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Exploring outdoors – shop imaginative play

Exploring Outdoors PostWe’re taking some of our play outside this week for our exploring outdoors post and playing shops. It’s been a really dreary month so the moment that the sun peaks through the clouds we’re out of the door and enjoying it.

Nana and Z are joining T for this great outdoor play (in fact Nana was the one that started them playing with it). For J’s birthday last year we decided to get him a playhouse for the garden. We got the cheapest that we could find that would last for a little while but without any fancy extra’s to it. In fact one of the things that attracted me to it (not only the cost) was that it could be anything that we wanted it to be.

Pretend Shop play taken outsideNana collected a variety of our sandpit and water table toys from around the garden (as you can see we also include old baby bottles in our outdoor toys) and set them up on the window sill of the playhouse.

My nephew Z decided to be the shop keeper – he’s from the USA and hearing him ask for payment for items was a little strange to my ears – there wasn’t any £’s but instead everything on that day was $4. With Nana and Z playing there was only 1 thing that T could do and that was join in. She didn’t quite grasp all the concepts instead I think there was a lot of her playing hide and seek with the shop items around the garden.

When the attention wasn’t being held by the shop play Nana turned the play into a cafe and I was sent inside to get a plate, our egg and spoon race egg (mini bean bags shaped and coloured like eggs that fit inside plastic easter eggs) were served with some dandelions, pebbles and grass to Nana and T (who for a change didn’t eat anything!).

Now the weather is improving I’m hoping that we can take some of inside play outside more.

When Nana, Auntie A and Z had gone home after our play day, J and T sat down with me and we had a look at one of our Maisy Books – Maisy Goes Shopping. We love these books and each of them covers a really nice situation either something that has to happen (like shopping) or something fun like making Gingerbread men. We looked at the pictures and talked about our own weekly shopping trips. One of the things that I would like to get them next christmas is a shopping trolley and some pretend food and tins etc… so that we can extend this play a bit more and play it more often instead of always playing Toy Shops.


  1. Great photos & aren’t Nana’s the best, you are right about the play house being so open ended & I’m sure you will get years of fun from it, thanks for adding this to the link up.

  2. I loved playing shops and cafes with Z and T . I will save any little boxes etc for a play shop. Also save leaflets magazines etc with photographs of food to use in the shop and cafe.

  3. What a great way to spend time outdoors and with Grandma is an even bigger treat! Happy Mother’s Day to you and you Mom:)

  4. cmichaelsny says:

    Therefore, childrens’ outdoor play activities are a necessary part of their healthy growth and development..

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