Tag Archives: simple things

Super Simple 5 Minute Backyard Teepee

First off, I have to say that my Baba is hands down one of the most amazing, wonderful women I know.  She’s one of those ladies who can truly do anything…  From sewing to cooking to running a farm, fixing things, painting, gardening, building things, and entertaining – she excels at all.  Oh, and at 70 something years old, having never used a computer or the internet, she bought herself an iPad and taught herself how to use it too.  Amazing, right? (Hi Baba!  Love you!)  ☺

Growing up, my little brother and I would spend a week or two at my Baba’s house each summer.  Our days out at the farm were wonderful.  We spent nearly all of our time outdoors…  We herded cattle, carried huge buckets of grain out each morning, and watched calves being born.  We roamed through massive gardens with freedom to pick and eat as much as we pleased.  We devoured fresh peas off the vine, ate up buckets of raspberries, and wandered around with long stalks of rhubarb with little glass bowls of dipping sugar.  Baba taught us how to use the ride-on mower, make pedaheh from scratch, and draw with artists’ pencils and shading sticks – all of the things childhoods should be made of.  

But above all other adventures and activities that took place on that farm, the one that stands out most in my mind – the one that was most anticipated each year – was building a backyard teepee.  Baba would take us out into the forest, small saw in hand, and we’d cut down the trees that would form the structure of our new home.  We’d drag them back, position them and tie them up, then drape them in sheets until our teepee was fully enclosed.  Perhaps the very best part was furnishing it afterwards.  We’d carefully separate the space in half, position our mattresses and end tables (Baba doesn’t mess around), then stock it up with blankets, flashlights, snacks, books, and activities.  I can’t even describe how cool it all seemed as a child.

Super Simple 5 Minute Backyard Teepee | Mama Papa BubbaRecently, I introduced the magic of backyard teepees to Miss G.  Nothing that could rival one of the ones my Baba used to make, but a teepee none the less.  Our first one was a completely impromptu build, but it was so quick and easy that we’ve made them the same way each time since.  Here’s how we put together our super simple backyard teepee in no longer than five minutes…

Super Simple 5 Minute Teepee Materials | Mama Papa BubbaFirst up, the materials…  We use 6 6-foot tall bamboo stakes (purchased at any store that has a decent gardening section), a king-sized sheet, some jute, and 10 – 12 clothespins. 

IMG 8594To start out, I push the stakes into the ground just an inch or two to form a circle with an open front.  (As you can see, G likes to stand in the middle and have me build around her. ☺)

IMG 8604Next, I gather up the top of the stakes in one hand (there really isn’t a right way to do this – I just grab them and how they come together is how they come together) and use the other hand to wrap the jute around.  One thing I try to do while wrapping the jute is to weave it in and out of the stakes  – this gives it some better holding power.  When the jute seems secure, I tie it off in a bow so it’s easy to undo later.

IMG 8605IMG 8607With the structure built, it’s time to enclose it with the sheet.  To do this, I simply drape the sheet around the stakes horizontally with the ends being at the front opening.  To hold it in place temporarily, I bring the two sides of the sheet together at the top and secure it using a clothespin and add another two at the base of the two front stakes. 

TeepeeIMG 8611Next up, it’s time fix the positioning a little, smooth everything out, tuck in the extra fabric, and secure it all. I like to start at the front, making sure that both of the front stakes are fully covered and each side has a flap of extra fabric that can be used to close up the teepee completely if desired.  To do this, I just tug and adjust until it’s the way I want it.  With the sheet positioned properly, I move to the top and add several clothes pins to secure the sheet to the stakes.  I usually use four, but you could put one on each of the 6 stakes if you wanted to.  Then I go to the bottom and add a pin to each of the stakes, tucking under the extra fabric along the way if needed.

And that’s it – the basic teepee is complete.  Super simple, right?

IMG 8617To make ours extra cozy, we always add a blanket in the bottom and a few throw cushions along the sides.

IMG 8623IMG 8628One of Gracen’s favourite parts is selecting an activity to bring into her teepee with her.  Most often, it’s a stack of books to read, but today it was a stack of puzzles instead.

IMG 8634When we’re done playing for the day, we normally take down the sheet and bring everything inside, but leave the bamboo stake structure up, which makes for an even faster set up the next time and the time after that and the time after that…


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Bubble Wrap Exploration

Bubble Wrap Exploration | Mama Papa BubbaSometimes, or better yet, many times, it’s the simple things.  This afternoon, my freshly napped bubba woke up to discover a new package by our door.  She excitedly asked to open it, not caring about which actual item may be inside, but rather which packing material was surrounding the item (both bubble wrap and packing peanuts are huge in our house).  To her satisfaction, she found a fresh new sheet of bubble wrap inside, just waiting to be enjoyed.

IMG 8090After a good long time poking at it with her little fingers, I asked, “Are there any other ways we could pop the bubbles?”  This is what she came up with…

Elbows and blocksFirst came stomping on it with her feet, then she moved to digging her elbows into it and stabbing it with a wooden block…

Bead and TwistingNext she tried rolling beads on it (which actually worked fabulously when a good amount of pressure was applied) and twisting it forcefully.

IMG 8102Lastly was placing a borrowed book (sorry library!) on top of the bubble wrap and standing on it.  The good news is that this didn’t work very well at all, so it was short-lived.  

This much fun from a piece of bubble wrap is a wonderful thing.  ☺


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My Favourite Kind of Morning

IMG 7919IMG 7922IMG 7927IMG 7937This morning was my favourite kind.  Gracen woke up just past 7, we snuggled in bed until we were good and ready to start the day, and we made our way to the kitchen.  She sat on her toddler bench gobbling up wholewheat pancakes with peanut butter, and I threw a mix of green veggies and frozen fruit into the blender with a splash of cold water.  After breakfast, we gathered a blanket, a book, our smoothies and headed off for an adventure in the wagon. I snuck in some exercise by choosing the hilliest routes and made sure to pass by a park so Grae could have a good long play.  Afterwards we made our way to a local coffee shop where Grae slurped up a warm milk and I enjoyed my first iced coffee of the year.  Before heading home, I pulled the wagon {and my little love} through our local market and we filled it up with fresh fruits and veggies. She helped herself to bananas and clementines on the way home, and I enjoyed the sunshine, cool wind, and cherry blossoms overhead.  It was a good day.


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