Our Toddler-Friendly Balcony
When we chose our apartment we knew it had a balcony and we were excited that Alta would be able to play on it until we moved in and realized that a) it's cement which only matters because b) Alta is still crawling. (At first I was worried about the stucco which would probably give some nasty cuts if you ran into it but that never seemed to be a problem.) The problem was that Alta would go out on the cement and put her fingers in all the cracks and get really dirty and scraped up.
I looked forever for ideas to make our balcony baby/toddler-friendly and I only saw a few posts. Most of them were concerning balconies with open railings which we luckily don't have. I had my sights set on a swing and a table and lots of cute things until I read a bunch of stuff that said you shouldn't have anything they can climb on - that makes sense. So here's what's worked for us:
-$25 outdoor carpet (cut to size with scissors) from Home Depot. (Astro turf looked fun until it felt really itchy in real life) I never even thought about how awesome outdoor carpet is. You can pour water on it and it dries and it's fine. And you can vacuum it too!
- Random cardboard boxes to climb in and through
-Bowls of water and ice cubes
- (and we do have a couple cheap lawn chairs from Target that I fold up when she's out there, usually.)
I'll let you know if we think of anything else cool. This setup is way better than walking to the park, getting insanely hot, and chasing Alta as she crawls on the hot cement towards the parking lot.