Saturday, March 27, 2010

Rebooting a Play Area

I’ve been very much NOT enjoying playing out back with the kids for the past year or so, unless we’re in the pool.  When Bunny was smaller than Cole is now, we bought our play house, sand box (nightmare at our house because the kids dumped it all in the pool, cup by cup), teeter totter, etc… and a few wheeled toys have come and gone along the way. 

The sand box didn’t work for us because kids like sand to be wet and stick, and they never seemed comfortable sitting in that small space or reaching in from outside, so it’s been empty for almost 2 years now.  Minus the sand activity, my kids inevitably ended up digging in the mud (hard to keep tidy when you have as much paving as we have) or ripping leaves off plants, making messy concoctions. 

I don’t have a problem cleaning up certain messes, but purely destructive messes that escalate over time irk me a lot.  In a nutshell, I was the ‘no, no, no’ Mommy, and I never felt like I was actually relaxing outside.  As a result, I avoided taking them out back, preferring the park.  The park is great, but it doesn’t take much imagination to understand why proximity to outside playtime is also wonderful.

After hemming and hawing over it for a couple of years, last week I pulled the trigger and bought a sand and water table for the kids.  The preschool where the boys play has a sand table, and after watching them sift and scoop for over an hour straight one day a couple of weeks ago, I saw it might be a good solution for us.  Finally, Amazon had an awesome deal on a sturdy Step 2 table—with free shipping.

Assembly was easy—even with my two waaaay too eager helpers.  I’m very pleased.  The kids love it, and I have enjoyed sitting outside supervising them and sometimes getting in on the action.  I even read a magazine outside yesterday afternoon.  Bliss!





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