Backyard Play

Here are some photos of our backyard.  I love finding unique and fun play things to add to the yard.

Here is a photo of all of the actual play equipment.  We have been so lucky to have this all handed down to us or were able to find great buys at garage sales.  What we have- swing set with glider and slide, toddler climber with slide, play house, picnic table, turtle sandbox, and a plastic kitchen (far left next to garage).

The toddler climber was passed down to us as soon as our daughter started walking and she has loved it since the first day she saw it (even after all the tumbles she has taken).  I really thought she would have outgrown this or ignored it once we were given the bigger swing set but she still enjoys it.

We also have a plastic pool that we use for tons of outdoor activities in summer.  My daughter loves to set the toddler slide up in the pool.  She loves to make rocks and toys slide down into the water with her.  She also enjoys making a waterfall by setting the hose at the top of the slide and turning it on low to let the water roll down.

We found this turtle sand box at a yard sale for $5 and I think we got our money's worth in the first hour, before we even had sand in it!  Since it was a yard sale find we did not have a bag of sand on hand so my daughter spent a couple weeks playing in it without sand.  She rolled around in it, drove cars in it,  used it as a toy box, collected all her nature treasures in it, you name it and she has probably put it in the the turtle box.  We almost hated to fill it with sand but after she saw us buy the bag she wasn't going to be happy till we poured it in.  She has enjoyed it just as much with the sand.  She loves using her digging tools and pails, she buries treasures in the sand, and she enjoys trying to build castles.  If I ever find something similar to this at a yard sale again I am going to grab it so that she can have one empty box and one sand filled box.

A school I had worked at had small ramps mounted low in the hall outside of the preschool rooms so that they could have something fun to do on days that it was too cold to play outside.  I adapted the idea a little.  I bought one plastic rain gutter and four attachment pieces (purchased at Lowes, I cannot remember the price but it was really cheap).  I had my husband cut the gutter in half.  We mounted one half to the side of our shed.  We also added two square "lift the flap" type things to the shed.  My husband cut some scrap wood into squares, I painted them, we added a knob to each one (left over from kitchen remodel), and hooked a hinge to the top.  I nailed a piece of Velcro in place under each flap.  I laminate postcards and calendar pages of nature and animals then attached Velcro to the back.  This allows me to easily change the picture and keeps her interested enough to check these flaps often.

We attached the second gutter piece to the ramp leading to our back door.  On this one we also added a piece of flexible gutter.  My daughter loves to drop things down the tube and then watch them roll down the ramp.  I would love to find a see through tube that would work as well as the gutter piece but have not had any luck finding something yet.

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