Making a small outdoor space work for children

Children love to be outside and it is good for them. I’ve wanted to create an outdoor space for my son for a while but did not think we had the space. We live in an upstairs flat with a very small balcony where we also dry our clothes. With two boys under two, an outdoor space became a necessity and I had to make it work. Here’s what I came up with. I hope it gives you some ideas. 

I wanted this area to offer several independent activity options and also bring them in contact with nature. 

An easel for painting and writing (the other side is a chalk board). It’s the perfect place for them to create because the light is great the view is inspiring and the tiles make it easy to clean which means I’m not worried about the mess.

  A picture at the child’s eye level. I love how this painting shows the outdoors, houses, plants, flowers, people and so many elements. I also love the color. I’ve had it tucked away for years and just knew it was the final touch for this space.

I also have plants and a water source. He waters the plants. I plan to get more plants. Hopefully something edible and something that flowers. 

  
There are also bowls, boats and scoops available for open water play and exploration. I plan to rotate the materials available for this. Bottles, funnels, a water wheel and a spray bottle are some examples that come to mind. Children have an irresistible attraction to water and if you don’t already, provide opportunities for them to play with water.
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As you can see, we still dry our clothes here but it has not been a problem. We fold up the rack when not in use and he can still hang up his rags  or napkins. If the rack is available and he needs a blank page, we also hang up his paintings to dry.  
  This space has also provided an opportunity for floor scrubbing which was a hit. It provided an opportunity to further develop his balance and equilibrium; Soap  water is very slippery and he loved the challenge.
   
    
We also have a bird feeder which he can refill independently hanging from the rail behind the easel. We haven’t attracted any birds yet but hope to do so soon. I forgot to take a picture.

This space is also great for bird watching, plane spotting, garbage truck watching and just interacting with neighbors. He is able to open the door and go out when he wants or ask for help when needed. It has been well used and well loved since I set it up.

   
    
    

 It’s also a nice place for this little guy to lounge and enjoy some fresh air.

  
I hope to have a big backyard one day but until then, this and walks to the park will have to do. Do you have an outdoor space available to your child? What activities do you have available in your outdoor space?

P.s. I am trying out blogging from my phone because blogging from my computer is just not happening. Let me know what you think. 
Live a Good Life

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