After long cold Michigan winters, I look forward to warm summers and spending lots and lots of time outdoors! With iPhones, tablets, and TVs it's also always a challenge to keep the kids playing outside and enjoying the beautiful weather instead of becoming zombies in front of their screens!
To accomplish my goal of encouraging outdoor time without having to nag, I partnered up with Kmart to create a special space just for the kids on our outdoor deck. It is the perfect space for them, it gets plenty of shade so they can do everything from read, relax, play games, and enjoy snacks. With their own little outdoor oasis, I was hopeful that they would spend extra time playing outside, with each other, and my plan could not have worked better! They are loving it!
To create their space, I first had to define a boundary for them. I wanted to make sure that our entire deck wouldn't become a play room, so I started with a rug (Lavish Home Indoor/Outdoor Rug). The rug is not only a comfy and cozy surface for the kids, but defines their space, keeping all of their toys and games in their area. Since the rug is so large and grounds the space, I opted to go with a neutral rug. I wanted to make sure that the space didn't feel too loud or overwhelming and wanted to have a lot of fun with accent pillows and furniture.
Next I brought out a teepee they had in their playroom during the winter. Moving toys always helps to give them new life for kids, all of the sudden the teepee that was not getting much use, is a cool new reading nook! Mom win! The teepee is a fun element, but to provide them with a space to do activities and have a snack, I opted for the Tot Tutors Kids Wood Table with 2 Chairs. The table is a really nice size, large enough for crafts, but it is small enough that doesn't take over our entire deck.
To brighten up the space, I brought in a lot of fun pillows. I mixed and matched solids and bold prints to bring texture to the space, but avoid over doing it. The Solid Pillows (yellow, teal, pink) are a great background for the Pineapple Pillow (my daughter's favorite) and the Toucan Pillow (my son's favorite). The best part about the pillows is that they are very affordable, so over the course of the summer I can switch them out to refresh the space a bit. I also added an accent seat with a bright green weather resistant ottoman, which has quickly become my favorite place to sit and hang out with the kids.
Over the past year, my home has become victim to the slime craze. My daughter is obsessed, and I am less than excited about the sticky mess it leaves in my home. Their outdoor space was the perfect opportunity for me to get this activity outside. The kids table provides a great space for these messy crafts, but I even found something better, Kinetic Sand! The Kinetic Sand Set I found never dries out, doesn't stick to surfaces, cleans up easily, and is contained in its little island. I am happy and my daughter is thrilled!
Because you can never buy a new toy for one and not the other, I found a great new toy for my son, bean bag toss! I had something very similar growing up and remember enjoying endless hours playing this game with my siblings. I like this set much better than other options I have seen because it is light and easy to pack up at the end of the day.
Our outdoor space for the kids has already made summer a lot more fun at my house! With their own space, my kids are finally using our deck and hanging out outside (without screens!!). A huge thank you to Kmart for giving us affordable options to make a special space for the kids -- and the adults too -- to enjoy summer fun all season long.
This blog was created in partnership with Kmart, all product choices and opinions are my own and uninfluenced by the partnership.