Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Raise your hand if your kid wants to go outside all. the. time.  I am raising both of my hands!  This has been our first summer with a busy toddler (baby summers don’t count!) and I have found myself building an arsenal of summer fun ideas.  Of course there are the usual go-tos, like the park or the pool, but what about the instances when there isn’t enough time for a full-fledged outing, or you have 45 minutes to kill before dinner and your tot is itching to get out that door?

After discovering Reed’s love of splashing in buckets at the beach, I picked up three large buckets (on clearance for 80 cents) at Sears.  We keep them right inside the garage, and can quickly set up a bucket station in the driveway by filling them up with the hose, so that Reed can splash and pour to his heart’s content.  Reed’s Mimi introduced him to painting with water, so now we keep paint brushes handy too, and Reed paints the driveway, house, and wall.  Big hit!  Here is a picture of Reed and his cousin Cole painting like it’s their job!

Quick outdoor activities like the buckets are lifesavers when you want to get outside but don’t plan to venture from home.  However, I think having the activities and supplies organized and ready to go is a must.  Recently, I saw a patio shelf (originally posted here) on pinterest, and fell in love...

My goal is to make our own outdoor activities shelf, tucked right inside the garage, by spring.  I have found that the flat area of our driveway (aka the basketball court) is shaded for most of the day, and since we have a big drop off in our yard and too-big railing spaces on our deck, the court is our favorite spot to spend time outside.  So it would be perfect for our shelf to be right inside the garage rather than on a patio.  So far, I think our shelf will include…

Water buckets and supplies (like paint brushes, water toys, cups)
Sidewalk chalk
Water Guns (and we’ll fill them with food coloring and water for some wintry outdoor art when it snows!)
Balls and other outside games
Sand toys (Matt doesn’t know it yet, but he is going to build a sandbox soon!) :)
Digging Tools
And maybe in a couple of summers some supplies for a scavenger hunt like this one:

Or this one:

 Can’t wait for my "outside fun" shelf!  What are other good items to stock in an armory of ready-to-go outdoor activities?

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