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#1 of 41 Old 04-24-2009, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm kind of struggling to find some fantastic outdoor toys - I found a cottage and slide set that would make my toddler swoon, but it's in the UK only and so I can't really have it shipped to NJ

Any ideas and what do you use for outdoor play?

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#2 of 41 Old 04-24-2009, 03:01 PM
 
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One of the books I have shows a simple balance beam (easily made) and some stumps for climbing on and jumping off of.

A happy woman
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#3 of 41 Old 04-24-2009, 03:17 PM
 
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Child-sized wheelbarrow & tools, buckets and watering cans, sandbox... tire swings... those are my ideas of a great outdoor play area.
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#4 of 41 Old 04-24-2009, 03:21 PM
 
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We were so inspired by this website which has tons of photos of natural playspaces and the wonderful things that can be done with found mostly found materials.

We've made what DS calls a gnome garden - just a mulched area under a large tree with a stick teepee surrrounded by logs and a bed of river rocks (and a gnome statue of course). We also made a sand box that's just dug into the ground and surrounded again by stumps and logs. A big pile of mulch is a hill for climbing. DS also loves hiding among our big clump grasses.

There really is so much you can do with nature, rather than purchased play structures.

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8-21-05
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#5 of 41 Old 04-24-2009, 03:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by njsummer01 View Post
We were so inspired by this website which has tons of photos of natural playspaces and the wonderful things that can be done with found mostly found materials.

We've made what DS calls a gnome garden - just a mulched area under a large tree with a stick teepee surrrounded by logs and a bed of river rocks (and a gnome statue of course). We also made a sand box that's just dug into the ground and surrounded again by stumps and logs. A big pile of mulch is a hill for climbing. DS also loves hiding among our big clump grasses.

There really is so much you can do with nature, rather than purchased play structures.
Cool site!! It's a good reminder. That photo it landed on when I clicked would be super easy to set up and I know it would keep my little guy busy for HOURS. We don't really have a yard, so we're trying to make the most of our deck---even with an almost empty deck, he'll stay out there an hour watching the birds and making up little games. (We're lucky though--his daycare provider lives near a lovely park and they spend hours there each day that isn't actively raining, so he gets to feed ducks and climb to his heart's content during the week.)
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#6 of 41 Old 04-24-2009, 04:41 PM
 
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I cut and pasted this from the online Waldorf Library....this is the most inspiring Waldorf book I've every read! It goes into detail about what is in an outdoor waldorf childcare center! I have been dreaming about having land to create such a place in Canada ever since I read it when my now 8 year old was a toddler! So many great ideas! I think WECAN also carries a picture book and video about it www.waldorfearlychildhood.org (although their server is down at this moment!)

Nokken, A Garden for Children Nokken, A Garden for Children


Resource Type: Book
Author: Helle Heckmann
Translator: Lone Schmidt

A comprehensive description of an innovative Danish childcare center, including an in-depth discussion of the development of the very young child.

Publisher: Waldorf Early Childhood Association
Date Published: 1998
ISBN: 0-9663992-0-X
Available from the following vendors::
Rudolf Steiner College Bookstore
Sunbridge College Bookstore
Waldorf Early Childhood Association
Bob and Nancys Bookshop
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#7 of 41 Old 04-24-2009, 09:09 PM
 
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great ideas! We called a local tree removal service and are going to have logs cut into various size rounds to create a play area.

Me:
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#8 of 41 Old 04-24-2009, 10:31 PM
 
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What a timely thread! I've been working in the yard the past few weeks trying to make it more kid friendly and less plastic ridden. Love the inspiration here!

Here are a few photos of what we have so far (and in the interest of full disclosure I did not take pictures of the dozen Tonka diggers the boys have seemed to have collected)

These are some stumps I retrieved from a tree being removed nearby

This is the kids playhouse. I have fantasies of making a wood shingled roof to replace the red plastic one

The boys spent some time this afternoon moving gravel from one side of the house to the other

There's a little hole in the bottom of our plum tree we're decorating for Fairy Folk

It's still very much a work in progress. The last owner had paved over most of the yard so we're taking some time to figure out how to deal with it... sigh

Thanks for looking

Marina, married to one really great guy : and mama to three magical boys- Matteo 8/05, Nico 11/06 and Luca Bean 11/08
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#9 of 41 Old 04-25-2009, 08:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by PabloHoneySF View Post
What a timely thread! I've been working in the yard the past few weeks trying to make it more kid friendly and less plastic ridden. Love the inspiration here!

Here are a few photos of what we have so far (and in the interest of full disclosure I did not take pictures of the dozen Tonka diggers the boys have seemed to have collected)

These are some stumps I retrieved from a tree being removed nearby

This is the kids playhouse. I have fantasies of making a wood shingled roof to replace the red plastic one

The boys spent some time this afternoon moving gravel from one side of the house to the other

There's a little hole in the bottom of our plum tree we're decorating for Fairy Folk

It's still very much a work in progress. The last owner had paved over most of the yard so we're taking some time to figure out how to deal with it... sigh

Thanks for looking
Everything looks just beautiful! What a great place to play. I have to ask - is that the Brio wheelbarrow? We saw them at a W school, but haven't been able to find it anywhere online except in the UK. Where did you find it?

