Children’s spaces: outdoors 

A couple of years ago I set up a sand and water table on my porch by putting two plastic storage bins on a bench. Fast forward to this year and two children and the desire to keep sand from being tracked in the back door all summer, and I came up with a new rendition with more space and a mud kitchen addition. 

Two weeks ago I finally landed three full-sized pallets! They’re harder to come by than you would think. 

I built a pallet wall to give this outdoor “room” a little more dimension. 


I put two four-foot t-posts in the ground behind the wall, and propped lawn chairs against the front of the pallets until I could get them attached. 

 I screwed a 2×4 into the top of all three pallets attaching them to each other. The fabric on the far right is my first attempt at a shade cloth with a stop cloth. It started ripping in the wind, so I need to re-engineer it, or find a different solution. 

 Then I added some smaller scrap wood to match the depth of the t-posts, and screwed a 2×4 through the scrap wood into the pallets, with the t-posts sandwiched in between.   

Disclaimer: I’ve never done this before, but it feels very sturdy! Plus I built a bench with cinderblocks and 2×4’s in front of it. 

A shot of the sand and water, very mixed and muddied. A whole fifty pound bag of playground sand (from Lowes) fits in one of these 18qt Sterilite bins from Target
A week later, most of its gone! That’s a new record, usually 3-4 bags is all we need for the whole warm season. But they don’t seem to mind. 

 Side view of the cinderblock bench. Four cinderblocks and four 2x4s. These are untreated, and I should probably seal them, but they also aren’t touching the ground and I know from using untreated wood for garden beds that it’ll last about 5-6 years even when it is touching the ground. 
I leveled the bottom cinderblocks so they didn’t wobble at all and attached the top cinderblocks with landscape adhesive. Then I just ran the 2x4s through the holes and was done. I used 8 foot 2×4’s and the cinder blocks are about 6 feet apart. 

 Mud kitchen on the bench I built 6 years ago from the plans in this book. It’s a little wobbly for sitting on now but works great for this.  
More Mardi Gras beads! Hung over a branch and left to be discovered :-)

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