Thanks for coming back for the 2nd post of my Summertime Fun Series. If you haven’t read the first post yet you can find it here. It’s a pretty good one if you need some ideas of how to keep your kids accountable and keep your house tidy too (without doing all the work yourself 😉 ).
Today is all about outdoor play for your kiddos. I like to keep things easy and especially CHEAP. I live for a good deal, especially when that deal consists of me spending no money and getting smiles and giggles out of my 3 kids. It’s a win-win for everyone.
So somewhere after my first daughter was born we bought one of those green turtle sandboxes for my son. It was about $30 from Walmart, it’s gone up a bit since 2013 but it’s still a good deal compared to the newer options out there. My son loved it!!! He would be entertained for hours playing with his yellow dump trucks and plows and making sand castles. It was one of the best summertime investments we made. Fast forward to now, we still have that green turtle sandbox, it’s in a little rougher shape but it works all the same. My two girls love playing in that thing.
If you can’t afford to buy a sandbox brand new, which I totally understand, as much as I would love to buy everything brand new, it’s not always necessary. My husband and I love the Facebook Marketplace. We have found so many great deals on furniture, Christmas presents for the kids and other odds and ends that are perfectly fine second hand. So, my recommendation would be to check any second hand store, website or yard sales and see if you can find a used but still in good shape sandbox; because at the end of the day your kids won’t know the difference OR care.
After the sandbox, I had our water table ready to go. This was bought brand new for my oldest daughter’s 1st birthday. This was also before I realized that buying brand new, even for birthday gifts, didn’t always have to happen. Water tables run for about $40-$75 for just a basic one. There are fancy sand/water tables out there but the idea of always trying to keep the two separated just sends my anxiety sky rocketing, plus they’re more expensive. This is another great item to find secondhand. We’ve lost some parts, or more like our 10 month old Lab has eaten some of the parts, so the kids get creative and bring other toys from around the house. Better yet, just buy some inexpensive bath toys to keep in the water table and your kids will never have to go searching for things to splash with.
All 3 of my kids, even my 9 year old son, love to splash and play in this thing. The water never stays clean, which is fine, I’m getting over my OCD tendencies about this. All that matters is that they can entertain themselves and have fun doing it. My daughter, Rory, loves bringing her Barbies in it and pretending its a giant Barbie pool. Even my little one gets in on the action. They would run back and forth between the sandbox and the water table and we ended up being outside for over an hour. It was great!!
Even though both of these “toys” are pretty bulky items, it was definitely worth it for us to save them and move them from our old house to our new house. It’s one less thing to spend money on that can provide joy and laughter year after year. Until something breaks, becomes a hazard or the kids just get tired of them we will keep them around.
Happy summertime play friends!