PLUS this cool new toy will encourage him to focus on this PLAY outlet so as to avoid him playing with the outlets. Worst case scenario: he’s learned how to appropriately plug in things to the outlet and we plan to correct him if he tries to stick anything inappropriate in it (ie. screw driver). 

As you can tell, he really enjoyed this.

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Elisabeth (Beth)

Friday 31st of May 2013

Wow, great idea! Not only is it a useful skill but it's great for his fine motor skills and spacial reasoning. With this toy and his computer you are going to have a super cool Godric-built robot running around your house in the future! :-)