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  #1  
Old 09-10-2018, 10:31 AM
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LittleScholars LittleScholars is offline
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Default Outdoor Activities?

Can you share what your outside time looks like?

I *think* I'm feeling like our outside time is getting a little lame because it has been crazy hot this summer and I'm super pregnant (ready to pop shortly!). Usually I love our outside time, but it feels like it could use an upgrade.

I have:
-a little tykes climber
-2 little slides
-1 toddler slide
-play house
-2 outdoor play kitchens
-1 smaller sand box (I think this will get upgraded next summer)
-1 water table
-bubbles
-balls
-chalk
-a million bikes (but we only use these on the driveway at the end of the day)
-a variety of stuff to make fun obstacles courses/play group games (e.g., soccer nets), but I honestly haven't been setting it up because bending hurts

I think I have plenty of stuff, but need more things that inspire creativity. I know there are a million ideas of pinterest, but what really works and how do you store things? Do you have any cool sensory activities you do outside?

Inside feels like a magical play land, but outside just feels dull to me lately.
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  #2  
Old 09-10-2018, 10:45 AM
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Blackcat31 Blackcat31 is offline
 
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I recently decided that I needed to re-do outside time.
The kids acted as if they were bored. They fought alot and genuinely seemed as if they had no clue what to do.

I downsized toys.

Ditched the Cozy Coupes for 2 smaller ride on toys for toddlers and two tricycles for the older kids.

Ditched ALL the sandbox junk and got 4 pails and 4 shovels and 4 sifter things.

I have a swing set for the older kids and a smaller climber/tunnel set (no swings) for the toddlers.

Now my kid play super nice and their play is deeper and more involved. Less fighting.

I do not push kids on swings or get involved in outside play other than supervision.
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  #3  
Old 09-10-2018, 11:02 AM
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Ariana Ariana is offline
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I have a sandbox, small wooden playhouse, picnic table and water table. I supply the kids with actual kitchen cooking pots and pans and spoons, ladles, jugs, and water in the water table etc. They also have access to a bunch of bricks, pinecones, rocks, bird seed and wildflowers and some toy frogs and turtles. They are allowed to dig in the garden as well. Everyday is endless imaginative play with everything! If you Google Mud Kitchen or search for it on Pinterest that describes my space pretty well.
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Old 09-10-2018, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
I recently decided that I needed to re-do outside time.
The kids acted as if they were bored. They fought alot and genuinely seemed as if they had no clue what to do.

I downsized toys.

Ditched the Cozy Coupes for 2 smaller ride on toys for toddlers and two tricycles for the older kids.

Ditched ALL the sandbox junk and got 4 pails and 4 shovels and 4 sifter things.

I have a swing set for the older kids and a smaller climber/tunnel set (no swings) for the toddlers.

Now my kid play super nice and their play is deeper and more involved. Less fighting.

I do not push kids on swings or get involved in outside play other than supervision.

THIS.

I completely removed ride ons. The kids just sat on them to 'keep' them.


I added wood pieces, gutters, gravel pit, water table/play, sand table/play.
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  #5  
Old 09-10-2018, 12:10 PM
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LittleScholars LittleScholars is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
I recently decided that I needed to re-do outside time.
The kids acted as if they were bored. They fought alot and genuinely seemed as if they had no clue what to do.

I downsized toys.

Ditched the Cozy Coupes for 2 smaller ride on toys for toddlers and two tricycles for the older kids.

Ditched ALL the sandbox junk and got 4 pails and 4 shovels and 4 sifter things.

I have a swing set for the older kids and a smaller climber/tunnel set (no swings) for the toddlers.

Now my kid play super nice and their play is deeper and more involved. Less fighting.

I do not push kids on swings or get involved in outside play other than supervision.
Downsizing might actually help, especially in the sandbox area. We've collected so many things, that it actually takes time to clear them to play. And we all love the same 5 bikes.

Until recently this was never an issue. They would beg to stay out.
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  #6  
Old 09-10-2018, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by daycarediva View Post
THIS.

I completely removed ride ons. The kids just sat on them to 'keep' them.


I added wood pieces, gutters, gravel pit, water table/play, sand table/play.
Do you keep all of your loose piece type things out all of the time? Does everything hold up ok in the elements? Did you just go to a home improvement store and get that stuff? And how to do you contain your gravel pit?

So many questions. Thank you!
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  #7  
Old 09-10-2018, 12:46 PM
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Country Kids Country Kids is offline
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Also, just let them play!!!

To many children (not saying anyone here does this) are being followed, observed, having directive from adults that they honestly do not know how to play.

I let mine just run, explore, play, go where they want, play with who they want, and just let them be kiddo's!!!!
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  #8  
Old 09-10-2018, 12:50 PM
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LittleScholars LittleScholars is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Country Kids View Post
Also, just let them play!!!

To many children (not saying anyone here does this) are being followed, observed, having directive from adults that they honestly do not know how to play.

