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  #1  
Old 04-02-2014, 07:25 AM
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Default What Are Your Favorite Outside Activities?

Summer is coming! (hopefully... )

What are your favorite outside activities? I am looking for some ideas on what to add to our play area outside. We currently have a few Step2 toddler slides/climbing sets, and a swing set w/ a big slide, as well as numerous ride on toys, toy lawn mowers, and balls.

I keep finding all these really neat sandbox plans on Pinterest - talk me out of it! I'm sure I'll be regretting that the first day the kids can play in it.

Does anyone have a water table and like it?
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Old 04-02-2014, 07:48 AM
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I have a sandbox and love it, kiddos do too. We just do a silly shake and wipe down dance and dump our shoes about 15 minutes before we go inside (close the sandbox too). Still end up with sand on the changing table sometimes.

Outside time is free play here. Lots of things to play with/on without me showing or directing them.

It gets hot in the summer, shoot it's hot today so I do work in lots of water play. Bucket of water with paint brushes, or squeeze top bottles, chalk, car and climber washes, items frozen into ice, occasionally mud and shaving crème and the sprinklers. The kiddos love to get misted when I am watering my hanging flower baskets.
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:03 AM
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Sand is a mess, but we have it. Water table is everyone's fave, along w/ digging in the garden. Water table's also portable, so I can stickit on the front porch if the weather's weird. We like to throw some sensory stuff like shells and shiny glass gems that you get at dollar stores for vases in there.
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:03 AM
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We have an outside play house they love. Mini gardening gear and a small raised bed to dig in. A sandbox with a lid. Chalk. Plastic Or camping dishes for pretend picnics and BBQs. Hula hoops. Balls.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:08 AM
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I made a sandbox from an old bookshelf. The kids love it! It isnt very big so they all sit on the outside and reach in the play. There is less mess this way and the kids dont care at all. My dad made us a sensory and water table. It looks like a regular table that has 2 rectangles cut out which is where i put two plastic bins. One side has water right now and the other has rice. I love that I can move it around, put lids over the containers and only open one half if I want to.
Pretty soon it is going to be too hot to go outside unless we are in the water. I have a couple fun sprinklers to use. I also plan on building a trike wash with PVC pipe, sponges, etc. I also want to make some accessories for our water table...im thinking a wooden stand that holds funnels with clear tubing attached..
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:26 AM
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Mud kitchen, hands down! It's the most-used area of my yard.
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenboo View Post
I made a sandbox from an old bookshelf. The kids love it! It isnt very big so they all sit on the outside and reach in the play. There is less mess this way and the kids dont care at all. My dad made us a sensory and water table. It looks like a regular table that has 2 rectangles cut out which is where i put two plastic bins. One side has water right now and the other has rice. I love that I can move it around, put lids over the containers and only open one half if I want to.
Pretty soon it is going to be too hot to go outside unless we are in the water. I have a couple fun sprinklers to use. I also plan on building a trike wash with PVC pipe, sponges, etc. I also want to make some accessories for our water table...im thinking a wooden stand that holds funnels with clear tubing attached..
I use a lot of portable items in summer, but i love the trike wash idea! We are so going to have that!!
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:43 AM
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We have two sand tables and we love them. If you're okay with using baby powder, it can be used to "wash" sandy hands. We have a water table that gets heavy use too...faaaar away from the sand tables. Balls, pool noodles, and hula hoops can be used in so many ways.
I would love a mud kitchen, but I know most of my current families would not approve. Maybe next summer!
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nothingwithoutjoy View Post
Mud kitchen, hands down! It's the most-used area of my yard.
Oh, that looks so neat!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenboo View Post
I made a sandbox from an old bookshelf. The kids love it! It isnt very big so they all sit on the outside and reach in the play. There is less mess this way and the kids dont care at all. My dad made us a sensory and water table. It looks like a regular table that has 2 rectangles cut out which is where i put two plastic bins. One side has water right now and the other has rice. I love that I can move it around, put lids over the containers and only open one half if I want to.
Pretty soon it is going to be too hot to go outside unless we are in the water. I have a couple fun sprinklers to use. I also plan on building a trike wash with PVC pipe, sponges, etc. I also want to make some accessories for our water table...im thinking a wooden stand that holds funnels with clear tubing attached..
I think I've seen the trike car wash on pinterest!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luna View Post
We have two sand tables and we love them. If you're okay with using baby powder, it can be used to "wash" sandy hands. We have a water table that gets heavy use too...faaaar away from the sand tables. Balls, pool noodles, and hula hoops can be used in so many ways.
I would love a mud kitchen, but I know most of my current families would not approve. Maybe next summer!
What sand/water tables do you have? I've been looking around at a few...
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nothingwithoutjoy View Post
mud kitchen, hands down! It's the most-used area of my yard.
mine too!!!!
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  #11  
Old 04-02-2014, 11:50 AM
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mine too!!!!
Excuse my ignorance - but how does one "make" a mud kitchen? Does mud have to be involved? My mind's eye is seeing kids covered in mud from head to toe at my back door begging to track it all over my lovely carpet!
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:53 AM
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We have this sand/water table but use it for sand only:

