This weekend we found the jungle gym of the genre we've been looking for. We have limited back yard space and a small child, thus we were very specific about what we needed and wanted. As luck would have it, the playset was located only 5 minutes from our house - very unusual since we live on the outskirts of town. All the more reason I think it was meant for us!
Our friends were kind enough to loan us their truck to haul the set as well as provided a place for T Rex to hang out while we ran our errand. The set was in excellent condition and was exactly what we were hoping for. We paid the sweet family their asking price - an amazing deal - and we came home to set the gym up.
In fact, the friends who loaned us the truck and watched T Rex posted a photo of the boys playing while we were gone. You should check out their blog: Cooper au fil du temps. We might have the jungle gym but they have the pool and the sandbox!
T Rex had a wonderful time playing on his new set. However, it was really warm this weekend and I wanted to do something that would provide cooling relief after climbing on the slides. The first thing we did was hose the set down so the parts would not burn our little guy. Then we discovered he loved sliding down with the water running on the slides. Thus, I think it will be a regular thing for him to be out in his swimming attire while he plays on his jungle gym in hot weather.
T Rex Dad also slipped on some swimming trunks and participated in the fun!
Lastly, taking the advise of my friend Caitlin (click here if you want to read her posting that gave me the inspiration), I made a "water table" for T Rex out of a sweater box. You know those plastic ones that are meant to fit under the bed? This particular one has wheels - high tech! I filled it with water, T Rex's bath toys, and he spent hours - yes, hours, playing with it. I estimate this container costs around $8 - significant cost differce from the $75 kids water table I saw on Amazon.com! (Time playing allowing Mom to work in the garden - priceless!) He did get quite wet but that was the intended point - to cool off.
There you have it - outdoor toys on a budget. Alas, the bike trailer I was saving for is going to have to be put on hold another year but I think we'll be staying home more with the play gym in the back yard anyway.