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Outdoor Heaven: Create an outdoor play space

Creating a great outdoor space for kids and adults is one of the first ways to make sure your kids and you spend more time outdoors. There are many ways to go in the process of creating an outdoor space for both; this can be done in an ECE (Early Childhood Education) setting as well as in a family setting.

Create a family garden together:
If you are not a gardener you can start with just a few basil plants and pansies. If you are wanting to plant more remember that flowers that attract butterflies and wildlife can help create many discoveries in your garden. Make sure you have some wild flowers so the kids can play with them too. Growing a vegetable patch is a fun and great way to get kids excited to eat their veggies while getting you outdoors. Here are some of our favorites to grow with kids.

Container gardening with kids ,

Grow potatoes,lettuce,pumpkin,

Grow Sunflowers: 5 fun activities

Plant tomato plants in an upside down planter


Yes, I know the lawn has a bad reputation, but it is great to have a patch of grass for picnics, cartwheels, ruff tumble and play, soccer and other ball games. Gardening expert March Cuellen also says the lawn has more benefits: turf serves as an air conditioner on a hot day and traps dust and greenhouse gasses. Including turf in your landscape promotes water "percolation" rather than runoff.


Outdoor kitchen:
When I was in Norway I discovered how much the outdoor programs used cooking in the program. When the weather is nice move your kitchen outdoors. Not only will you cut back your air conditioning cost you will create family bonding and more outdoors time for your family.

A place to hide:
Use a tent or create a tent with a blanket. Our like us, make a tree house in your backyard or make a sunflower house, willow house or if you dare have loose branches and let them create a den.


Natural elements:
Adding elements like sand, rocks, shells, pinecones and branches make great elements for imagine play and creations like mud pie, fairy houses and troll houses.

Add water: Create a water feature, a water table or simply use the hose to run the sprinklers.


Add Gross motor skills challenges:A climbing tree is of course best, but if you don’t have this create places for monkey bars, rock walls or add an old classic swing.

Check out :

Let Children Play how to create an outdoor play space

Create a Play Space by Head Start Body Start

How do you create an outdoor space in your garden?

Next Wednesday we will talk about how to make a play space / club house in an urban setting.

Mudpie kitchen:

Outdoor family garden

Our Front Yard Family Room


Kari Svenneby is the founder of

Librarian, Chef, Outdoor play advocate, nature lover, biker, skier,
gardener, entrepreneur and speaker.

She and have been featured for her work on getting kids and adults outside in many publications. The list includes the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Wildlife Federation, Norwegian Public Radio, Backpacker Magazine, Kaboom, and as an early collaborator with Children and Nature Network.

Read Kari's bio
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