For months now, I’ve been pinning outdoor spaces that allow some kids to be kids—spaces that spark their imagination through building, playing and even getting dirty. Little by little it is beginning to come together and I want to share what I’ve done so far.
My first step was creating a mud kitchen. After looking over lots of ideas, I settled upon this picture as my inspiration.
We already had one old tire that we no longer needed, so I wheeled it over to our fire pit area one afternoon (which is where the kids like to play anyway) and measured the middle hole. Naturally, I forgot to write down that measurement before going to the store, but I found an oil drain pan in the auto supplies at Wal Mart that ended up being a perfect fit. AND, it was less than $3. (similar from Amazon here)
We had a few extra cinder blocks behind our storage building, so I used them to create a sturdy shelf with some old pallet wood left from a previous DIY project. A quick trip to Dollar Tree for a couple of baskets and I gathered a few large serving spoons from a pile that was destined for Goodwill. Here is the finished product:
Next up was a place to build. Tree trimmers have been working in our neighborhood for weeks, clearing branches from power lines. We stood up some sycamore logs for stepping and have plans to cut up some of the smaller ones for building blocks.
Lastly, I went on a search for some type of durable road that could be used and stored outdoors. I have some road tape that we use inside from time to time, but it wasn’t at all practical for outdoor use. Particularly over gravel. Finally, I was able to find one product on the market that was made of some sort of rubber sheeting and was designed for indoor or outdoor use, but it was insanely expensive and I quickly nixed that purchase. There just didn’t seem to be anything on the market that fit my needs, so I did what anyone in my shoes would do. I figured out a way to make my own. I keep it outside hanging on the fence and the kids have used it regularly for a month now without any signs of wear and tear at all, other than a little dirt on the back.
This road set has been such a hit with the kids that I wanted to offer them to you as well. They will work both indoors and outdoors and can be arranged in a variety of ways. Another great thing about them is that they are 4.5" wide, which wider than your typical "road tape", allowing for vehicles of differing sizes. These should be available for purchase by tomorrow, so sign up for email updates if you'd like to be notified when they are live in the SHOP.