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Old 03-10-2015, 07:14 AM
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Peaches Peaches is offline
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Default Outdoor Toy Must Haves

I'm looking at redoing my outdoor play area and wondering what others consider on outdoor toy must have. Currently I have a little outdoor play kitchen, a large outdoor playhouse, some dump trucks, toy basketball hoop, chalk, balls, riding toys, push lawn mower, and an infant swing but the preschoolers are always saying their bored... My husband and I are planning on putting a swing set in later this spring and I'm debating whether to get a water sand table or not. Any other suggestions on what others have found useful would be great.
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Old 03-10-2015, 07:17 AM
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Blackcat31 Blackcat31 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peaches View Post
I'm looking at redoing my outdoor play area and wondering what others consider on outdoor toy must have. Currently I have a little outdoor play kitchen, a large outdoor playhouse, some dump trucks, toy basketball hoop, chalk, balls, riding toys, push lawn mower, and an infant swing but the preschoolers are always saying their bored... My husband and I are planning on putting a swing set in later this spring and I'm debating whether to get a water sand table or not. Any other suggestions on what others have found useful would be great.
LOL! I just posted that ^^ in another thread...

I cured that by downsizing.

I have a sandbox, 3 swings (for OLDER preschoolers only) 4 heavy duty tricycles, 3 Cozy Coupe cars, a play house and some playground balls.

I used to have so much stuff that Little Tikes was jealous of me....

But I downsized a few summers ago and haven't heard a single kid utter that they are bored.

TOO many choices lead to boredom in my opinion. LESS toys equate to deeper more engaged play. I didn't think so, but the proof was what happened after I ditched the hundreds of $ worth of toys I had out before.
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Old 03-10-2015, 07:20 AM
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Swings for sure. That's my number one thing and it's not even required equipment here. But it's required by the kids. A slide, some ride on toys, a variety of balls in all sizes, and a water table. I couldn't do without any of these and my kids are never bored outside.
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Old 03-10-2015, 07:24 AM
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KiddieCahoots KiddieCahoots is offline
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My kids really like the sand and water table too!

Have it outside....I couldn't handle that in the house

I have this one....

http://www.amazon.com/Step2-Naturall...nd+water+table
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Old 03-10-2015, 07:40 AM
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Definitely a water table and some trikes.
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Old 03-10-2015, 07:50 AM
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*Something* to climb on. If not a climbing structure, maybe a tractor tire, or a homemade bridge/balance beam.
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Old 03-10-2015, 08:09 AM
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Two big planters full of dirt just for them to dig in and a bucket of little shovels. All six of mine spend an hour together digging for treasures.
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Old 03-10-2015, 08:33 AM
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I would add a wagon or 2. My kids love them.
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Old 03-10-2015, 08:41 AM
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When I did childcare, the sandbox was a big hit. They LOVED it. They would spend hours playing with the sand.
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Old 03-10-2015, 09:48 AM
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If I got rid of everything except the mud kitchen, I don't think anyone would care. They spend most of their time there. Well, that and our hammocks (which they use as swings, mostly).

Mud kitchen: lots of metal pots and pans and spoons and such, shovels, stumps as table and chairs, board "counters" and wooden shelves, space to dig in the dirt, water when the weather allows.

Also important: it's not a blank slate of a lawn. We have a strip of "woods" (i.e. a row of trees between our house and the one behind us), gardens, leaf pile, sticks, rocks, etc.
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Old 03-10-2015, 10:05 AM
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Those of you who have mud kitchens and water tables, do you worry about controlling the mess? In the summer, we play outside until pick up and the parents leave right from my backyard. I stopped letting them play in the water table last year in the afternoon because I didn't like the parents going into my house by themselves to change the kids' clothes because they were too messy or wet to get in the car. However, the afternoon is the best time to play in the water! How do you handle that?
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Old 03-13-2015, 07:28 PM
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Instead of a mud kitchen I have a sand kitchen. Just works better for me.

I love our water table and sand table!

2 play houses

Small wagons

Bikes

Balls

Climber

No swings....my experience kids walk in front of swings and get hurt
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Old 03-13-2015, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
LOL! I just posted that ^^ in another thread...

