Re-organising our outdoor area.

Anyone who is following my blog may have noticed that I have become rather obsessed lately with getting the little ones outdoors!  (I am holding Keirna over at Learning for Life personally responsible for this change in my approach to outdoor play and her linky party that I set myself the challenge of posting to every week  :-)).  Anyway this had led me to looking at our outdoor area and having a bit of a change about.  One of the reasons for this is that the children I am currently looking after are much younger than those I had this time last year .What was appropriate for the older children isn’t working for the little ones, such as the outdoor kitchen tucked away down the side of the house. I need to make sure the little ones aren’t tempted to eat their creations!  Also, although we go outside we are usually drawn back inside by snack /story time so I wanted to find some way of offering this outside.


So I’ve moved the kitchen to the end of the garden (our garden is not that big!) where I can easily see it.  I’ve put it beside a sensory tray as hopefully this will supply ingredients for mixing.


 The patch of dirt to the left I am hoping to grow beans and peas in during the summer, again providing ingredients for the kitchen.




The loose parts which were hidden down the end of the garden have been moved closer to the house where the children can more easily access them. This storage cupboard now contains logs and tree cookies, bark, stones, shells, ropes and pegs, guttering and carpet tiles, as well as some of our other toys such as dinosaurs, fish, insects, brushes, water toys etc. I’ve now also got round to labelling all the drawers so that the children know where to look!


Some of the bigger loose parts are stored beside the house where the children can easily access them alongside all the wheeled toys.


I’ve moved the wood off-cuts into another storage chest.  As with the other storage cupboard it’s just a case of opening it up so the children can use it, I don’t need to move anything about.


Balls, plastic building blocks and other outdoor toys are also all easily accessible to the children.


But I have now created a reading or book area.  I’ve wanted to create an outdoor reading area for quite a while but couldn’t find any outdoor seating that was reasonably priced.  In the end I opted for using the cushions for the swing seat inside cushion storage bags (had this brain wave after spotting them in Ikea) As the bag are designed to be waterproof I don’t need to worry about dragging the cushions inside each day.  The don’t look particularly pretty but they do they job!  I hadn’t thought of using the tree stumps for seating (yep, I don’t know why this hadn’t occurred to me either) until I was trying wedge the leaf into the centre of one to get it to stand upright.  After looking around for months for seating, it had been staring me in the face all the time!  I ended up attaching the leaf to the fence with cable ties in the end, after it refused to stay upright. The leaf I got from a car boot sale for £1.  I had been tempted to buy it a couple of days before in Ikea for £8 and couldn’t believe my luck when I saw it at the car boot.



 Chilling out with a book.
On Wednesday we spent the whole morning in the garden and had snack and a story in our book area:-)


I’ve also added a tray that is going to be for small world play – currently housing dinosaurs! (Everything has a lid so I don’t have to worry about bringing it inside!


Bet you didn’t know dinosaurs could climb nets!




I found that by adding the net linked the tree to the small world tray for the children and they incorporated it into their play.


I’ve also added a mark-making box by our mark-making boards (click to see!)


I managed to find some little clip-boards that were just the right size for the children.



Oh and we still have our ball tube which they love!


And our music wall (click to see!)
Our water wall (click to see!) I have put away temporarily until the weather warms up a bit, as the children were tending to tip the water down the front of themselves and even our wet-weather gear didn’t manage to prevent them getting soaking.
We also have a brand new water tray for lots of water fun!
Posted  by Cathy Denman
Labels: outdoor play

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