What are ways to play outside this summer?

I used to love going to the park when I had one or two kids. Now, with four, getting packed up is a whole lot more work. Make sure everyone goes potty (or face the dreaded portapotty), gets a snack, a water bottle, and the proper shoes. Buckle everyone in, drive, and unload. Battle the crowds for a turn at the swing if it’s a nice day or face bring on the complaints if it’s not so nice: “it’s too hot,” “I’m cold,” “Did you bring a snack?,” “can we go home now?”

Instead of listening to that, we’re turning our home into a backyard oasis and here are some things you should invest in if you want one too.

Summer Showers Water Table c/o Step2.

  1. Splash Table. These come in a variety of shapes and sizes but no one makes them better than Step2. (Side note, I saw one at Home Goods that was a metal bucket on legs. I mean I’m not sure I would have called it a Water table but that’s what the tag said). We now have two splash tables from Step2 (keep your eye out at Costco or head over to their site where there’s always a fab deal) to keep our littles happy. I like that they come in a variety of shapes with different features. The Summer Showers Table has a waterfall: place your hose or dump buckets in the reservoir and provide hours of fun for little splashers. Best for summer fun because of its compact size and the universal enjoyment it brings- heck, sometimes I even get a splash or two in.

  2. Swing Set. This came second because everyone can fit a water table on their patio or yard. Not everyone can have a swingset but if we can fit one on our postage stamp sized lot, likely you can too. It’s an investment that pays in happy faces. We bought one from Costco a few years ago but I really want this one from Step2.

Pirate’s Cove Climber c/o Step2.

  1. Climber. This comes in at number three because they come in more compact sizes to fit smaller yards but still provide hours of enjoyment for littles. We got this pirate climber care of Step2 for our Wild Thing’s fourth birthday. He’s been sailing away ever since. I’ve also got my eye on this Skyward Summit Climber. If I had the budget for it, I’ve seen this one at a local play place and my littles love it.

Seaside Villa Playhouse c/o Step2.

  1. Playhouse. This is last on my list because it’s hit or miss. I have some that love them and some that aren’t as impressed. That said, I love this Seaside Villa from Step2 and so do my boys. Yes, you read that right, my two wild boys absolutely love to play house. Sure, my girls will give it a go but my one year old currently spends hours going in and coming out.

It’s raining here so we’re waiting for the days to jump back out and enjoy our summer wonderland. How do you beat the heat and the kid’s spring fever? Do you have any of these backyard essentials?


  1. Can we come play in your backyard? I’ll bring snacks 😉 I agree, loading up four kids and trying to have a successful outing is so not worth it some days. The water tabels are so nice, I have even been known to drag it inside on a rainy (snowy) days for some entertainment. Have a great weekend! <3 Nicole

    1. Oooh snow table! That’s such a great idea! Wish you lived closer – we’d totally exchange backyard play dates for snacks!

  2. This looks awesome Jamie! I know I would have super adored the splash table when I was little (although I probably would have filled it with frogs ? much to my mother’s dismay!)
    I’m the youngest of 4, and my parents did the same thing. Our back yard was a total play zone! Kudos to awesome parents like you ♡. I’m sure you’ll little ones will look back with so many fond memories someday too ?.

  3. Oh my goodness – we need this! It is hard to get both kids to the playground – especially since the littlest is still too young for sunscreen! A water table is on my list!

  4. Step 2 always has great products to help outdoor time be more enjoyable! Love the water table!

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