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outside play

654 Views 13 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Aubergine68
What toys do you covet for outside play?

This weekend I am dead set on building a sandbox for Paige, but I was thinking maybe a water table for our deck...are they worth it? We have a pool, but she only goes in in her tube/life jacket, so she can't stand and really EXPLORE playing with water.

Also: the only water tables I can find are these huge plastic things - do they have any eco-friendly alternatives you gals know about?
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Both of my kids love their sandbox. We used to have a little turtle one when DS1 was 2 but it was small he wouldn't really play in it. Last summer we decided to just bite it and buy one of those big kits from Costco that you build made out of the eco-timbers. It seemed huge but its actually just right.

I've been considering a water/sand table too b/c DS2 loves water but I was also concerned about all the plastic.

Bubble buckets and watering cans are also a big hit here.
Puddles are pretty eco-friendly and well loved. I suppose a large metal wash basin would work, but I'm not sure where to find a thing like that these days.
We use a plastic tub (the ones you often in ads filled with ice and sodas) for water play, so not a good option if you're wanting to avoid plastic. DS loves it-I'll put an inch or two of water in it and we get out some of our plastic recyclables out and play. He also has some of my measuring cups and a funnel and loves to pour and funnel water. He is also learning to water the grass (since I don't have any plants out yet!) right now, and I'm hoping he'll be helping me water the plants later this spring and summer.

I really like our bucket since we can move it easily anywhere and even use it inside for toy and book storage.
I would love a sand and water table with a lid to keep out the cats.
I'm not usually a fan of plastic, but it is so much easier to care for outdoors...
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I never got the whole water table thing... I mean isn't it like the bathtub only more messy?
We have a lot of beaches around and dirt in the yard too so I didn't bother with a sandbox.
Bubbles are fun for outside
We have a slide and little house (made from evil plastic) and lots of bats/balls/cones etc
We just use an under the bed storage tote for a sandbox. Its easy to move around the yard (so it doesn't kill the grass) and has a tight fitting lid (so the neighborhood cat's don't use it as a litter box)
DS wants a bike like you would not believe. He walks around to our neighbors' patios saying "bike, bike" over and over again. He's getting one next month. We have tons of balls and bubbles. We live a mile from the beach so I don't really want to get a sandbox. I think he would really like a water table though. I also want one of those plastic houses but we don't have a private backyard so I am not sure where we could put it.
Water tables are totally worth it! You want plastic--easy to fill/empty, easy to disinfect, easy to move. A little wading pool is also fun, we put a couple of inches of water in with some kitchen tools, a boat or two and he's good to go. Also handy for ice pop eating.
We also like our sandbox, and we've attached a swing, a rope and a bucket/rope/pulley to a tree and that's provided a lot of entertainment.

I covet a big wooden play structure!

Had to ETA the Little Tykes coupe, wow, did we get our money's worth there. And we had some junky plastic toddler slide/climbing thing at a consignment sale and it's still getting used.
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I have a 5 yr old and a 2 yr old. We found a sandbox on the curbside last year, brought it home and put some sand in it, and it has by far been the most played with item in our outdoor collection. Otherwise, we have 2 bigwheel pedal type cars that both kids love. They ride around the driveway and my 2.5 yr old is just starting to figure out how to pedal.
Someone gave us a plastic sandbox. Last year we mostly used it for a little swimming pool, and dd loved playing in the water. Late in the summer/fall dp filled it with sand, and dd loves the sandbox even more.

She also loves running around and climbing on things. Chasing the dogs, digging, playing with leaves, sticks, and pine cones. She likes balls, trikes, and other rider things. Bubbles, but she puts the wand right ON her lips...gross.
DS has an array of outside toys - gym, sandbox, picnic table, flinstone style car, lawnmower, wagon and just recently got a new rake, shovel and watering can for this summer, too. We're outside a ton during the Spring and Summer and DS loves it more than anyone!
We have this sand/water table and love it. It has a hard plastic lid with a track you can drive a car on. My intention is to bring it inside in the winter and put dry beans or something in it.

I'd like to get some more tiny garden tools for DS to use when I am gardening. We have a lot of outdoor stuff already. I'd like a swing to hang from the tree branch. Not a toy, but I'd like a covered gazebo for some more shade.
Best outdoor toys at my house:

Small slide.

Plastic playhouse (sorry)

Paintbrush, water, and surface to "paint", like a fence.

Riding toys that can be used indoors or out. We have the coupe, too, very fun for toddlers.

Large dump trucks, ditto.


Watering cans -- we have a water table, but toddlers mostly seem to want to fill cans at the tap and water our raised bed garden.

Garden full of growing veggies and flowers that it is safe to eat/play with.
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