SAHM to two amazing boys
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#10 of 41 Old 04-25-2009, 10:28 PM
 
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Radio Flyer makes a nice metal wheelbarrow that looks almost identical to the one pictured (except it's red). Ds loves his and uses it every day!!
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#11 of 41 Old 04-25-2009, 10:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by njsummer01 View Post
Everything looks just beautiful! What a great place to play. I have to ask - is that the Brio wheelbarrow? We saw them at a W school, but haven't been able to find it anywhere online except in the UK. Where did you find it?

Have you seen this wheelbarrow from radio flyer? They also have some nice wood/metal child size garden tools. They are pretty sturdy and the boys love to have their own stuff for the garden
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#12 of 41 Old 04-26-2009, 11:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by njsummer01 View Post
We were so inspired by this website which has tons of photos of natural playspaces and the wonderful things that can be done with found mostly found materials.

We've made what DS calls a gnome garden - just a mulched area under a large tree with a stick teepee surrrounded by logs and a bed of river rocks (and a gnome statue of course). We also made a sand box that's just dug into the ground and surrounded again by stumps and logs. A big pile of mulch is a hill for climbing. DS also loves hiding among our big clump grasses.

There really is so much you can do with nature, rather than purchased play structures.
what a great link. thank you!
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#13 of 41 Old 04-26-2009, 04:04 PM
 
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Dd is really into anything involving mud - pies, cookies, etc. Her favorite outdoor toys are some camping pots and pans, wooden spoons, and a sieve I picked up at the thrift store. We also have a rope hanging from a branch with a loop at the end and a few knots for hanging on. She loves it!

Who needs a $$$ play structure when you have trees? :

I think the key is to keep it simple and let the children interact with the elements, rather than being concerned with the toys.
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#14 of 41 Old 04-26-2009, 04:46 PM
 
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Oh no!: We just got rid of a whole bunch of tree logs! I wish I had thought to cut them down and use them for the children to play on! I gave them away on craigslist because I read in a de-cluttering feng shui book that tree stumps give off stale energy. I did feel re-energized after getting rid of the stumps, but I bet we could have put them to good use with the kids and had even better energy! BooHoo!

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#15 of 41 Old 04-27-2009, 01:02 AM
 
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Thanks so much njsummer

I got the wheelbarrow from a local toy store. It has a John Deere logo on it (couldn't find a plain one). Just saw it here on amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Learning-Curve.../dp/B0007WOI7W

Would love to see others outdoor spaces. We're in an urban environment so I love to see what others who have more landspace do.

Marina, married to one really great guy : and mama to three magical boys- Matteo 8/05, Nico 11/06 and Luca Bean 11/08
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#16 of 41 Old 04-28-2009, 02:07 PM
 
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OMG!!! PabloHoneySF, where did you get that fabulous playhouse?!?!

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#17 of 41 Old 04-28-2009, 11:19 PM
 
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Our outdoor toys are dirt and water. And sticks. Add a shovel if it is handy, otherwise they'll dig with a stick. And trees, if you have them. For us, the key is letting the kids do what they want to with the space. If they want to dig something up, move it, build it, I just let go of my ideas of what the space was for.

And don't forget GARDENING. Children growing things is really important. We don't have a lot of full sun, so a lot of our edibles are in pots, and we are starting to dig up the front lawn in some places. Its a slow process though.
We have Peas growing next to the walkway out front. And more peas, lettuce, herbs and flowers in pots on the other side. The girls did the planting themselves, and are helping dig area for the summer veggies.

We also love our hammock.

This year we put up a rope swing, which gets daily use.

Our waterbarrel also gets a lot of attention. They can use all the water they want without me telling them to turn off the hose, and they love going out after a storm and seeing how fast it pours out. When we haven't had rain, they do other things, but most of the time there is a lot in there. Its a great system! This spring they started digging ditches from the barrel into imaginary "waterways", they do this a lot now.

At my SILs house they built the "waterway" through her side garden, and it is now a permanent addition, so beautiful as the plants are growing in.

Oh, And teepees, stick forts, etc. 4 sticks and and old sheet. We use it every day.

We had a big beautiful wooden play structure with all the accessories at our previous home, and we have never had as much fun outside as we do here.

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#18 of 41 Old 04-29-2009, 09:18 AM
 
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Angierae, your yard looks like a fantastic adventure for your kids. We have a very small yard but have recently converted part into a natural sandbox/digging area for our son. We had a windstorm here a few days ago and many trees fell so I was able to find many great logs etc.

I just wish we had a tree big enough to hold a rope swing!

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#19 of 41 Old 04-29-2009, 01:20 PM
 
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njsummer, that site is great! Im totally making dd a sand pit under our one tree just like the one pictured!

