8 Inspiring DIY Outdoor Play Spaces

Children thrive on imaginative play, and playing outdoors connects them with nature. At my house, I encourage my son to play outside as much as possible. Some days he complains that there’s “nothing to do,” despite the forgotten basketball goal and lonely scooter lying in the yard… you know how it goes.

I’ve been so inspired by these DIY outdoor play spaces–mud kitchens, tents, and musical spots–that I’m motivated to create one for my son at home, and at my preschool, too! I love that most of these are inexpensive to build and wouldn’t take longer than one Saturday afternoon to make. Best of all, the kids can be a part of the building process!

1. Outdoor Play Kitchen, Parents

diy outdoor play space

You can easily turn an old shelf into an outdoor play kitchen, or just use pallets. Here, they reused old pots, pans, sifters, and utensils as toys.

2. DIY Outdoor Music Station, And Next Comes L

Inspiring Outdoor Play Space

This outdoor music station is made from an upcycled swing, and seems so easy to make! I’m the type of mom who can give my kid a drum and tune him out for a while, so this music station is a big possibility for us.

3. Scrap Yarn & Ribbon Tent, unknown source

Inspiring Outdoor Play Spaces

Now I know what to do with all this yarn and ribbon I’m never going to use. Just look at this though–can you imagine the hours of fun a child could have weaving and tying spare bits of string through this tent?

4. Bug Hotel, The Fife Diet

Let kids explore bugs and see how they move, eat, work, and live with a bug hotel like this one! You could build a similar miniature version if you’re not too keen on the idea of a giant bug hotel in your back yard.

5. Art Table & Mud Kitchen, Rhythms of Play

Inspiring Outdoor Play Spaces

This family made their own versatile art table that doubles as a mud kitchen. Read their blog for details of projects they’ve made on this very table!

6. Pallet Teepee, Killer B Designs

Inspiring Outdoor Play Spaces

This inviting, spacious teepee is big enough for adults to fit inside!

7. Waterfall Wall, Playing by the Book

Inspiring Outdoor Play Spaces

This DIY water wall was made with an old fence panel. They attached hoses, jugs, bottles, and buckets so the children watch the water flow and make its way down the wall!

8. Chalkboard Fence, Project Denneler

Inspiring Outdoor Play Spaces

Experts say kids should have the opportunity to write on a vertical surface, and what better way to do that than by adding a chalkboard to the fence? Notice that they hung a bucket of chalk alongside it, too–handy!

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8 Inspiring Outdoor Play Spaces

Muddy Day Fun: Learning & Exploring with Mud

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When there’s a gigantic dirt pile in the yard, you just can’t ignore it. And you can’t say “no” when your kid asks to slide down it on his belly, especially after the long, drab winter we’ve spent indoors. Thank goodness for play clothes. And thank goodness we live out in the boonies where he could safely undress down to his birthday suit on the front porch before coming inside for a bath!

Muddy Day Fun | everylittleadventure.com

Holden pushed trucks through the mud pile and watched them roll down the hill. He dug holes, and squished the mud between his fingers, making it a great sensory experience.

Giving children the freedom to get muddy connects them with nature, and it encourages creative thinking. Let the Children Play has a great post about the benefits of letting kids play in he mud!

Those boots have been through a lot. It just might be time to retire them. :)


Snow Days

We have barely left the house these past few weeks due to the snow… and more snow… and more snow.  I wouldn’t mind it so much if it weren’t so cold. It’s the kind of cold that hurts your face. I’ve taken Holden out to play around the farm for a little bit because we’ve both had cabin fever, but he’s like me–we much prefer summer!

Snow Days

Mostly, our days have looked like this:

typical snow day

Stay tuned for a detailed post about Holden’s favorite apps, by the way! I’ve been working hard on that one. Speaking of blog posts, this is what I’ve been busy doing–jotting down content ideas in these adorable Katie Daisy notebooks. My husband got them for me from Target, but you can find more of Katie’s artwork on her Etsy page.

katie daisy notebooks

Sigh. Ready for spring. I’m ready for daffodils and Eastertime and playing outside and dressing my child in shorts because all pants on him are highwaters. ;)