Thursday, March 29, 2012

Blocks and Beans

I thought about putting these into two different posts, but they're such simple ideas that I just decided to combine them.  These are great activities to do outdoors, but both can be done inside as well.   Up first....Blocks!

I found these wooden blocks a few weeks ago at my local lumber store (Ganahl Lumber).  They were being sold in a big bag labeled as "firewood" for $7.99.  I think there were about 30 blocks in the bag.  I started painting some of the blocks and then realized I should probably sand them first, so that's why some are painted and some are not.  In any case, I love these blocks!  They have so many possibilities.  I plan on going back and getting at least 2 more bags full.  Olive and I have used them to build towers, create corrals for her animals, and on this day - create a movable and repositionable balance beam.

Olive is a climber, a reacher, a jumper, a stretcher, a mover, and a shaker.  She has such strength and coordination and I am constantly looking for new ways to challenge her.  The blocks are great because we can move them around and create new paths to follow or even make little steps that she has to walk over.

  I tried to hold her hand as she followed the path of blocks but she kept yelling, "I do it!  I do it!".  Okay, okay, girlfriend, simmer down.  You can do it.  :)


I love those strong little legs!

Okay, moving onto...Beans!

No, I'm not the first one who thought of playing with dried beans.  But they are such an amazing and simple activity, I can't resist sharing!  Sometimes we play with beans inside, but today we took them outside so she could play near her new outdoor kitchen (which is really just an old TV cabinet that I've yet to "cuteify").  I have a mixture of beans in her box:  garbanzo, kidney, white & lentils.

Daddy got into the mix for a little while (in the middle of finishing up Olive's new light table - post coming soon, I hope!).  

Things you need to play with beans:  Beans, beans, and oh yeah, more beans.  But if you want to make it more fun, add some cupcake tins, pans, spoons, colanders, bowls, and other miscellaneous containers.  Also, I bought this outdoor carpet square for $20 at Lowe's a while back and it was so helpful.  I was able to sweep up all the beans without having them mixed in with leaves and dirt.  

When I told Olive we were going to play outside with the beans, she insisted on bringing out her chair. Everyone sits on a chair in front of their stove, right?  I love how she confidently makes her own decisions now.  She's getting to be such a big girl!

Blocks and beans - 2 simple ideas for fun outdoor play.  What are some of your simple outdoor play ideas?


  1. Love the blocks idea! I'm thinking of some cheaper simple things to expand upon my little Sage's Christmas or afterwards and this is it! Thanks!