Outdoor Play

This post is sponsored by Zappos.


Maybe I was naive, but once we moved from an apartment with zero outdoor space to our house with a lot of outdoor space, I thought my kids would just wander outside themselves coming in with jars of bugs and skinned knees on the first day. But without any private outdoor space before, they were kind of clueless as to what to do…


I still remember the day we moved into our home last spring. Henry asked, “So, when am I allowed to go outside?”. We were happy  to report (and a little sad he didn’t already know), “ANYTIME! And once more, you don’t even have to ask!”. Henry has quickly figured out adventuring outside on his own, but Edie needs a little direction (and of course Dot needs to be contained!).



One thing we figured out quickly for outdoor and especially water play was getting the right footwear. Leather sandals and flip flops don’t do so well in the water, but Crocs are great. And there are so many great styles now! I’m loving these Crocs CitiLane Roka Slip-Ons I’m wearing (I find myself grabbing them every day), and Edie’s Isabella Starfish Clogs are super sweet and easy for her to get on herself. Also, I had not idea they made Baby Crocs in Dot’s size but they totally do (and how cute are they??).



One thing we did figure out quickly was the sprinkler on a hot day. We forgo our baths that evening, and instead use the water to have a summer sprinkle on the front patio (cranking the Bob Marley of course). Henry likes to ride his scooter through it, Edie kind of runs around to avoid it (but not trying too hard), and Dot always manages to find herself right in the middle of it when I turn the other way.


We also love this huge steel tub. It was one of the first things I bought at a salvage yard when we moved in. I envisioned the kids sitting in there on a warm day like a little pool, but mostly they just love to pour water from the tub onto the bricks…


…and me (of course).


Every parent has some version of that “I’m totally serious and exhausted from asking you 10 times” face when it comes to toddlers stomping on their snacks, right?


I’d love to hear your ideas on what your little ones like to do outside. Are you into water play? Structures? Swings? Sand?

This post is sponsored by Zappos. Photography by Stephanie Gardner. 


Backyard picnics, eat popsicles, bikes (we are fortunate enough to have a concrete track that goes around our grass) swings, and a garden! I also feel like a ball for impromptu soccer games. We also have a firepit for roasting marshamallows.

Sand = mess (inside shoes and we have to empty anywhere in the house)
Tree stumps are fun

We bought a “treehouse” structure by rainbow and love it! No open sides!! My older children can read inside of it while the younger children can slide down or swing. We lucked out on craigslist!!

Really anything that encourages the family fun you all enjoy is the best!

I had the same vision when buying our house, but my kids also need a little help with what to do outside. We had leftover ice in our cooler from a Mother’s Day picnic and our 3-year-old played with it for HOURS yesterday. So today I’m going to the store, spending a few dollars on ice, and hoping to create the magic again. We also like to fill any leftover containers we have with water, add food coloring, freeze overnight, and the kids play with them in the galvanized tub you have above. Also great for washing sandy/dirty feet off before coming inside!

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