Summer is never long enough, or so I think. I have learned over time to really enjoy each moment spent outside, and I wish to pass this on to my children.
Although we spend a good chunk of our summertime in nature, and in the water, I have always tried to give ample time for my kids to express their creativity and explore new concepts—although I had found it difficult. Truth be told, I have always thought that summer was not a good time for this, as it seems easier to follow an inspiration inside, where the supplies are. I was wrong.
Summer is the perfect time to discover new mediums, to try messy things that can’t really be done inside. So why not take this opportunity to move the supplies outside and create, investigate, and explore while enjoying the good season? Creativity outside opens up plenty of new possibilities, ones that nobody could dream of doing inside.
Seeing my children constantly go in and out to get supplies gave me the idea of pulling together a shelving unit to hold interesting materials for creative pursuits outside. I was curious to see where this would lead us.
I used a Martha Stewart shelving system that was on sale at my local hardware store. I also bought a few plastic bins and inexpensive but inspiring bits and pieces of hardware. To that, I added many things that I found throughout our home that could be re-purposed and put it all together.
I have to admit that the materials that I have selected so far does emphasize the use of water as a medium of play and creation. We love water, and we are limited in using it for the remainder of the year. But I know that these shelves will evolve as time go to follow my children’s interest, although I know water play will always take a big part of it.
It was worth the effort and time. My children love it, and most of all, I can see it is very enticing to them.
DH has also contributed to this by building us our sensorial table (made of 2×4’s, plywood, and a recycled plastic bin) and he is currently working on a Plexiglas easel. This should be an interesting tool to explore!
All kinds of fun things have been showing up in my backyard (see top photo)…