You guys want to know something funny? I wrote this post LAST YEAR but never got around to publishing it because, you know, life.
I went on and on about our house and big backyard and the ability to let the kids roam free. Fast forward a year and we’re in a small apartment in Dallas with a balcony. The amenities in the community are nice: we have a few gyms, a couple of pools, dog parks, kid parks, etc.; but we don’t have any dedicated yard space that’s just ours.
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So we’ve been kind of working on our apartment balcony to make it kid-friendly, but also a retreat for Sanj and me when the kids are off to bed and we just want to lounge around. Making it a functional space for both has been tough, being that we have limited space, but I think we did a pretty good job.
Here are a few play things that we have on the balcony and things that I recommend for others living in similar situation of no yard but would like to have some summertime outdoor kids toys:
So I think you’re supposed to put sand on one side and have them play around with it. But I put all this Indian sensory stuff in here. You can definitely just sweep it over the balcony, but I usually put a tarp down under (when I’m not too lazy, if we’re being honest over here) and then throw the extras out. This is only because we have mosquito nets up so I can’t sweep anything over the balcony!
YO. This one is legit. I can get a good half hour or hour to myself. I leave the kids outside and they splish and splash while I watch them from the kitchen. It’s definitely messy and I try to have them in diapers only to avoid wet clothes. ‘Cause I hate the smell of wet laundry. And it’s funny considering how many times I leave clothes in the washer over night. Okay, anyway, this is a super fun toy.
Okay so I don’t have this exact version, but we have a kid’s picnic table. It’s perfect for our small balcony because they can sit there and color or eat lunch like real people. But, after hours, Sanj and I use it as a coffee table and food rest. HAHAHA.
Did you know that you can crush chalk with a hammer, mix it with water, and have them finger paint or paint with a brush and you’ve probably honed their fine motor skills times a million? Yea, you heard it right. You can do things with chalk other than just write on the ground. Also, WHO DOESN’T LOVE GLITTER IN THEIR CHALK? wut.
This double-sided easel is great because you can use your aforementioned glitter chalk on one side and WHITEBOARD MARKERS on the other. Like, hurray. Teacher’s dream come true. We also bought some white paper to throw over it in case they wanted to just scribble. Scribbling also works on fine motor skills.
Do you have a small balcony or patio? What fun toys do you keep out there for the kids? Let me know!
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