Creating an Outdoor Playspace

Eliza Clark
March 13, 2018

The best thing about the prospect of spring is looking forward to being outdoors. We’ve been holed up way too much during the past few months, and can’t wait to start living outside again! As for our little ones, we are ready to hustle them out the door just as soon as it warms up a bit.

In the meantime, we’re thinking about how to freshen up our outdoor play spaces to make them enticing. After long months of playing inside, the kiddos may need a little reminding about why outdoor play is so much fun.

In an ideal outdoor playspace, we’d have the following elements:

Sand. It can be as simple as a sand tray, or as involved as a real sand pit. We all know how much small kids love to play and build with sand, especially when they also have…

Water. A hose that the kids can use will do you fine (show them how to turn it on and OFF), along with lots of old yogurt containers to fill and pour. But even better might be a small fountain that runs on solar energy, or a rain cistern with a faucet.

Outdoor toys. Sand and water creations call out for other toys to join the fun. Buckets and shovels are necessary, of course, but also trucks and figurines, and various building toys. Keeping a big bin for outside toys solves the problem of muddy items disfiguring your carpet.

Art supplies. Move the mess and the fun outside. Painting in the sun is just about the best.

A wagon (or two). Once they get busy, the kids are going to want to transport things here and there. You may not see why, but they will.

A garden patch. Give them a small patch to try growing a few familiar vegetables or flowers. A raised bed can work anywhere.

Swings and climbing structure. Most outdoor playspaces are dominated by these. Try a swing hung from a tree branch, or even a tree house because kids love…

A hideaway. A tent, a treehouse, a playhouse, a lean-to…any small spot where the kids can hide from you! And take shelter when it drizzles.

Shade. Trees are lovely, umbrellas work too.

Animal friends. And how about making this truly the best play spot imaginable with a few animal pals: a chicken coop, anyone?

From the Parents

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