Eiya's Casita

Small, Cool Outdoors #Entry #47

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Name: Sheau L.
Location: San Jose, California
Size: 78 square feet

Your Favorite Thing About Your Outdoor Space: Our little one has been enjoying her "Casita and Cocinita" (little House and kitchen in Spanish). She has been cooking, making tea with chamomile and singing birthday songs for the little frog planter in her space. It is very satisfying to watch her interact with her space. Seeing her imagination unfolds and transferring what she experienced in real life into pretend play.

My favorite thing about our little outdoor play are is that my little one can play freely while being outside with us. This space incorporated all 5 senses. It has herbs for smelling, sands and water for tactile experiences, ceramic fruit bells for sound element. She often is very focus on her pretend play in her little kitchen cooking dishes, making tea and caring for her. We are nearby working in the garden right next to the play yard. She will come over to serve me soup, cake or tea that she has made.

Biggest Design Challenge With This Space: It is right next to the parking lot and away from water source. We wanted create this space as a natural setting for our little one. We incorporated lots of low watering plants (succulents and yarrow). At the same time, we also planted herbs (safe for our little one to use or eat) and plants that attract humming birds and butterflies to invite other wild life into this space. It is a very small space, but it works for us since we are creating a space for a child and everything is child size, so they can fit into the space fine.

Tips for Creating a Great Small Outdoor Space: Research similar concept and space. Plan it out on paper. Utilize local and free resources. We built our space with objects from thrift stores and found tree stumps, bamboo from our friend's house and found wooden crates. Think of how you like the space to be and how it will be a place that benefits everyone in the family as well as the wildlife.

Thanks, Sheau, and good luck!

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