teepees, sandboxes and summer

now that i will be home with the boys full time, i am seriously organizing and preparing for the summer. particularly in the backyard. camden has a few more weeks of school, but after that we will find ourselves with lots of time on our hands.
i remember loving my backyard as a kid, but when i look around our background now it feels kind of empty and i wonder what they can do back there.

i don't want to fill it up with plastic toys and junk, but I am trying to find something that will encourage them to stay and play out there as long as possible.
if i had large trees, i would start with a hammock. but we don't have any. and i've been thinking of this all day...

image is from cookie magazine blog

except i'd want one meant for the outdoors and they are crazy expensive. i'm not feeling up to making one either.
i am also considering a sandbox. but glen is convinced it will be a mud pit, and get dragged in the house. so we're not sold on that idea either.
what's in your backyard? what keeps your kids, if you have any, busy and occupied? help!


Norm said...

I don't have kids, but does that photo mean you might be thinking of a teepee? I think that's a great thing to inspire imaginative play for children. When I was a child we were fortunate to have a large garden so my brother and I were able to have our own shed to play in. Over the years it was a house, a shop, a restaurant (complete with mud pies!) and kept us amused for hours on end. A tent of some sort could work the same way? Summer - Yay!!!

a friend to knit with said...

a hammock really would be lovely.
and i couldn't agree more with your hubby.... i had a sandbox at one time...it got really dirty and the sand ended up in the house. from pockets, hands and feet.

julie said...

If you don't like plastic, then maybe a tiny wooden shed would do? Kids love to play in tiny houses, as Norm said. Or a tent? But the tippee is very cool too!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Kate, tents are great fun! We have a king comforter, ikea trays for colouring, crafting, puzzles, picnics, reading... we also have a swing set which really does keep Sophie amused for hours on end :)

I am so excited for you and the boys!

love Melanie

Paige said...

Hi there! We're planning on building a treehouse this summer for our kids, but if you don't have any trees I think a teepee is a great idea. We've also set up a tent or two in the past and that's provided hours of fun. We also like a sandbox...taking off socks and shoes and brushing off a bit before coming inside helps. Good luck!

At Home Mommy Knits said...

Pop up tents can be fun. We just found a sandbox type thing at the toy store that closes (no cats getting in) and they stand next to not play in it. I know you don't feel like making one but here is a link http://sewmamasew.com/blog2/?p=525 to what looks to be an easy outdoor tent/teepee for kids. Good luck! As kids we used to string clothline and drape old sheets from them to make tents.

ArizonaLewis said...

get naked and eat popsicles.
fun for the whole family.
until your neighbors peek over.
ikea really has awesome (cheap) igloo tents and tunnels. and when the weather thrashes them and you have to toss them out in a couple of months, you're only out $20.
have fun!

Claudia said...

oh man, I so want a teepee!
and sand box = cat poops!

Sandy said...

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone!
So far, I did find a sandbox WITH a lid (thank you very much Claudia).
Everyone has kept their clothes on, thankfully! And the freezer is stocked with popsicles & lolas.
We did find someone selling a really cool wooden clubhouse, so I hope we can get it this weekend---fingers crossed.
If that doesn't happen, I will be off to find those igloo tents and other goodies at Ikea.
Maybe I'll get the teepee for me to hide in though.

The Yellow Door Paperie said...

My mom bought us one for Christmas, and man it is fun. It goes inside and outside pretty easily.

I saw this old house make a sandbox (you don't have to make one) but you cover the top with a tarp and velcro. Kind of ingenious.

Here's a link to the segment http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/video/0,,20177669,00.html

Congrats on staying at home!

Found you're blog though MommyCoddle