View Full Version : Inspire me!!! (re outdoor play)

miss mopple
17-09-2008, 12:18 PM
Right then, I have been thinking about this freeflow malarky, but have been worried about just how much my poor grass will suffer if the kids are allowed on it all year (trying to convince DH that astro turf is the way to go but hes not convinced!)

Anyway, what I do have is a reasonable size deck area that backs on to the house and I think that that would be fine. My network co ordinator assures me it will be enough and please the powers that be too :thumbsup:

Soooo, I need ideas as to what I can do with it to make it an interesting area for the kids. Needs to be pretty cheap, and non permanent as we use the deck in the summer and dont want to be sitting in a playground :laughing:

What would you do to it/ put out on it other than the usual toys etc to inspire kids to be creative out there.

Here it is (picture it free of bbq and other clutter!)



Any suggestions?

17-09-2008, 12:44 PM
Gosh it looks like my decking area!

How about a chalk board under the window sill?
I got a piece of exterior ply wood and painted it with chalk board paint, you can buy it in B and Q.

The children love drawing on the board and also washing it off with paint brushes and water!

17-09-2008, 12:46 PM
Just seen there is a tap there! You could always fix the chalk board to the rails with cable ties then it could be removed when ever you like! :D

17-09-2008, 01:19 PM
Funny you should post this. I have just opened a letter from our local EY offering a £300 grant to fund a project to Develop Outdoor Space. I have a big report to fill in and costings etc so will be reading this thread with great interest to help my application. :thumbsup:

17-09-2008, 01:40 PM
how bout some wind chimes .. kids love the noise.

the chalk boars under window or cable tied to rails is good idea

laminate some pictures and cable tie them to the rails (people of the working world?) or manybe animals ..can change whern ever you please, doign colours could also be good and numbers

how bout a bit of plastic to make a canopy area ? (over so sit under it really - forgot proper name haha)

17-09-2008, 01:55 PM
I would definately consider putting a tarp or gazebo over it to make it a little more user friendly in all weathers, then you could hang things from the edges.

Make shiney mobiles with silver foil and cd's and stuff. Get pavement chalks so that the children can draw on the decking as well. Don't forget phantom painting with buckets of water and paint brushes.

A laminated number line (i.e. printed from sparkle box) ticks lots of boxes for outdoor play. And a low down clothes line to peg these to also works well.

Planters with herbs and flowers and bulbs, with watering cans. (although these will probably die from being over-watered!!).

I have cup hooks fixed into my fence and I hang toys from these, at the moment i have some with garden tools hanging from it and some with hula hoops. It is a good way of making things accessable. These are also good for hanging umbrellas on, ready for all weather outdoor play.

A box with drawing tools in it and paper, clipboards, pencils, string, safety scissors, envelopes etc. Painting easel and paints.

And anything else that you can do inside, you can also do outside (apparantly!!!!)


17-09-2008, 03:00 PM
How about a Communication Friendly Space by draping something over the corner to make a den and bringing a blanket/cushions/rug to sit on. Used to just call them dens or tents now they have a posh title:D

Bits of copper pipe made into a xylophone thingy hung over rail - cheap, musical and easy to take off

17-09-2008, 03:42 PM
Have you ahd the chance to go to an out door experience event?

last year they had guttering propped up with wood/bricks and play cars to push down. pop up tents. made up builders yard using the large wooden building blocks, toy tools & hats, pencil, paper etc. Gardening set up etc. There are some photos on my website. Not sure if its the type of thing you were thinking of.

I usually let the children take the indoor toys outside when its nice aswell

miss mopple
17-09-2008, 04:13 PM
Wow! Some fantastic ideas there :thumbsup:

Think I may have to give the chalks a miss as DH would have a fit if they drew on his beloved decking :laughing:

I do have a gazebo that will fit on 1 end so that'll come in handy too :D

Think I'm going to be busy putting all these ideas into action this weekend :D

17-09-2008, 04:53 PM
My deck is at the back of the garden and in the summer we use old sheets to turn it into a den!! The kids love it.:)

17-09-2008, 06:23 PM

ANyone have any idea where to get one of those large shallow plastic trays to put out in the garden that you can fill with water, sand, gravel etc.


17-09-2008, 06:49 PM
I have a builders tray from B and Q, is that what you mean?

I think it was about £14.

17-09-2008, 07:54 PM
Thanks lucy thats it