Creating an Outdoor Play Space for Little Ones

Warm weather, BBQ dinners, and outdoor play. These are the things I look forward to most about summer and spending time with my family outside.

When we bought our house a couple of years ago, one of the main things that attracted us was the gorgeous backyard with perennial cottage style gardens and tons of trees. Paved patio areas and a second floor deck. Essentially lots of outdoor space, cultivated especially for playing, eating and having fun.

This year I decided to tun the backyard into a play zone and adult-friendly oasis. Something we can all enjoy together, with lots of baby and toddler distractions. Here’s a glimpse into our first day with the new kiddie pool and sandbox incorporated into the space, I have a few more plans up my sleeve yet — so stay tuned for the big reveal next week!

  • Play-Space In The Works...

    Play-Space In The Works...

    Click through to see our toddler and baby’s 1st big kid swimming pool and the beginnings of their outdoor, backyard play area >>>

  • Biggest Water Table Ever!

    Biggest Water Table Ever!

    They’re both so used to their sensory/water bins that at first they weren’t sure how to go about this pool business. When they realized they could actually go in it they were over the moon.

  • Sibling Play

    Sibling Play

    We’re pretty happy with the little oasis we’ve created for our family. Not shown is our sweet little lounging and eating area. A few additions to come: streamers of felt and ribbon bunting and hand-painted muslin drape cloths hung by bamboo rods to cover up all of the brick walls and brighten things up a bit. Come the end of July I hope to see my bean and clematis vines having flourished around the balcony beams and up under the 2nd floor balcony deck to make a green ceiling. (Gardening twine!)

  • That's One Big Pool Kid!

    That's One Big Pool Kid!

    I may or may not have chosen this pool with visions of lounging in it myself. I mean, it’s bigger than a tub and fits two amazonian adults in it quite nicely with only mere steps to the beer fridge. Uhm, I mean…I can totes get in there and play with them! (That too.)

  • Pool Baby

    Pool Baby

    I plan on letting her live in swimsuits this summer.

  • Streaker


    Fully supported and endorsed. There is but a brief period of time during early childhood wherein I think this is totally acceptable. I promise I won’t torture him with this image during his teen years. Pinky swears.

  • Ruffle Butt Ahoy!

    Ruffle Butt Ahoy!

    This one is a framer.

  • Full-On Sensory Water Play

    Full-On Sensory Water Play

    Never mind a water table! Pouring and measuring are favoured methods of pool-time play.

  • Happy Boy

    Happy Boy

    This look right here says, “thanks mama.”

  • Sideline Observer

    Sideline Observer

    As seen here, instructing her brother on where to pour the water next. She needed a little break from the big pool to take it all in, kick back and do some relaxing. Oh, and to pee on me. That happened too.

  • Hours of Fun

    Hours of Fun

    He may resemble a prune hours later, which just means everything is as it should be in the summer-time world of a toddler boy.

  • Daddy Daughter Talks

    Daddy Daughter Talks

    Here they were discussing why she couldn’t have beer in her sippy cup and the proper application of lipgloss.

  • Goodwill Rocks My Socks Off

    Goodwill Rocks My Socks Off

    I found this seemingly brand new turtle sandbox at my local goodwill! A couple of bags of sand later and we’re building up quite the nice little backyard play space.

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