View Full Version : outdoor play toys/equipement - what do you have

12-08-2015, 01:22 PM
My garden (well my whole setting really) is kitted out with under 5's in mind as originally this is the age group we were aiming at.... but as things have progressed we have ended up keeping the children we had as toddlers until they were school age and obviously my own children have grown.....now it's the holidays my outdoor play equipment is getting ruined as the older children are trying to play on a little tykes seesaw, cosy coupe and slide!

So what do you have - if you have play equipment suitable for older kids how do you stop children too young from going on it and vice versa!

Just had to throw out a little tykes seesaw which has cracked after 2 heavy 5 year olds were playing too roughly on it.

12-08-2015, 03:30 PM
I think if you introduce natural /open ended things / loose parts that can become whatever the older ones decide they are they will probably leave the rest alone. Things like poles / branches / material / guttering / rocks etc. One day they will be rolling balls down the guttering , or water , the next they will use it to make a mast for a pirate ship. It takes a little while for them to adapt to a whole new way of playing sometimes , but a bit of adult interaction and youre away. I certainly wouldnt spend more money on larger play equipment for the older children.

12-08-2015, 06:15 PM
It's not easy is it? Maybe keep the ride on toys in the shed when you have the older ones - you will save on space too by doing that. You can't afford to keep replacing them and when you get them out again in September it will be a real novelty again for the little ones.

If I do older children ad hoc, or if DD has playdates (6 year olds) they absolutely love playing with the cooking stuff. Most of them have toys at home in their own gardens but I am constantly surprised that NONE of them have the resources to cook/make potions etc. We have a toy wooden stove, real pans, a variety of interesting scoops and spoons, real colander, muffin tins, pestle and morter etc, the use of herbs, stones, huge stash of pine cones etc etc. Sometimes we take playdough out too. They have access to water too. They will play for hours. DD, however, who has had this environment since she could walk isn't as impressed by it anymore. She will still use it but not for as long as newcomers and so I am constantly looking for things to entertain/challenge her in the garden too.

We got her a netball post for Christmas last year and this year we are going to get her a 'rebounder' - not the trampoline but the one that looks like a mini football net. You throw a ball at it and it rebounds and comes right back to you - great fun and exercise but she might not be able to play with it if there are small toddlers around.

What are those elastics called where two people wear them around their ankles? They might work. Could your older ones be responsible for a flower bed and do some weeding every day?

Big art is good to do outside but they do also need their physical/rough activities too don't they. Maybe, depending on your layout/numbers you could do a rota where you keep the little ones inside while the big ones do ball games/chasing/cartwheels etc outside without worrying about the little ones, and when the little ones go out the big ones get their turn to do quieter activities. (My setting wouldn't allow this - we all have to be out at the same time).

I will be watching this thread with interest!