I owe you all a winner! Why doesn't anyone remind me of these things? Good grief.
WINNER of Nature Smart IS....comment #33 (thank you random.org).....Butterfly Wishes and Wonderland Dreams! You have 48 hours to send me an email with your address so I can get the book in the mail to you.
Thanks to everyone that commented and helped spread the word!
On to some before photos. Today while the girls were having some outdoor playtime I decided to take some before photos of some areas of our yard that I am going to be giving a complete makeover this year.
First up is our garden. Right now it looks like this!
But eventually it will be a raised bed garden filled with tomatoes, peppers, green beans, flowers and carotts. There will be stepping stones leading to the garage door and a beautiful urn-style rainbarrel on the far end. The rain barrel has a planter in the top where we will plant some basil. That big bush will get moved to another part of the yard (maybe, if we can get it out).
Another part of the yard that I am excited about is this area.
Right now it is just a cluster of evergreen trees (including an amazing blue spruce) and a dumping ground for old broken swingset parts. Not a fun or safe place to play. BUT when I am done with this area it will be a cozy little hideout complete with seating and room to move around. We will dismantle the old climbing structure and trim back the lowest branches to open it up a bit more. I think the girls are going to love this area, at least I hope they do!
We are also going to be adding a mud kitchen but I haven't completely decided where that is going to go, so no before photo of that one! The girls are excited to start working on these areas and to have new places to play. I think Sam is getting frustrated that we just keep talking about; everytime we go outside I mention the garden or her "hideout"!
Are you making any changes to your backyard this year to enhance your children's outdoor play? Or do you already have great natural playscapes? I would love hear about what you have or what you are planning!
The Nitty Gritty!
This post was actually inspired by Butterfly Wishes and Wonderland Dreams. She posted about the fairy hideout her girls were creating and it got me thinking that I should share my ideas for our outdoor play space as well! I am hoping she will be posting soon about all the AMAZING changes she told me she is making to the rest of their yard this year because it is going to be incredible. I wish I was her kid!
For some great ideas of things you can do to your outdoor space you can check out these sites.
Let the Children Play - Series on How to Create Irresistable Play Spaces for Children
Forestry Commission - Nature Play