I let mine just run, explore, play, go where they want, play with who they want, and just let them be kiddo's!!!!
I'm all about letting them play! We've always just played and it has been fantastic. Lately, we are suddenly getting bored. I don't know if I'm projecting because we've had 90 degree days and I'm so uncomfortable that I can't wait to get back in (I'm sure they are feeling the same), but I've never really directed their play.
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  #9  
Old 09-10-2018, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariana View Post
I have a sandbox, small wooden playhouse, picnic table and water table. I supply the kids with actual kitchen cooking pots and pans and spoons, ladles, jugs, and water in the water table etc. They also have access to a bunch of bricks, pinecones, rocks, bird seed and wildflowers and some toy frogs and turtles. They are allowed to dig in the garden as well. Everyday is endless imaginative play with everything! If you Google Mud Kitchen or search for it on Pinterest that describes my space pretty well.
Awesome, thank you! I think we could use some more open ended items outside. We are in the suburbs have almost no interesting natural items in my backyard at the moment.
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Old 09-10-2018, 01:00 PM
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Ariana Ariana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleScholars View Post
Awesome, thank you! I think we could use some more open ended items outside. We are in the suburbs have almost no interesting natural items in my backyard at the moment.
I am too and my subdivision is only 6 years old so even the trees are small! I donít know if you are a part of a free FB site in your area but I get so much stuff for free on my Buy Nothing FB site. I have giant logs and stumps as well which
I got for free. So many ideas on pinterest for natural themed backyards. I think I may add some painted tires for fun as well, either as seats or things to climb on/in.
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  #11  
Old 09-10-2018, 01:06 PM
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I have a couple of slides, a small dome monkey bar climber, sandbox and water table, a tent/stage I made out of a couple old curtains, and some ride-on toys that I rotate in and out of the garage. I also have a bin of cars, a bin of play dishes, a bag of blocks and a bin of books (mostly board books so they can stand up to a little dirt and moisture.)
The bins of smaller toys I keep in a plastic storage cabinet like this:
https://www.amazon.com/Rubbermaid-Ou.../dp/B000L0CPPM
which has kept them dry and reasonably clean and bug free through a full year of seasons so far.
Sometimes I bring out art supplies, too, and let them really go at it since clean up outside is a bit easier, but I don't like to keep that out there for various reasons.
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  #12  
Old 09-10-2018, 01:23 PM
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LittleScholars LittleScholars is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariana View Post
I am too and my subdivision is only 6 years old so even the trees are small! I donít know if you are a part of a free FB site in your area but I get so much stuff for free on my Buy Nothing FB site. I have giant logs and stumps as well which
I got for free. So many ideas on pinterest for natural themed backyards. I think I may add some painted tires for fun as well, either as seats or things to climb on/in.
Oh that's amazing!! I'm on all sorts of garage sale sites, but no free ones (I never thought to look). Great idea!
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  #13  
Old 09-10-2018, 01:34 PM
BrynleeJean BrynleeJean is offline
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I want to get a deck box soon which is just a large outdoor storage box people use for pool equipment or patio cushions usually. they range around $50-$110ish. i have balls and chalk. no playground because i have one less than a quarter mile away from my house, in my community. I have been thinking about redesigning my backyard like a California one. I say cali because I've just noticed it don't there but just basically having a dirt backyard with grass in the middle so theres basically plant beds all around the yard but they can just play in them like sand beds or whatever they want. All i have is grass, not much room for natural sensory play
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Old 09-10-2018, 07:10 PM
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Lissa Kristine Lissa Kristine is offline
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Sometimes, bringing normal indoor activities outdoors is enough. Bring out the toy blocks and cars that the kids like playing with indoors. The children can drive cars in the grass and build on the uneven surface of the ground.

What about (plastic or easily washable) baby dolls and play food with an old blanket (or outdoor blanket) so the kids can have a picnic with the baby dolls? Do the outdoor play kitchens have play food?

What about doing your normal art projects outdoors? Do you have circle time/school time? Maybe you can bring some of those activities outdoors.

Sometimes, just playing with the same toys in a new environment can give them a new life.
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Old 09-10-2018, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrynleeJean View Post
I want to get a deck box soon which is just a large outdoor storage box people use for pool equipment or patio cushions usually. they range around $50-$110ish. i have balls and chalk. no playground because i have one less than a quarter mile away from my house, in my community. I have been thinking about redesigning my backyard like a California one. I say cali because I've just noticed it don't there but just basically having a dirt backyard with grass in the middle so theres basically plant beds all around the yard but they can just play in them like sand beds or whatever they want. All i have is grass, not much room for natural sensory play
I have a deck box to store our outdoor toys. Itís at least 15 years old from back when I was in high school and my parents had a pool. It keeps everything dry and is still in great shape. I bought a smaller tote to fit inside and all of our sandtoys go inside on one side and balls on the other. We have chalk and bubbles and an adventure kit but they arenít out daily as Iím pretty child led. If they ask we get them out if not I donít bother. I have a swing set but I took the swings down for winter this year and never put them back on so basically a fort base and slide. Sandbox underneath. I have a smaller climber/slide and just recently purchased a smaller plastic playhouse. I feel less is more.. my kids are never not doing something and love being outdoors. We also go on tons of walks. I recently got two small trikes from a neighbor and whoever my last two kids are usually get to play on them in the driveway while we wait on the last parents.
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