Not to be confused with the outhouse. Obviously. Oh, that’s right baby. It’s done. Just in time for Summer. It only took 3 months, but the outdoor play space is done, well, at least for now 🙂 Construction was halted due to unusual amounts of rain and an infestation, but we’ve got that under control now.
That pine tree really needs to come down and some more grass really needs to come in, but in the meantime, I decided to limb it up to free up some more yard space. The great thing is that now Matty has a space that is pretty shady, so we can stay outside all day, even in 90 degree weather.
I can’t find a picture of how much space the tree limbs took up, but you can see where the grass ends in the picture above. That’s where the limbs came out to.SO MUCH MORE SPACE! Limbing it up did cause some privacy issues, but we’re working on it…think The Great Fence In Part IV…
We considered building a play house from scratch, but we honestly couldn’t figure out how to do the roof. So we considered following Ana White’s plans, but once we factored in lumber costs with overall time (and number of other projects we’re doing), it made sense to just buy one. I’ve had my eye on a Kid Kraft playhouse for awhile, and when I found this one with free 2 day Prime shipping on Amazon, I was sold. This house had a red roof, which wasn’t our thing, so before assembling, we used Rustoleum spray paint for plastic to make it a more neutral brown.
Eric built the porch for the house, and it was his own design. We used two leftover 4×4’s from when we disassembled the fence planter that was here when we moved in. We also had the 1×2’s for the little fence railing leftover from our own fence project, so that worked out great. The rest of the lumber we bought–which was then hauled in a Buick Rendezvous. For anyone considering it, 8ft. is the longest you can get, and that’s if you put it up to the dashboard through the center console. 🙂 I found stain and sealer in one at Menards that matched the color of the house almost perfectly.
The steps were built from bricks that were here when we moved in. And the little pathway was made from leftover rocks, much, and flowers. Matty loves watering them each day.
Last year, we built Matty these toddler busy boards, or activity boards, but he’s outgrown a few of the activities…
So we added them to the house.
So I stained a few squares of leftover wood, attached some of his favorite little doodads, then used industrial strength velcro to attach them to the house walls. I didn’t want to drill into the house, and this should come off with a little bit of Goo Gone should we decide to add different activities.
I also found these chalkboards at a garage sale for $.25, so I added a bucket of chalk to round out the fun.
Of course, his little chair is the star of the show. He picked it out (and carried it himself). 🙂
The Rock Box
I love, love, love the idea of a rock box for numerous reasons.
1. A lot less messy than sand.
2. Most play sand is very harmful to your health.
3. Cats won’t use it as a litter box. And we have enough of those around the neighborhood…
4. What kid doesn’t love rocks?!
We were actually able to use the ends of the 4×4’s from our fence posts (they were too tall, so we lopped them off) at the top. Then we hauled some more lumber home and put this together really quickly.
I think it ended up being 5′ x 5′ which is a perfect size for him (and another kid could easily play).
Plastic lining went down first just ensure he didn’t start digging up a bunch of mud and dirt. We did rinse the rocks before putting them in (a very arduous process, let me tell ya), and we ended up using about 12 bags. The price was only about $3/bag, so it wasn’t too bad.
Have you jumped on the natural playspace bandwagon? Love it! I knew I wanted to incorporate as many natural elements as possible, and I’ve been looking for logs for months. We finally found some this past week, and was able to call this space complete. And yes, we hauled them in a Buick Rendezvous. I don’t think we ever got up to speed on the highway. 🙂 Poor transmission.
I also put pots with our painted rocks, some pinecones, and sticks for open-ended play.
We bought this last year thinking it would last awhile. Pretty sure he’s about outgrown the slide already. I did add these rings and bars to add a new element of fun, but Eric’s itching to build him a rock climbing wall extravaganza of a playset, so we’ll see where we end up…I’d love something that blends in a little more naturally, but that is definitely a project for next year! The swingset used to be on the other side, but Matty kept complaining that the slide was hot, so I moved it under the tree and it was a perfect fit.
Overall, we love it. And by “we”, I mean all. of. us. Including the neighbor’s kids who invite themselves over–usually when they see us eating popsicles. 🙂 Now that the yard is fenced in, I’m able to let Matty roam while I work around the yard or in the kitchen (it overlooks the yard) or even *gasp* sit in the sunroom and read a magazine. Yes, it keeps him entertained that long.