Garden Fun with Children

Being a mum of 4 and also looking after my 2 year old and 4 year old nephew i need to have plenty of toys to keep them all entertained.  My older two can now obviously entertain themselves, but the 8 year old and 2 year old are always in the garden meaning i need things to suit all ages.  On this blog post i’m going to show you what we have in the garden and how i’ve done things without spending a lot of money.

The biggest item in the garden, as like many families these days (i always wanted one was i was younger) is the trampoline.  we are lucky enough to have a good sized garden, which can easily fit the trampoline in and leave space for other things.  They do cost quite a lot, but i can honestly say it is worth it, all the children including the teenagers go on it regularly and we have definitly had our monies worth!

Nearly everything else we have in the garden has either been gifted, recycled, made or bought second hand from facebook selling sites.  Garden toys take such a beating from the great British weather, that buying things second hand really doesn’t matter, just because the colour has faded doesn’t mean it isn’t going to work any less.  Also we all know how quick kids grow and how long toys are actually played for, so most things have loads of life left in them.

These have all been gifted to us:

As you can see from the pictures above, we have 3 little tikes cars.  If we had bought these all brand new, they would have cost a staggering £120 minimum, which is just crazy money really, but you cannot deny that they are built to last and the kids love them.  Well luckily, the pink car was a birthday present to liv from her grandma, the yellow car was kindly given to us by a friend as her son had grown out of it and the red and yellow one I bought for £5 of a selling site.  When I am now looking after my nephews and Liv they can all have a car each, or as you can see in the pic, they can all want the same car and argue over it!!!!! Kids hey 😉  The beam was very kindly given to us by the girls gymnastics coach, as it was spare in his gym, at first i thought it was never going to fit and not be used, but the kids all go on it, even the toddlers trying to balance, so in the end i don’t mind it in the garden.  The sand shell, which has been a big hit so far this summer was given to Liv by her other grandma for her birthday.  This year i asked for garden toys, knowing how much they like to play outside, this is another way to save money, plan birthday presents around what you need and ask for them, if you don’t ask you don’t get!  I actually had a blue version of this when i was a small girl, and i know that it lasted many many years so hoping to get lots of use out of this one, on sunny days we fill the opposite side with water.

The small dinosaur slide, again is from a selling site and only cost me £5, i know it wont last long as its only small but for £5 i don’t really mind, and i didn’t want anything too big when the toddlers are little as would hate them to fall off and hurt themselves, on this i know they are safe.  Believe it or not this house was being thrown away and left outside for anyone to collect if wanted, luckily my mum and sister saw it and thought of me and i jumped at the chance.  It did sit in my sisters garden during the winter as it had a lot of spider webs and spiders on and i wasn’t putting that in my car, but once her boyfriend had wiped it down for me and the weather changed, i was brave and bought it home.  It took us five mins to put together and it looks fab, the kids absolutely love it and are constantly in it.  Its also great for storing toys in over night.  It is very solid, and only has a bit of colour fading on the roof,  i know its going to last a while.

These are things I have made for the garden.  The blackboard is a piece of MDF i got from B&Q for £3 (in the offcut section) and painted with blackboard paint.  I have painted both sides and it was really easy and went on really easily two, it also dries pretty quick.  As you can see from the pics on here, both the 8 year old (she wrote the sums when playing schools) and the toddlers love using the blackboard.  We already had some outdoor chalks, so just let them use these, the board stays outside and hasn’t been affected by the rain.  In the next pics you can see Liv walking on a wooden plank, i’m not really sure what this is, there were two left in our shed when we moved in.  I had a shed sort out, and threw one away, i was going to throw this one away as well, but then liv started climbing on it, balancing, and counting as she stepped so i kept it.  I am going to paint it or spray it in bright colours and put some numbers on it.  i wish i had kept both now!!

I hope from this blog post you can see that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to keep the kids entertained in the garden, its great to get them outside and to have some fresh air, especially away from the TV or in Livs case YouTube (i know, i know, she’s only two), and in this weather it means you have to sit outside a mumbathe…….supervise whilst getting a tan 😉

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