DD just got a nice water table for her birthday. It is plastic, but I am totally fine w/ plastic for water play. We are also getting our neighbor's old, outgrown, wooden play structure. It is not one of the huge ones; it has one slide, two ladders up the sides, and room to hang four things (swings, rings, rope) on the four corners. You can also put fabric or a tarp across the top to make a tent roof. It is perfect for a city yard like ours It is also well-weathered and not ugly.

Other than that, we are planning to have a garden and I would like to get one of the "water park" playsets by Haba. Again, plastic, but I love that you can reconfigure it how you want, and can use it in sand w/out the sand soaking up all the water. As dd gets older, we will add more natural playscapes, but she is still a baby and easily amused

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#20 of 41 Old 05-01-2009, 10:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PabloHoneySF View Post
What a timely thread! I've been working in the yard the past few weeks trying to make it more kid friendly and less plastic ridden. Love the inspiration here!

Here are a few photos of what we have so far (and in the interest of full disclosure I did not take pictures of the dozen Tonka diggers the boys have seemed to have collected)

These are some stumps I retrieved from a tree being removed nearby

This is the kids playhouse. I have fantasies of making a wood shingled roof to replace the red plastic one

The boys spent some time this afternoon moving gravel from one side of the house to the other

There's a little hole in the bottom of our plum tree we're decorating for Fairy Folk

It's still very much a work in progress. The last owner had paved over most of the yard so we're taking some time to figure out how to deal with it... sigh

Thanks for looking
Wow! That is amazing!

I'm not waldorf, but I love the natural outdoor spaces. I'd like to get dh to make a wooden playhouse outside and get rid of the plastic one we have.

Mama of 3 girls: 7.5 , 6 , and 4.5
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#21 of 41 Old 05-01-2009, 10:56 AM
 
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Outdoor toys for Waldorf seems like an oxymoron to me

Isn't that the whole point... just to explore the outdoors in it's natural state?
I know, i know, not everyone has a "natural" state in their yard. But it gave me a giggle anyhow. You all have created lovely spaces!

Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
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#22 of 41 Old 05-01-2009, 11:17 AM
 
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: lol

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#23 of 41 Old 05-02-2009, 03:02 AM
 
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Isn't that the whole point... just to explore the outdoors in it's natural state?
That depends on what the natural state of your outdoors looks like! We live in the city, so our yard is not v big or exciting. Dont get me wrong, it is a good size for a city yard, but nothing like what I grew up with in the country! We do have a couple of trees and two flower beds, but that is IT. V v v boring, imo. Growing up, I had a huge yard w/ a creek and everything. I also lived next door to a horse farm and had lots and lots of fields, woods, and more creek to explore/play in. We also had a pool. Did I "need" outdoor toys? Absolutely not. Will my kids "need" some creative playscaping or outdoor toys? I really think so. Nothing complicated is necessary, but a sand pit, some dirt and mulch, a water table, and a swing set go a LONG way in transforming a bare patch of grass into something more amusing.

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#24 of 41 Old 07-03-2009, 12:06 AM
 
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I think the best "outdoor toys" are child-size gardening tools, buckets and natural elements. I blogged about a few websites that inspired me in creating a natural play area here: http://ourdayourjourney.blogspot.com...aygrounds.html
http://ourdayourjourney.blogspot.com...of-puddle.html
http://ourdayourjourney.blogspot.com...ments-for.html

Our daughter stays busy with a perennial garden, a container vegetable garden, some overgrown peegee hydrangeas called "the secret hideout", a sand/water table and our new tree stump area. http://ourdayourjourney.blogspot.com...gging-and.html
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#25 of 41 Old 07-04-2009, 05:34 PM
 
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there are some great ideas and images on this blog: http://thelittletravelers.typepad.co...rs/the-garden/ tree stumps, a teeter totter of boards on a log, a balance beam of a board across two tree stumps, a cool little structure built of posts that they grew vines on and the kids have a little hideaway inside ...

i'm on my way to pick up some tree stumps off freecycle!
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#26 of 41 Old 07-04-2009, 06:20 PM
 
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I really want to set up a mud pie station for dd and the neighbor kids. Tree stumps, old pie pans, old spoons to mix,and......dirt!
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#27 of 41 Old 07-05-2009, 10:38 AM
 
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awesome thread! thanks mamas- there are so many good links to check out
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#28 of 41 Old 07-06-2009, 12:38 AM
 
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One activity that is very popular at our local Waldorf kindergarten is chopping rocks.
What is that you say?
In Texas, limestone rocks are very prevalent.
Basically, the children take a large limestone rock as a base,
put others in the middle, and take a hand size one to chop with.
They just chop away and make their own mineral powder.
They sprinkle it, spread it, feel it with their fingers, mix with water
to make a paste, etc.
They can use smaller pieces just like chalk.

Happy mom/wife to dd (July 2004) and dh, veggie personal chef : , waldorfy & thrifty crafter
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#29 of 41 Old 07-12-2009, 12:25 AM
 
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I just came across this child's wheelbarrel when searching for something else and remembered this thread and someone looking for one...

http://www.magiccabin.com/magiccabin...3525|333525-P1

hth
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#30 of 41 Old 07-16-2009, 03:54 AM
 
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Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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