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Family Favorites – Summer Edition

We are loving all this warm weather in MO, and especially loving a flat backyard (hard to come by in the Ozarks), and the absence of fire ants.  E goes barefoot 90% of the time in our yard, and I love that she can run around without me having to worry too much.  Obviously ticks are all around this time of year in MO, but we haven’t found any yet (knock on wood).

With all the time we’re spending in our yard, I thought I’d share our favorite things.


This is the only thing on the list that we paid full price for, and it was definitely a splurge two summers ago.  Before I got pregnant, I would spend hours outside reading in it.  It was a huge blessing when E was fussy because she loved to lay on my lap and look at all the trees while we rocked.  In this season of life, it’s set up right next to the water table and I get to read a bit while E is content in the backyard.


This was a birthday gift for Don right after we got married and it’s gotten so much use, especially at our new house!  I think we are out there most nights after E is in bed.  On the weekends, we “practice” while she’s busy with her water table, although sometimes she wanders over and wants to sit right on to board.  We need all the help we can get because we have gotten skunked by the friends we’ve had over.


Water Table

E has always had an obsession with water, and makes a beeline to Oakley’s waterbowl every single time she sees it.  I knew that when we got settled in MO, we HAD to get her a water table for the backyard.  My mother in law really wanted to get one for her birthday and patiently waited until we had moved to order and ship it.  I let her choose whatever she thought was best and she hit it out of the park with this one.  There is so much for E to play with, and she especially loves toting the two swimmers everywhere she goes.  I know that this table will provide a lot of stimulation as she gets older.  I also love that there is an umbrella included to keep E in the shade.  The other day she spent an hour playing with her water table and dumping water all over herself while I laid in the hammock and read a book.  Pure bliss.


We found our Cozy Coupe at a rummage sale and paid $8 for it – a total steal!  It took a while for E to come around to it, and to fully understand getting in and out of it, but she is obsessed.  Every day she gets in and I push her across the street to the mailbox.  She loves pushing it, and is starting to get the hang of moving it herself (Flintstone style) while she sits in it.  We play outside with her car and playhouse nearly every day in the afternoon – when the front yard is mostly shaded.

Go Green Playhouse

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a hippie at heart, so when a friend found this playhouse on a neighborhood sale page, she borrowed a truck, picked it up and brought it to our house within a few hours.  It was only $60 as opposed to $260 new.  I would never pay that much for a child’s toy, but I happily shelled out the $60, especially since I know we can sell it when E is done with it.

What I love about this house is that I can teach E about the environment in so many ways.  Recycle bins, solar panel and a rain barrel that actually works!  I planted a little garden for E, and she knows how to open the spigot on the rain barrel to water her plants.  E loves going in and out, using the door, and that the sink pumps actual water – she giggles every time!

The playhouse and the car are kept in our front yard, so we usually venture out there in the afternoon while we wait for D to come home.  There is a little more shade, I can sit on the porch, and it’s cooler in the day – win for everyone!

What outdoor items are you and your family loving for the summer season?

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