I cured that by downsizing.

I have a sandbox, 3 swings (for OLDER preschoolers only) 4 heavy duty tricycles, 3 Cozy Coupe cars, a play house and some playground balls.

I used to have so much stuff that Little Tikes was jealous of me....

But I downsized a few summers ago and haven't heard a single kid utter that they are bored.

TOO many choices lead to boredom in my opinion. LESS toys equate to deeper more engaged play. I didn't think so, but the proof was what happened after I ditched the hundreds of $ worth of toys I had out before.
I do agree with this. I pretty much have buckets (and MUD), some trucks, sensory table, balls, etc. Many days they don't even use that many toys and instead they make up games, run and climb the trees. They do also LOVE my pine needles, I have three big pine trees on one side of the yard. I am jealous of people that have swings, though. I really should get some.
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Old 03-13-2015, 09:52 PM
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Controlled Chaos Controlled Chaos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Instead of a mud kitchen I have a sand kitchen. Just works better for me.

I love our water table and sand table!

2 play houses

Small wagons

Bikes

Balls

Climber

No swings....my experience kids walk in front of swings and get hurt
I would never have swings. So many of my littles just wander right in front at the perfect time to get hit in the head. I have a little tikes slide & teeter totter combo, 5 ride on toys, an area for digging with trucks/hands/shovels, a soccer goal and balls and a small basket ball hoop and ball. I also have these cool giant lego like blocks that fit together to make tunnels and towers. They store in a small stack but the kids play with them for hours. They encourage creative thinking, problem solving...I love them.
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Old 03-14-2015, 05:00 AM
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I agree on the less... all winter the trucks and other items have been away and they play just fine. although with the mud this week the trucks broke free and played I store all of them in the sandbox that I couldn't keep from molding and being gross.. (Step 2 the natural looking one. Lets water in but not out!) Anyway. I have-
8 x 8 dirt area enclosed with the large square timbers (12in X 12in) so they make seats or they drive on them, they walk them constantly. In the pit there are rocks and tree slices. I have shovels, trucks etc.

Castle- best $30 buy of my life. They LOVE the castle.
Small cube with slide- perfect for 1 1/2 yr olds and up. I also have a big cube without its slide. Great to climb though!
A small little tykes tunnel that my son got when he was born so over 18 yrs old.

Balls- lots of $1 balls!

Garden area- strawberries, blueberries and garden beds... flowers, herbs throughout play area.

Grass.

My yard slopes slightly so there is a bit of a hill. great to roll down.

I also have a patio area that is separate from the back yard. THis is where sidewalk chalk, pools, water play, painting etc happens. THey love having hot wheels cars and animals or dinosaurs there- once they go out they do not come back inside. I also have a set of mega blocks that go out there. It is like an extension of the playroom where messy things can happen.

Mess and pick up- generally my parents are ok with picking up dirty kids, wet kids, chalk covered kids. If they have something that evening, they usually tell me and I try to change their kidlet and straighten hair before their pickup. (Usually out on the patio) If they are too wet etc they just strip them and plop them in the car. They would much rather have messy happy kids.
I did bag the muddy boots for one dad this week
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Old 03-14-2015, 09:50 AM
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bananas bananas is offline
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I just ordered one of these!!!!
http://swingsandthings.com/product/xl-swing-and-spin/


I've got all preschool age kids right now and they'll be with me till kindergartenůso I'm not worried about little ones running out in front of it. They always fight over the swing so why not get a swing big enough for all 5?!


I purchased 5 $1 Easter buckets from Walmart the other week and those have provided HOURS of entertainment outside. They're into collected pinecones, "harvesting their garden," collecting worms, you name it. Best $5 ever spent
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Old 03-17-2015, 12:20 PM
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I have a huge sand box which is a big hit. They would play in it all day long everyday if I would let them. Also a water table, large balls, and hula hoops. They also love the climbers and slides. I have swings, but for safety sake, no one is allowed to swing or go anywhere near the swings until it's swing time. During swing time everybody is on the swings at once so that nobody gets hurt by running in front of a swung. If there are not enough swings for everybody, then we do not swing that day. If someone does not want to swing, they go in the sand box with my assistant.
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