In early May, many of us with young children prepared for a summer with the possibility of no camps, pool clubs or play dates. Panicked parents far and wide flocked to Amazon in search of blow-up pools and swing sets – and let’s not forget the trampoline. 2020 is certainly the year of the trampoline. Everyone loves a nostalgic comeback. I know I do.
Here are some of my favorite things that have entertained my 2-year-old this summer and that won’t break the bank. As I write this, I hear my mother telling my 10-year-old self to “go read a book or ride your bike” in response to me telling her I was bored. Sometimes, kids do need a little more than a book or a bike. And these days, after four months of being stuck in the house, they certainly deserve it.
Here are my yard picks for summer 2020:
The KidKraft Ocean Front Playhouse, available at Target for $299.99, is a moderately priced outdoor playhouse for boys or girls that has pretty good reviews. We have a small yard, so the compact size caught my eye. It’s a great option for those with smaller outdoor spaces.
My mother bought a water table for my daughter’s birthday, and it has been a family favorite this summer. For those of you not familiar with a water table, it’s a great outdoor activity that involves filling up a raised pool-like container with water. Most water tables have two tiers that create a waterfall effect when full. Kids seem to be mesmerized by the trickling down of water and filling and emptying buckets. The great thing about the Step2 Spill & Splash Seaway Water Table, available on Amazon for $168.90, one is that it comes with an umbrella to keep kids cool during the hot summer days. According to the product description, this is a great activity to practice fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
My daughter and I drew with good, old-fashioned street chalk for hours one Saturday afternoon in our driveway. The best part? It doesn’t stain, there’s no clean up (washes away in the rain!), and there are enough colors in a BAZIC Jumbo Pack Bucket, available on Amazon for $13.99, to keep children busy for hours! It’s also a great way to teach toddlers colors.
A few weeks ago, my sister invited us over for a barbecue and had a bounce house. My daughter and nieces had a blast in it. The Little Tikes Inflatable Jump ‘n Slide Bounce House, available on Amazon for $190.67, comes with a heavy-duty blower so it inflates (and deflates) with ease in minutes. Another plus: once deflated, it packs up pretty compact and doesn’t take up much room in the garage! It’s also a great way to get some exercise. Admittedly, I was a little upset I was over the weight limit to bounce along!
Do-it-yourself kites, available on Amazon for $12.99, come with pre-made designs and markers to color your own kite. I love this activity because it’s two activities in one! You can spend one day decorating the kites and another day flying them.
I saved the best for last since it’s fun for the whole family! The trampoline. Trampolines range from $100 to $2,500! I liked the Duoying 10 FT Trampoline, available on Amazon for $649, because it’s moderately priced and comes with a net for added safety. This is a great way to have some fun with the whole family, while getting some exercise.