Monday, May 13, 2013

Outdoor Nature-Based Play Spaces

We ordered a wood play set for the kids. Frankly, the research involved in this purchase was just as thorough and time-consuming as it was when we purchased our first home. But after weighing all the pro's and con's (price, quality, add-ons' and accessories), we decided on a small, yet sturdy set that will hopefully last us a few years until the kids outgrow it.

But aside from the play set I want to add a lot of other elements to our backyard. Unique and creative items that will help the kids stretch their imagination to new heights. Therefore, I am doing a lot of research looking for "fun backyard" ideas. I thought I'd share some of my favorite find with you!

I am loving this post on "How to Create an Irresistible Outdoor Playspace for Children" by Jenny at Let the Children Play.  I am loving the idea of "loose parts play". The idea is to take a variety of items (natural or not) to give the kids a way to explore and be creative and independent. Jenny explains the theory perfectly in this post.

Credit ~ Let the Children Play
I am even trying to find "Natural Building Blocks" (logs and large branches cut into various widths to make stumps and "blocks". I love this post on Modern Parents Messy Kids where they talk about their cool ideas on the subject.

Credit ~ Modern Parents Messy Kids
Another cool element I have found is adding water play to the play area. We already have a pretty basic water table, but I am hoping to incorporate it into a cool water wall like this one I found on the Play Based Learning site. 
Credit ~ Play Based Learning

Our local Feed Store sells Fairy Garden Supplies, and even often holds workshops to show you how to get your Fairy Gardens started. I have found though that they can be pretty pricey, so I am hoping to create a more thrifty version over the summer. Allowing the kids to be creative and find small, unique items that we can transform into something like this.

Credit ~ Miniature Garden Shoppe

Is nature based play a priority on your summer bucket list with your kids?

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