Sunday, January 15, 2012

Portable Construction Zone - Super fun toddler gift or outdoor play idea

We have probably the most FUN neighborhood. Truly my #1 reason for having stayed where we are thus far, is because I think it's hard to come by this sort of thing. We've got a great community, where everyone sort of knows each other and looks out for each other, and where all of our kids are living life together.
Most of us have small backyards which means everyone is always out front playing. Most days we have at least 5 families out front, sitting in driveways and kids riding bikes, scooters, playing games, etc. There is never a lack of people to hang out with. Over Christmas and New Years it seemed like everyone had taken off the entire week at the same time, so we spent a lot of days outside for 6 hours in a glorious mid-70 degree weather, just hanging with all the other fun people around us.
Most of the kids are between 5-10 probably, but then there's my boy that just turned two, and his buddy Blake that turned two -one week before him. They are so cute together.

The problem is, they are the youngins around here. So when all the kids are out front riding all over the place, they are usually chasing them around and desperately looking for things to get into.
So when I saw this cool construction box on pinterest. I thought - BRILLIANT! A portable construction zone, something they can dig in, play with trucks, bury their bugs, and just be boys. Easy to pull out, keeps them semi-still, and easy to close up and scoot back in to the garage. So I made one for my boy and one for Blake for his birthday.
This is the photo I saw on pinterest.

 So I went out and found some green storage bins. Then several bags of the nice, polished rocks (which I found at the dollar store). I used about 6 bags in each one. Then I gathered whatever construction trucks and tractors I could find, as well as bugs, lizards, mini dinosaurs, and a shovel set. My goal was to wrap it up and put a hard hat on top but I couldn't find one anywhere.

My daughter helped me pour all the ingredients in.
The first one below shows how it looks when you put everything in. This one was for my boy, Ash.
The one below it shows what it looks like if you turn it into a gift, and leave everything in their package.
(We still had all the rocks, lizards, & dinosaurs loose in the bottom underneath the trucks, etc)
 Then I made a basic sign to put on the top. I laminated it and then put some construction stickers around it. I put the rest of the stickers inside so Blake could finish decorating it himself.

Here's a happy Ash-man, playing out front with his portable construction zone. 
I was really surprised how long it entertained this normally very un-still child :)  = SUCCESS!!!

Overall, a great, fun, and easy project to make. I'd love to hear more of your ideas on similar toddler entertainment. 

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