We moved into our home almost 4 years ago and were very excited to have a blank back yard! Nothing in it but dirt and some weeds, perfect for two DIYers who so much looked forward to putting some sweat into a wonderful oasis for our family. And then we realized the time and money it was going to take, so we took our time. Then got pregnant…and then got pregnant again.
Three and a half years into living in our home and we only had done minimal work in the backyard, so after baby number three came we looked at each other and decided it was time to get it done. We needed a place for our kids to play and have fun!
After getting most of the yard finished we started planning the play area. We wanted lots of fun pieces of play equipment back there because we have 3 boys who need to get their energy out, and we wanted it to be simple and not too crazy looking because we wanted to spend time as adults out there too!
My boys are huge PBS Kids fans because it’s really the only TV they watch. I know I can trust PBS Kids and I know the shows are educational and have purpose. One of their favorite shows is Wild Kratts-a show about animals and ecology with a bit of modern technology. My boys are animal lovers and love to learn about animals and their habitats from the Kratt Brothers. They love the adventures the brothers have and both pretend to play in Tortuga (the Kratt’s home base that is shaped like a turtle) when they make forts.
It was easy for us to be inspired by Wild Kratts when designing our outdoor play area, since the show focuses on the habitats of animals-which are all outdoor! We decided to incorporate some elements of the boys’ favorite habitats (the ocean and the desert) back there, as well as their very own Tortuga.
Our design started with finding the perfect Torutuga.
When we saw this big green climber there was no doubt in our minds that it had to be the centerpiece of our play area. It looked fun and modern while giving our boys the perfect Tortuga inspired home base to climb on and in when going on their animal adventures in our backyard!
Next we looked at sandboxes as a way to incorporate the desert habitat my boys love so much. I wanted one that wasn’t huge and also came with a lid (we don’t have animals of our own and I wasn’t interested in cleaning up after our neighborhood cats) and this Little Tikes sandbox fit the bill perfectly!
To go into our “desert”, we found these awesome Blockmates toys! They are plastic pieces that attach to standard rectangular blocks to make them look like safari animals. The boys LOVE making the animals dig into the sand and even hide in the sand!
For our ocean habitat, a water table seemed like the best option. We live in California where the drought is awful right now and water isn’t something we use too often, but my boys love to play in water. We thought about getting a kids size pool, but the amount of water that would use was just not being drought friendly.
A water table gives us the option to use less water but give my boys a fun place to splash and get cooled off on a hot day. This Little Tikes water table keeps the boys busy and laughing for a long time, and they love what they call the “ocean water slide” in the middle that the included ball shaped fish can slide on!
We also found this set of vinyl sea creatures they can play with in their “ocean”! They can pretend to be the Kratt Brothers and help these different animals in their habitat. The baby sea turtle and the clown fish are both favorites that get fought over each time they are out there.
The kids love their new Wild Kratts inspired space in the backyard. They can adventure out and learn about the animals they find in their habitats, and I love that they are spending time outdoors, learning and enjoying time together as brothers-just like Chris and Martin Kratt!
Isn’t it a fun spot for the kids? Make sure to go over to Overstock to vote for our Wild Kratts Inspired Backyard Play Area!
We received credit from Overstock.com to put together this space, however all opinions are my own.