Playhouse/garden fun(17 Posts)
I have 2 boys age 2and 6 and want to get something fun for them both to enjoy in the garden. We have very limited space- swings are definitely out of the question sadly. But my husband and I are so stuck on what to buy! we have around £300 put aside. A few cheap bits, one multi system, playhouse!!!???
Any suggestions? And had anyone brought a she'd rather than a playhouse for the kids to use as playhouses seem so small and my 6yo is rather tall.
Any help or suggestions really appreciated
IME the playhouse will get very limited use.
Why have you decided against swings? They were used FAR more than anything else my dc ever had.
Because I don't have room for swings- it would have to be in the centre of the garden with nothing surrounding it as my space is very limited
They all get very limited use in my experience. All a waste of money. They show as much interest with the hose, watering can, buckets as the slide and sand and water table. A house I would imagine get very little use too. We had one in the house made out of the old playpen. They were interested in it for a very short time.
I know some people have a fear of them, but a decent inflatable paddling pool was the no 1 attraction for our 2 boys when they were young. Has the added advantage of watering the lawn when it was dry.
Our playhouse ended up as a dumping ground and full of spiders, played with a handful of times.... Agree with PP - watering cans, spades and playing with a truck in the gravel were the favourites here. Swingball was a good one though.
We have a small garden but managed to fit a trampoline in! Gets lots of use
It's never watertight like a playhouse but how about quadro? Then if she loses interest you can take it down/change the setup?
Wooden climbing frame type fort? With a slide? This is what we had at the end of our narrow garden. Our son loved it and now he's older we have taken the slide off and are converting it to a kind of seating platform/ raised deck.
I have two boys, 2 and nearly 5. The most fun thing in our garden which is played with every time they go out outside ( which is most days, they even requested to go out on Christmas day!) is our mud patch. It's a small raised bed (about 50cm x100cm), they have buckets & spades, but also diggers and dumper trucks. I would recommend over a playhouse or sand table, we also have both and they are used but they always go back to the mud patch!
One friend got a lovely but expensive playhouse for her DD to play in, it was used about 3 times in 4 years. Eventually she gave up and sold it for a fraction of the cost. Another friend has an amazing climbing frame which she bought of ebay and spent hours reconstructing and repairing, but her children rarely use it.
My 5 year old DD has a sand pit (Ikea under bed storage box and tesco play sand) a tent made by granny (6 bamboo poles an a big bit of canvas) a swing (£40 from argos) and a 'kitchen' made out of rocks, planks and plant pots she has pinched from my greenhouse, in which she makes mud pies. These few cheap items seem to keep her entertained for hours, don't take up much room and will be easy to get rid of when she gets older.
A sprinkler is without doubt the most used 'toy' in my garden. The other thing I have is a bunch of blankets and an ancient wooden 3 fold gate airer which gets used for making dens.
We have a small playhouse but we use it as a cute looking she'd to store toys.
Our trampoline gets the most use by a long long way. If you can't site a trampoline (and they are an eyesore) I'd go with a sandpit and/or storage unit for mud digging implements. A length of guttering for rolling objects/water down is fun and cheap.
Mine always made extensive use of wheely toys too - think tricycle with dolls pushchair and toy wheelbarrow lashed to the back of it. They'd then drive it round the garden for hours towing mud and sand
Now they are older, no 1 garden entertainment is cutting sticks for fire pit or barbecue lighting so plan for toy storage to become fire supplies storage!
My DD did use her playhouse quite a bit from ages about 2-5, and it was handy for storing toys, but in retrospect I'd have got a shed and painted it nicely, and it could have morphed into a den/workshop (or duh, her own garden shed!) or if she hadn't wanted it I'd have then taken it over. I certainly wouldn't get a playhouse if one of the DC is already 6.
Once we got rid of the playhouse, we got a large waterproof outside storage trunk to keep outdoors toys in, that was useful.
The best single thing we had, the one which other kids adored coming round to play in during the summer, was a large paddling pool (and an electric pump!). The sandpit (just one of those plastic ones with a lid) was also good.
A very large piece of thick cotton cloth and means to turn it into a tent was good. The other possibility on those lines is a cheap popup 'festival' tent (youtube is invaluable for working out how the heck to collapse it again) - a proper one, not a kiddie thing, so when they're bigger they can sleep out in it. Probably cheaper from ASDA than a cute kiddie one.
I second a festival pop up tent. My two (6 and 3) have had hours of fun in ours and it can be quickly packed away when not in use. Then I'd get a plastic tub and fill with watering can, balls, hoola hoop, skipping rope etc.
A small trampoline would be my other suggestion, although I would recommend a 10 foot (otherwise a bit small for two kids to bounce on) and that might be too big for your garden? You could fit a single swing in about the same space.
We never bothered with swings or climbing frame type stuff as our village has a decent playground.
Trampoline (yeah I know you can't fit it in), paddling pool, hose and ride on toys are the biggest hit. We are eventually going to put up the ball/water run this summer hopefully.
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