Fave Outdoor Toys For Toddlers

My kid is OBSESSED with being outside. I love that she would rather be outside digging in the dirt than sitting in front of the t.v., BUT Mama can only play with rocks and sticks so long before I want to poke that stick straight into my eye. So I’m on a hunt for some new outdoor toys that we can play with this Summer. We have plans to buy or build a playground of some sort later on, but I want a few things the kids can play with now while they are little.

Favorite Outdoor Toys For Toddlers

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  1. T-Ball Set My child loves hitting things so this is basically right up her alley . I love that it teaches her hand-eye coordination and helps develop fine motor skills. It also breaks down and hangs on the wall for easy storage.
  2. Garden Tools We have some cheap, plastic versions of these already. And they get used ALL the time. Hollis loves to dig around in the garden with them so much that I’m not sure they will last long enough for little brother to get to use them. I really like these nicer, heavier duty ones. Plus they look just like the ones I use!
  3.  Garden Table We are in the throws of the terrible twos…but my toddler is also in a phase where she wants to be doing whatever mommy is doing. Since my time outside is usually spent working on the garden, I think she would love having a gardening table of her own. Throw some dirt in there and she would be in heaven.
  4. Sidewalk Chalk Paint I spend a lot of time repeating the words, “STAY OUT OF MOMMY’S PAINT” while working on projects. It would be so great to head outside and just let my little monster go to town and paint up the sidewalk.
  5. Froggy Toss and Grip  Another good activity for practicing hand-eye coordination. Hollis can throw a ball pretty good, but she hasn’t quite mastered catching. She seems to think every game with a ball is dodgeball.  I think this would be great practice before trying a ball and glove and safe for her and her brother to play together when he is old enough.
  6. Splash Pad So we have a little, above ground pool, but it’s too deep for the little ones to do much other than sit in a floatie right now. I like the idea of playing in the sprinkler, but hate how muddy and grassy we get. I love that we (me, toddler, baby) can all sit on this and enjoy splashing around in the water together.

What are your little ones favorite outdoor toys and activities?

DIY: Rustic Farmhouse Shelves

We’ve been living here on the farm for two years now. That’s so crazy to me. I love how peaceful and serene it is. I love having cows for neighbors. But the best thing about living on a farm is when we find cool, old stuff.

And by we, I mean my husband usually. He gets to work out in the fields and pastures and explore the old buildings on the farm. He brings all kinds of cool things home. His latest find was this piece of old wood siding. I told him I needed some wood for shelves I wanted to make in the bathroom and Voila! he brought this gem to me.

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I immediately loved the hole in it and all the marks and roughness of it. I hosed down about a half-inch of dirt and grime off of it and then cut it to the size I needed. The board was 7″ deep which was perfect for my small shelves. I cut 2, 30″ long pieces from it.

IMG_3160.JPGAfter I had them cut, I got out the power sander and went to town. I wanted to keep all of the ruggedness, but take off the grime that I couldn’t wash off. I also wanted to smooth out anything that might snag something or give someone a splinter. Then I gave them 3 coats of a clear Minwax Polyacrylic stain in a satin finish.

I have had these box shelves in the bathroom above the toilet pretty much since we moved in. They were fine for a bit of decoration, but they felt small and insignificant. I really wanted to add something more substantial and have room to put out things like towels and wash cloths for guests.

IMG_3165I went with simple, black metal brackets. I love how rugged the edges are and that you can see all the knots and grooves in the wood. The clear stain really helped seal everything and show off the imperfections that we loved so much.

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The black hardware really added some nice contrast to the blue and white bathroom. I added some more black accessories to tie things together. I also spray painted the hooks on the towel rack black to match. I took down our brushed nickel hand towel ring and replaced it with one of the big, black metal hooks I found in one of the closets to add some more of the farmhouse feel.

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I like that the shelves are deep enough to set out towels for guests, but don’t protrude too far into the narrow bathroom. And all the black accents help tie in the shower curtain which kind of felt a little out-of-place before.

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So that’s it. I’m kind of obsessed with these guys. Can’t wait to see what Brian brings home from the farm next!

 

 

 

One Proud Mom

I’ve only had a few Mother’s Days of my own, but I swear with each one I get weepier and weepier. I think about my babies, I think about their birth, their milestones, their future graduation from med school…the future tropical, private island they will buy me in appreciation for all the dirty diapers I’ve changed and times I’ve been thrown up on….just kidding. A mom can dream though, right?

Right now Mother’s Day around here is just another day. A day full of diapers and laundry and fetching fruit snacks, but I look forward to the days of homemade cards and macaroni necklaces.  Every day as a mother of little ones, you deal with crying and the highs and lows of the day, searching for moments of quiet and trying not to focus on the dirty dishes piling up. But through all that work and feeling exhausted, you see those little faces and are filled with joy like no other. Celebrating mom’s is important, but celebrating the little ones that make you a mom is also important.

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(photo credit: Lynnie Lou Photography)

 

This year I got to celebrate with my newest little one. We also got to celebrate his baptism.

Bowen Newborn PicsWe had a party before hand at our house. The weather was perfect and the company was good. Bowen is so lucky to have so many people who love and care about him. 0507161009a0507161007I can’t believe his baptism is already here and gone. He is growing so fast. He has been the best addition to our little family and I can’t picture life without him. I just love him so much.

And I better stop before the weeping starts up again…