Easy Family Time - Use Outdoor Space

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited to a lovely party in Sydney showcasing the new outdoor range by IKEA.

It was a fantastic night at Cockatoo Island near Circular Quay (I got to go on the ferry!), where guests were pampered - lounging on the new furniture range while catching up over gourmet pizzas and pretty cocktails.

It was a tough night at work ;)

So I was looking around, thinking about how an outdoor range - tables & chairs, outdoor lounges, benches, lanterns - would apply to us in an organising way.

I already love IKEA - their storage options are simple, effective and affordable. I use their products in my home to make the most of the space I have available.

There's no reason why I shouldn't embrace this outside as well and enjoy the space we have in our own backyard this summer :)

Sometimes I forget how much my kids love playing outside and get caught up in the little things:
  • "I have to put sunscreen on them.."
  • "I have to find their hats.."
  • Georgia can't walk yet so I'll have to hold her or her knees will get dirty.."
  • There's bugs outside.."
But really, when I think about it, it's not that hard to get them ready:
  • We do sunscreen in the morning as part of getting dressed
  • Hats are always in the same place so easy to find
  • I can put Georgia in thick trackpants so it doesn't matter if they get dirty and she has padding on her knees
  • Bugs don't actually come near us
Its more that I'm not a big fan of playing outside. I don't really like sitting on the ground and I get bored playing the same games as the kids - plus I don't fit on the swings ;)

But when the girls play in the backyard I really don't have to do anything but keep an eye on them. They spend the whole time amusing themselves:
  • playing on the swing set
  • digging in the garden
  • kicking the ball
  • drawing on our concrete with chalk
  • generally running around together
So I should focus on ways to make it more enjoyable for me too! Either plan some stuff we'll all like together or bring out something to keep me amused while they play by themselves.


Setting up lunch outside with table and chairs (like a tea party with the girls):

Or just taking a book or magazine and cold drink out with me and laying out all comfy while they play

Worth it? Yep. The 2 biggest benefits I see from making the most of our back yard are:
  1. I feel like I'm holidays (especially if the husband cooks a BBQ dinner while we're out there)
  2. The girls get tired and sleep well that night!
Don't forget if you haven't got a back yard that's ok - a walk around the block or a trip to the park works too. Even setting up a little space on your balcony (if you have one) works well, or taking a corner of a room and setting it up like it's outside, opening windows for fresh air. Kids have great imaginations and will play for ages in a slightly different setting.

Now over to you - How do you like to spend time outside as a family?


Credits: This is not a sponsored post and I wasn't paid for the trip down for the IKEA launch, but I loved being invited and had a really great time (plus it was nice to have a couple of days to myself just to relax and recharge!).

The Pics above are from the new IKEA outdoor catalogue - I picked my favourites and there are heaps more to look at here if you'd like to check it out in more detail.