Tuesday, June 28, 2022

New additions to the outside play area for the in-home child care kiddos

 I have wanted to add to the outside play area for years, but with his three vegetable gardens and how he worked so hard on the grass, I knew it would not work. I have play equipment back there, climbers, swings, picnic tables, sandboxes, and lots of kitchen items to play with nature and the sand. But with seeing so many wonderful areas in others' yards on Pinterest and their blogs and websites, I held onto the dream of one day being able to just do it. Now with just a few years until we retire and move it has finally become possible. I have been purchasing things I would need from home improvement stores little by little, saving items I knew would be useful, building up my supply of loose parts, and literally ended up with so much stuff waiting to be used, that it became overwhelming. But over the past few months, I have been able to get his help with things I was unable to do alone, and though there is still more that needs to get done I am happy with the progress so far. 

I absolutely LOVE the music wall that I made! And the children do also, which is the best part. I got rid of my two very old plastic turtle-shaped sandboxes and invested in this awesome new wooden one:

Since I had two of these type of sand/water tables, I kept one to use for standing up fun with sand and water and started collecting small world and fairy garden items as well as the glass stones and pebbles to use for ground cover to make a changeable fairy garden/small world table.

Next, I framed and covered the ground with landscape fabric up against the back of my house, and divided the area into two spaces, a digging/planting area, and a rock pit. It took a while to be able to purchase enough rocks for the rock pit, as well as getting an outside scale from Tractor Supply so the children can weigh the rocks. I purchased the saw horse from an estate sale and over time purchased pvc pipes to cut to smaller lengths and rain gutter extension tubes from Lowes Home Improvement Store.  I still have to make the scale with a level and two buckets for them to be able to compare which weigh more than others. I already had the construction trucks and purchased a few sets of metal and wooden hand shovels from Amazon. My amazing daughter made all of the wooden signs in my outdoor spaces. 

In the digging/planting area I chose to cover the landscape fabric with rubber mulch for the drainage and feeling it would be more comfortable for the children to sit on. I purchased a second-hand pool for the potting soil and had a wooden plant stand that I was not using, so I had my Jeff attach it to the wall for safety to store our pots, planting tools, gardening gloves, water containers, etc. 

I had been purchasing items while planning and working on the backyard spaces, which I knew would be fun for the children such as butterfly nets and pinwheels. I had dried lavender, eucalyptus, and pampas grass that I hung under the beautiful fresh herbs sign my daughter made. 

We have completed a few more projects but still have a couple more big ones that I am looking forward to for the children. I am very excited. 


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