Thursday, February 2, 2012

Outdoor Play Time

All of Bella's friends have really cool outdoor toys and I'm beginning to think that Bella is lacking in that department. Sure, she has her very own (heated) pool and spa, but that requires one of us getting in the water with her. She has a wagon, which we go on walks with and the Little Tikes turtle sandbox. She loves the wagon, but prefers to be in her stroller. She loves to play in the sand, but she doesn't like to sit in the sandbox. We have a great backyard and a big screen in lanai, so I'd love to be taking advantage of the gorgeous weather we've been having. This all leads me to my current "wish list" for Bella...

I listed the Little Tikes turtle sandbox on Craigslist on hopes of pawning it off on someone else. I bought it on sale and with a coupon for $30 last fall, but it retails for $50, so I listed it for $30 in hopes of getting $25. Sure enough, a lady offered me $20 and I counter-offered at $25 and she will be picking it up tomorrow evening. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice sandbox, but Bella doesn't like to sit in the sand to play. She would much rather have a sand-table... or so I think. I spent some time today researching sand and water tables and found one that received great reviews. It's the Step 2 Adjustable Sand & Water Table. It's adjustable in that the legs can be moved to increase/decrease the height of the table. Hopefully this means we can get a little more use out of it than our sandbox. She seems to enjoy playing with her friends' tables, so why wouldn't she love her own table? I love the fact that it comes with a cover, so the sand should stay dry (from the rain). I also love the quick drain at the bottom of the water table. Our lanai has drainage channels, so it should be relatively easy to change out the water. Even though we will be keeping this under the covered part of our lanai, I love the umbrella for extra sun protection! Our local Toys-R-Us carries this table, so we will hopefully be able to pick it up this weekend.

I have also been researching swing sets. I will start by saying that I would absolutely LOVE one of the Rainbow play systems, but that simply isn't practical. We're not sure how long we plan in staying in this house and I'd hate to buy a $2000 swing set and have to leave it behind or pay nearly as much to move it. Plus, Bella is a little young for a huge swing set and I'd prefer something a little smaller. Basically, she loves to climb, play in a little hidden area and slide down the slide. I don't want something huge and I want something that's mobile. I'd prefer to keep this on the lanai because it's shaded and so the play set won't kill the grass. I came across the Step 2 Kangaroo Climber. It's compact enough to keep on the lanai but still big enough for toddlers to climb and slide on. I actually found one on Craigslist for $65 so we will be picking it up this weekend. Buying one for over half off on Craigslist makes me feel less guilty if it doesn't work us. I can simply re-list on Craigslist and try something else.
I hope Bella will enjoy her new outdoor toys and this will get us some good outdoor time. It will also be nice not to have to chase her around a park or playground with my pregnant belly. Plus, Bella will get time to play outside once baby #2 arrives and we become temporary hermits. I can't believe my little baby Bella is growing up so quickly and will actually be able to enjoy these outdoor toys. I remember when a sandbox or play set seemed like a foreign concept to me because Bella was so little. Where has the time gone?!?

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

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