My last look at centers happens to be using the outside to set up centers. I must say I am a bit old school and never actually thought of the outside as a place to put centers--it was usually recess time!
I think the centers Ms. Cornwell talks about sound so fun. She does state that outside centers require a bit more "work." You will need storage space, plus time to set up and dismantle if need be. This is where outside centers would be a challenge for us. Our facility is located on the second floor of an old church. It takes a bit of a walk to get to the play area. Then, there is no storage for us on the first floor level, which would make it difficult to be carrying items up and down--(and I am no spring chicken). Outside centers is a place where I would need to get creative.
So what are some centers mentioned?
A place for mud, sand, and water. In this center one would need tubs, pumps, buckets, sprinklers, paint brushes, cans, shovels, etc. Just a fun place to let the children enjoy water and mud. Are you envisioning what I'm envisioning?
A woodworking center. This center works inside too, but since it can get noisy it may be better outside.
A laundry center. Here you would need to put up a child height clothesline, have some clothes pins, a washtub, washboard, Ivory soap, and some doll clothes. Put everything together, the children have a great time, and the dolls have some clean clothes!
A service station for wheel toys. This would be like a car wash station. Another place you would need water. You would also want some buckets, soap, and rags. Again, a dual purpose, great time, clean toys.
Some other fun items to have for the outside are hula hoops, a parachute, wheel toys, climbing apparatus, and a place for dramatic play. One center was even able to transport blocks inside and out which added a new dimension to block play.
So if you can muster up some vigor and creativity, try one of these fun centers and watch the faces light up!