Outside Play Equip. for Small Yard and 2 1/2 Year Old.

Updated on March 26, 2010
J.F. asks from Bloomington, IN
5 answers

Hi Mamas,

My husband and I plan to go to Toys R Us this weekend to find something for my VERY SHORT 2 1/2 year old daughter to play on/with in our front yard. I want to know what you would recommend. I am due with baby #2 in 4 weeks (do not know the gender) and know we will not always make it to the park (a few blocks away) to play each day. I want something she will want to play with/on that I can easily observe her while I'm outside with her and baby.

Here are our obstacles:

Our yard:
Very small yard, in the front only
Very little storage area in the garage
MN winters
No fence

Our daughter:
Short, petite little girl who is not much of a climber...which she is getting better at.
Loves to slide down (I prefer I don't have to lift her each time)
Likes to pretend play

Do we get a small playset or plastic house of some sort? We have about $200 - $250 to spend (but would also like to buy her a trike with this money). Willing to look for second hand item if I know what it is I'm looking for.

What can I do next?

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answers from Tulsa on

To be really truthful we bought our climber to stay in the house and it's in the younger childs bedroom, it's only a 12'X12 room so it's not huge and has a twin bed, chest, shelves, and the climber and it's not even crowded.

Outside we have the step 2 barn, a huge wooden play set, the Little Tykes Hide and Slide Climber and Waffle blocks, a huge climbing cube, multiple riding things like rocking worms, tikes, and a short basketball hoop that you put sand in the bottom to keep it stable. Lots of outside stuff and the only big thing is the play set.

We "bought" Santa a present 2 years ago to give to our then 2 yr. old and 4 yr. old . It is a Kangaroo Climber from Step 2. There are several on ebay from $60-$75 that I saw just now when I googled it. We got ours from Sears on sale for $70 something, it was an appliance store Sears, not the big one with clothes and everything. They ordered it from their catolog and it came in 2 days on the truck.

They don't make it anymore and it's replaced with the Koala Climber. I am adding a link to the Step 2 website. There are 8 different options and their prices are pretty good, but shipping and handling will add to the cost. So when you go to Toys R Us take into consideration they already paid the shipping and someone to handle it for you.

Step 2/outdoor toys/climbers website, just for price comparison and what's avail.:

Step 2/outdoor play/view all 42:

Here's Little Tykes site too:
Here's Toy r Us's website and the selection of climbers they may have available. Their prices are very good too. If you buy the climber you will also be able to purchase some other outdoor toys too. Many of our toys are stored under the deck/porch year round and are pulled out to play.

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answers from Indianapolis on

You can always go to garage sales to look for little houses and such. But, if you are going to get something, try to keep in mind that she won't be 2.5 forever. Try to find something that will grow with her. The little plastic houses might crack in the snow cold winters, I don't know. Look around before you decide......you might check out Target, Walmart and K-Mart for something too or even Menards, Lowe's they have play things as well.
Good luck and I hope you find something you all will love.

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answers from Boston on

I had a lot of luck at local yard sales and flea markets... especially ones sponsored by local schools, churches, etc.

I picked up a small plastic slide for $5. And a small plastic picnic table and used kitchen for the $5 as well.

A small wagon goes a long way. She can put her dollies in it, etc.

I also utlize toys from inside.... tupperware... dish soap bottle filled with water... plastic cars....

A basic sprinkler and buckets of soapy water provide all sorts of entertainment.

Good luck.

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answers from Seattle on

We have a little tykes castle slide in the backyard, that we got when my daughter was 1.5. She could climb up by herself right away and it's low enough that I didn't worry about her falling. Now that she's 2.5 we have also added a little tykes slide, that is slightly bigger and she mastered this by her self right away, too.
I bought the castle climber off CL for $40 and got the slide for free from a neighbor who was selling their home. I would go look around at yard sales and on CL.
We have a large sandbox, though in retrospect, just a rubbermaid tub with sand would have been better. If I had to do it again I would get one of those under the bed containers - they seem the perfect size and have a lid.
I don't like outdoor houses and kitchens, since they get scum in all those nooks and crannies and are a pain to clean when the winter is over (unless you can overwinter them inside).
Have fun!

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answers from St. Louis on

I recommend buying one of two things:

1. A cube with a slide. She can slide down it, climb on and in it and it's small enough you can put in your front yard and it comes apart for the winter. (I think around $120) - cheaper on Craigslist.
*Little Tykes Hide & Slide Climber - $129.99 (a little taller than what I recommended above)
*Step2 All-Star Sport Climber - $99.99
*Step 2 Koala Climber - $99.99 (Toys R Us - online only)

2. The combination swing/slide (I think around $150) - cheaper on Craigslist. That way you can swing her (and eventually the baby) but also there is something she can climb on and slide down.

I suggest looking at Toys R Us online first as there are many that they have only online and shipping is free!!

Have you looked into Trikes? My daughter is tall for her age (2.5) and can just now pedal the metal red wagon tricycle...it might be taller than one you are getting, though.

1 mom found this helpful
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