As we all know, toddlers have “stuff” in the works at Maxis but right now the playtime offerings are a little light. We are going to take a look at creating spaces that have a toddler feel for the backyard like a playhouse. This is more of an inspirational tutorial. Hopefully the examples below from my “The Break” vacation house will start you on the road to your own creations. If you are going to build as we go please start by activating the “MOO” cheat. Press SHIFT/CTRL/C at the same time on your keyboard. A command box will open at the top of the page. Type in “BB.MoveObjects On”. This will enabled you to place items like the fountain heads and the door to the playhouse.
Play Yard Tutorial:
In this case I started with a patch of desert and marked off an “irrigated” landscape area for the toddlers to play in. The smaller one I outlined with the Green Privacy Hedge fencing from the Base Game (BG). This is where my “splash pad” is located. The “playhouse” will sit in the larger green space. This space is outlined with white Smooth Keeper fencing (BG). The outline isn’t necessary but from a visual design standpoint it helps anchor the space to the ground. (Grid Picture 1)
We’ll fill in the splash pad first using Cool as a Cucumber Marble Tile (BG). I use it because I think it has a certain feel and look of moisture. Then simply place a few fountains about. In this case the Small Dancing Water Emitters (BG) and the Feeling Froggy Fountains from Backyard Stuff (BS). Lastly I drop in the toddler duck play toys so that they have something to play with on the pad. (Grid Picture 2)
Next we will start on the playhouse by setting three walls to define it. I’m only doing a 2×2 space. You want to keep the size diminutive in line with the size of the toddlers themselves. As well, use the largest size of the “half walls” in build mode as oppose to full size walls. I do a version of this for children that is 3×3 with full size walls. I color the walls with Country Field Stone (BG) because I am going for a Windenberg look and cap them with white stone. (Grid Picture 3) Then I mark off a patio and pave it with Throwback Cobblestone & Brick Pavers (BG). (Grid Picture 4)
Before I moved inside I decide to place a selection of outdoor items to insure the patio space was large enough. I’ve used Neighborly Window Boxes (BG) and Tri-Piary from Get Together (GT) for flowers. I also put in Birdy Trotz’s Bird Feeder and the Wind Chimes of Windemere (BS). Gnome Matter What I’m Still Your Baby is waiting to greet you at the door (BG). Lastly I set up the No Coasters Needed Coffee table from Get To Work (GTW), two Kindermade Chairs and RAW Antique Teapot (both BG) for pretend “tea”. There’s also one of the Mrs. Meowness toddler toys tucked down by the flower box for play as well.
Following we will turn back to the structure. First, I anchor the corners of the structure with the First Clue Spire (GT). Again this is not necessary but it gives the build a detailed and defined look. (Grid Picture 2) Second, I add The Kitty Corner Casement windows (BG) to all three walls. I also place them both inside the building and outside so that there are shutters on both sides of the wall. (Grid Picture 3) It looks a little more fairy tale to me to do so. As well, if this was a real life build I could just see an angry little toddler stomping off to his play house and slamming the shutters closed inside- lol.
I do some interior decor next. It doesn’t require much, just as in a real playhouse. I placed the Traveling Chest from Kids Stuff (KS) for toys and Pillow Fluff from City Living (CL) to give them a place to sit. Long John Buttercups Wall Sconce (BG) provides nighttime lighting while the floor is covered in Styled Parquet from Vampires (V). (Grid Picture 4)
To finish the playhouse I add the Arched Victorian Double Door (V). I place this floating in the open space. I do not add a fourth wall there. The gap at the top looks like a natural ventilation gap. It’s also easier to access the interior. (Grid Picture 1) Then top the structure with the Ahhhh-ning (GT) to act as a roof. I stick it to the back wall on the interior and then lift it up into place. The very last thing is Jony’s Second Chimney (GT). Lift the build grid up a floor and place the chimney as you normally would on the roof of a standard house. (Grid Picture 2)
I added the “sandbox” for a little more effect. First I outlined a rectangle. I wouldn’t go too big if you are aiming for realism. (Grid Picture 3) I terrain paint the interior of the rectangle with Sand Castle Dream (BG). Then I place several toys that look like stuff I’d find in my son’s sand box. I activate the SHO cheat “BB.ShowHiddenObjects”. This gives me access to items not in the Build/Buy catalog. In this case I searched for “spoons” and placed a couple to give the idea of digging in the sand. (Grid Picture 4) Use the search box to look for things like “bowl” or “spoon”. Anything a toddler might play with outside in the dirt. The spoons are just a storytelling device. They’re cute and provide a sense of realism.
So, that is mine and your new Toddler Spring play area. I really like this look as a great background for toddlers to play with what they already have in the game. I hope this inspires your imagination to develop other things for your sims. As always, please feel free to share any examples of your builds below. If you have any questions you can ask there as well and I am always available on Twitter @JasonSterling70
If you would like to see more of “The Break” vacation build you can see additional pictures here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/MyWorldofSims/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1245358095579612
It’s available to download here: https://www.thesims.com/en_GB/gallery/04CF1EBF23CE11E782533423E325F46A?category=all&searchtype=ea_origin_id&sortby=newest&time=all&searchquery=tonysterling&max=50&maxis=false