Set up a backyard festival

Entertaining Julian in the afternoon is best done outside. Inside he is totally crabby from about 3 to 6 pm. I’ve discovered things he likes and have been lazy enough to just put them all in the backyard at once so that he can roam from activity to activity over the course of an hour. It works so well that I have invited other people to bring their babies over to enjoy our backyard festival.

Feel free to set up some or all of these stations in your own backyard. Mix it up a little. Let us know how it goes.

  • Holden, Julian, Water, HappinessThe key to the party is water. I have had enormous success entertaining a little dude as young as 10 months with a large plastic mixing bowl full of water and some measuring cups or spoons. That’s Station One.
  • Station Two is the tunnel. We’ve got the one in the picture here for about $20 from Oriental Trading. That happy kid is Holden – he’s a tunnel man.

  • Station Three is the kiddie pool. Inflated and placed on the grass, you can put the babies in it, show them how to dip plastic toys in it, or just let them lean over and splash.
  • Station Four requires some actual effort on your part. Blow bubbles for the kids. If you’re truly lazy, buy an automatic bubble blower. I found one at Target for about $10.
  • Station Five is a tent. We have one that is made for kids for this crawling around purpose. You might have a real tent that you don’t use too often. If so, consider setting it up in the backyard and leaving it for a few weeks of summer fun. The one in this picture is available at for less than $25.
  • Little Tikes Push & Ride RacerOther features of my festival are a large inflatable ball and some push toys. The Little Tikes Push & Ride Racer is good because it rolls well over grass and is pretty durable. Also, if you have two toddlers at your festival, one can push and one can ride.
  • Crayola Sidewalk Chalk Fun Bucket (Pk/15)For true toddlers (18 mos or so), chalk is a lot of fun. It costs around a dollar for a box. Pour a pitcher of water over the drawings to erase. Julian likes this part just as much as the scribbling.