As you will know by now, we love being outdoors and spending as much time as possible outside in the fresh air. We only have a back yard at home, so we have to make use of the space as best as we can so Ellie can enjoy being outside at home. I take a lot of inspiration from Ellie and what she enjoys, so we regularly change things to keep up with her interests.
Being outside can provide your child with so many new and extended learning opportunities, so it’s important to have things that they are interested in.
Ellie’s top garden toys at the moment are:
- Sand and water
- Play house
- Mud kitchen
- Bug hotel
Two things that have never changed are Ellie’s love for sand and water, so when we first moved in we made a sandpit and this hasn’t really changed other than the items inside of it. We used an old car tyre, lined the base and filled with Argos play sand.
We made a start on a water play area yesterday by lining a shallow box and attaching a couple of bottles onto a trellis. You can buy sand / water play tables from any good toy store but as we don’t have much room we tend to make a lot of it ourselves. (Well I say we, I mean I tell Josh what I want and he builds it for me!)
Ellie loves this already, and as you can see she was straight outside first thing this morning, pj’s and all!
One of the best things we have bought for the back yard is Ellie’s trampoline, she absolutely loves it and has been used every day since we bought it at the beginning of summer last year. It’s a Chad Valley 6ft trampoline with enclosure which we also bought from Argos. When buying a trampoline it’s important you get a good enclosure if it doesn’t already have one, as it really does keep them safe (and acts as a great tent on sunny days when you throw a sheet over the top!).
Our second best buy was also the bargain of the year! Ellie and I were having a nosey around our local B&Q play houses when we found an ex display wooden play house for sale for just £50. Josh had to bring his friend along to help dismantle the house, but it didn’t take long and was completely worth it. We decorated it with bunting and have a kitchen and table set up inside which is just so cute.
When we first moved in I asked for a mud kitchen, a couple of hours later Josh came out of the garage with this! It’s such a simple set up but so effective, Ellie has spent hours playing in here. She has a mixture of natural pieces such as bark, sticks and pine cones along with wooden spoons, pots and pans and chopping boards to whip up a storm in her mud kitchen! You can use absolutely anything to make a mud kitchen, I’ve even seen people use old microwaves!
The last few bits that I would recommend for outside areas, which are really simple to put together, are these:
We have the start of a bug hotel, which is basically a few natural items put together which will inevitably attract bugs underneath. An old tyre which can be filled with any small world toys, at the moment we have safari animals. And no back garden can be complete without some chalks and a bucket of water to paint the walls!
I love looking at new ideas for the garden, so please leave any links or comments you have for us to have a nosey.