http://www.step2.com/p/Naturally-Pla...ctivity-Center

And this is our water table:

http://www.amazon.com/Step2-WaterWhe.../dp/B000641DPQ
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  #13  
Old 04-02-2014, 12:03 PM
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We have climbers, a really great sandbox that seats probably 6 or more kids, swings, chalk, sprinklers, water table. Their favorite activity: sponges, some dawn dish soap and the ride on toys for a car wash- keeps them entertained forever!
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Old 04-02-2014, 12:04 PM
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Dino Nuggets... ice cube tray and toys that can be embedded in them, take them outside onto the sidewalk and let them try to get the fossils out. Now that Easter is approaching plastic eggs!! One hides them and they all need to find them, way better than hide and seek! Pool noodles halved and raised make great car race tracks. Hoppity balls work on the grass and get some exercise out. Simon says or outdoor dance party for littler ones.

Sometimes open ended toys are the best, they use their imaginations and fun things happen. I like the Bilbo toy for that reason. I usually just grab random toys from in our storage and ask them what we could do with the toys. It's fun to see what they come up with.
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Old 04-02-2014, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsmichelle View Post
We have climbers, a really great sandbox that seats probably 6 or more kids, swings, chalk, sprinklers, water table. Their favorite activity: sponges, some dawn dish soap and the ride on toys for a car wash- keeps them entertained forever!
Love the "toy wash" idea!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KDC View Post
Dino Nuggets... ice cube tray and toys that can be embedded in them, take them outside onto the sidewalk and let them try to get the fossils out. Now that Easter is approaching plastic eggs!! One hides them and they all need to find them, way better than hide and seek! Pool noodles halved and raised make great car race tracks. Hoppity balls work on the grass and get some exercise out. Simon says or outdoor dance party for littler ones.

Sometimes open ended toys are the best, they use their imaginations and fun things happen. I like the Bilbo toy for that reason. I usually just grab random toys from in our storage and ask them what we could do with the toys. It's fun to see what they come up with.
Thanks so much for the great ideas! I planned on tracking down some of those hoppity balls this weekend.
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Old 04-02-2014, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorw1210 View Post
Excuse my ignorance - but how does one "make" a mud kitchen? Does mud have to be involved? My mind's eye is seeing kids covered in mud from head to toe at my back door begging to track it all over my lovely carpet!
All my parents love the mud kitchen & aren't bothered with picking up a dirty kid. The boys use dump trucks to deliver the mud to the kitchen. (two little tikes kitchens) They all make mud pies, cookies, cakes, you name it. The sell their goods at the mud store (playhouse) for leaves & sticks. This is one place their imagination is hard at play & I love it! Here's some ideas on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins...en&rs=ac&len=5
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Old 04-02-2014, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorw1210 View Post
Excuse my ignorance - but how does one "make" a mud kitchen? Does mud have to be involved? My mind's eye is seeing kids covered in mud from head to toe at my back door begging to track it all over my lovely carpet!
In our "mud" kitchen, sometimes there's mud, sometimes there's snow, sometimes there's dry dirt...it's mostly according to the weather. (Though in warm weather, I do often set a huge bin of water back there for them, and they make mud. And at some point, I'd like to add water they can have free access to--a rain barrel, perhaps). Mostly what it means for us is that that's the area where they are free to do what they want: they can't dig up my lawn or gardens, but they can dig to their hearts' content in the mud kitchen.
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Old 04-02-2014, 04:15 PM
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I thought of another huge favorite here--hammocks. We have 2, and they're in constant use. Not for the nice relaxing rest adults would use them for, but as swings. We have ropes tied to nearby trees that they can pull on to make themselves go. They're nice for a shared moment between friends, as well as for the sensory experience.
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  #19  
Old 04-03-2014, 11:18 PM
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I have 2 water tables and a sand table. I also buy cheap paintbrushes (not art brushes-Wal-mart cheap bigger household brushes) for painting with water. I just fill ice cream buckets with water and they "paint" everything!

I turn the sand table into a sand kitchen with water. I can't handle a mud kitchen. That's just me tho.

Otherwise, trikes, cozy coupes, balls, hoola hoops, chalk, play houses, etc.
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Old 04-04-2014, 04:36 AM
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Last year the hits were a tire swing and an extra long dog leash tied to our house for jumping rope.
I want a mud kitchen so bad this summer, already have collected a bunch of pots and pans for it from yard sales and Salvation Army.
Stumps have been great, also large flat stones. They get rearranged into so many ideas. And our extra large sand box. We also draw all over the inside of our wooden fence with chalk, paintbrushes.
I'd love to set up a music wall and/or a car/ball run on the fence this year.
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Old 04-04-2014, 05:58 AM
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We also have tents to play in. Kids like to play camping here
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Old 11-06-2014, 02:59 PM
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These are great! Now that winter is coming, what are some of the activities/toys you will be using to keep kids active while they're primarily indoors?

A parent donated a bulk deal of these flow-type toys from Vertical Vortex (http://verticalvortextoys.com/) to our daycare center a few weeks ago and we've had fun using them as a fun twist on the old "Hot Potato" game, where they have to pass them back and forth to each other. It's fun!

What new ideas will you be implementing for your kids this winter season?
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