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dottieanna29
09-23-2011, 09:36 AM
Anyone have suggestions for outdoor toys that would be fun for a 6 and 4 year old? Now that fall is coming and the weather isn't unbearable hot and humid, I want my kids to spend more time outside. We don't want to buy a big swingset yet because things are kind of uncertain with whether or not we will be rebuilding our house plus, with winter coming, dh doesn't want to put out the big expenditure right now. We have access to a lot of playgrounds in the area so we can always drive out to those when we want to. But, I want some things that they can just walk outside and play with.

We have sidewalk chalk and outdoor paints, bubbles, a small trampoline and a mid-size, Little Tykes-type slide with fort underneath that the kids mainly use as a fort, some balls (the ones dh didn't kill with the lawnmower). We have a wood deck that is about 10x10 that is only two small steps up from a slate patio of about 10 x 6. That's it for solid ground, our driveway is gravel, the rest of the yard is grass/weeds, somewhat uneven (kind of wavy) until it takes a fairly steep slope down into wood leading to a river (about 100 feet down). So wheeled toys don't work well. The yard is open to the driveway but has a 4 foot chainlink fence on the boundary with the neighbors going almost all the way down to the river. The "path" to the river is extremely overgrown and steep so nothing the kids can do alone and even with parental help, it's not something we do often.

I've come up with sandbox (we used to have one and they really liked it), maybe a zipline, soccer ball and net (but my son especially is not particularly athletic). To be honest, I really want things that they can play with independently while I sit on the deck and read. Any suggestion?

farrarwilliams
09-23-2011, 09:45 AM
lots of pool noodles + some random bits of 3/4" PVC pipe and some fittings = excellent giant building possibilities

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
09-23-2011, 06:28 PM
We have a bare corner of our backyard that we call "the digging spot." The kids have our blessing to dig, make mud, drive chunky plastic trucks, and build with a pile of bricks there, since no grass grows there anyways. You'd be surprised how creative kids can be with a pile of crumbling bricks and small boards. :)

TamaraNC
09-23-2011, 06:48 PM
Stomp rockets? Frisbees? Tee ball set?

farrarwilliams
09-23-2011, 06:50 PM
Oh yeah! Stomp rockets! You can make those with PVC pipe actually. ;)

Greenmother
09-23-2011, 07:18 PM
We built a little mountain bike track in the pasture beside the house.

My eldest likes to ride it, but both will run laps on it too.

dottieanna29
09-23-2011, 07:30 PM
lots of pool noodles + some random bits of 3/4" PVC pipe and some fittings = excellent giant building possibilities

This is a great idea! Ds LOVES building things.


We have a bare corner of our backyard that we call "the digging spot." The kids have our blessing to dig, make mud, drive chunky plastic trucks, and build with a pile of bricks there, since no grass grows there anyways. You'd be surprised how creative kids can be with a pile of crumbling bricks and small boards. :)

This would be great for dd. She loves to get messy (ds is a little bit more finicky).


Stomp rockets? Frisbees? Tee ball set?

We do have a t-ball set. I'll have to look into the stomp rockets.


We built a little mountain bike track in the pasture beside the house.

My eldest likes to ride it, but both will run laps on it too.

Unfortunately neither kid can ride a bike yet. They haven't had much chance to practice since our driveway is gravel and our street is pretty severely sloped. But definitely something to think about in a few years.

Thank you for the suggestions!

Pefa
09-24-2011, 07:11 PM
water? combine a trickling hose with a digging area and, at least around my house, you'd have some very happy kids.

dottieanna29
09-24-2011, 09:03 PM
water? combine a trickling hose with a digging area and, at least around my house, you'd have some very happy kids.

Maybe next summer. It's already in the 60's every day here.

Penguin
09-24-2011, 11:54 PM
A mud pie kitchen! See if you can find an old play kitchen at the thrift store or on craigslist or something, or some old kitchen cabinets (you can paint rings on top if you want) and some old small pots, pans, mini muffin tins etc., whisks, spoons and spatulas, all at the thrift store, and just set them up somewhere, maybe near the edge of the patio. Clear a bit of the grass/weeds so they have access to plain old dirt to dig, bake, cook with, but leave some too because mixing in weeds and gravel is fun! I bet they'll come up with lots of stuff to do with that. And in the winter, they can mix in the snow as well.

Greenmother
09-26-2011, 12:13 PM
Tire Swings, teeter totters, picnic tables and club houses/tree houses are all things you can build outside. Also bird blinds and feeders too.

And believe me I know about the bicycling thing. It has taken us forever to teach our oldest kid to ride. We are still working on the younger child. All because we have a bumper crop of teenage drivers in our neighborhood with cars that go way too fast, and apparently, their rights to speed supercede our rights to be safe in our own neighborhood. Don't even get me started on their noisy bass speakers. I wish they would give them tickets til stuff just starts falling off.

Punchie
10-05-2011, 12:37 AM
A big pile of sand/dirt is popular here. I really want to get the girls this huge segmented ball (http://www.hearthsong.com/Great-Big-Outdoor-Playball_p2322_S2003_D1102_C2201.html)next summer. That website has some other fun outdoor toys as well.

DD5 likes to invent her own games from random bits of stuff. Her current favorite is "stick and whip." As time goes on, she's been having a harder time suckering people into playing it with her though.

SugarRush
10-06-2011, 02:36 AM
I have an only that is 6. Here's what is in the backyard currently for his enjoyment. Swingset (2 swings and a round disk) sandbox, tether-ball, Step2 Extreme Rollercoaster with a 30 foot runway that was put in for him, teeter-totter (we have cement blocks on one side so he can balance and play on it) sidewalk chalk, machine that blows the baseball up for him to bat, razor scooter, huge geo dome climber, golf set, bouncy ball, trampoline, croquet set, and a cool retro spring bouncy cast aluminum squirrel (that was more for me to enjoy looking at)-oh, and a bamboo patch. What does he play with? The bamboo branches. He breaks one off, usually at the exact height that will equate to losing an eye if he trips and performs his ninja moves. He does enjoy the tether-ball and uses it exclusively as spy training camp to gain punching skills. The sandbox has become his stick collector. He loves rope and tying knots it in. Occasionally spy snares are set up between the climber and swingset; generally with bamboo sticks added for effect. This makes it alot of fun when trying to mow. He will only play on the roller coaster if I count down to blast off. Everyday I tell him, go out there and play on the stuff or I'm selling it, then he whines and tells me he'll play with it later. Every weekend my husband complains to me about having to move everything to mow around it. I can't give you advice on what your children will enjoy for a duration. As I am his playmate it's come down to what do I enjoy looking at. The most fun we've had inside has been laser guns. I bought our set on Amazon. His spy shooting skills have grown substantially :-)

dottieanna29
10-06-2011, 09:35 AM
The imagination stuff sounds like my kids. :-)

We recently had a board break off the porch steps. The kids have been trying to make it into a working teeter totter (with no success) so that's definitely one possibility. I bungeed it to some crates and made them a balance beam and they enjoyed that for quite a while (decorating it with chalk and playing balancing games on it). Our slide is the princess castle and we bought dinosaurs out there yesterday which was fun. DD got down in the dirt and was digging. DS is quite a bit more finicky than she is. Doesn't really like to get his hands dirty except with chalk.

Lots of great idea! Thanks everyone.