Since the snow melted I have not done a major overhaul of the back yard but I have made some significant changes. Several weeks ago I rearranged the storage area for the loose parts. Now it is more spread out instead of all being clumped together;
More recently I rearranged the larger components like the tipi and the seating area. They had been arranged like this;
I repositioned them to this configuration;
Which opens up the centre of the gravel area to improve the flow;
And has the seating area in a more secluded and shady space — hard to show with a picture taken on a cloudy day;
You may have noticed that something else is missing — the slide is no longer on the hill. We had been having some issues with stability of the slide and soil erosion on the hill. I’ve left the slide loose in the yard so the children can still use it;
It has been interesting watching them find a spot to position the slide and check the stability before climbing on. There had been some reckless behaviour on the slide when they thought it was firmly attached to the hill. Now they are taking responsibility for assessing the risk instead of having me continually redirect them.
We’ve also now got some cribbing around the base of the hill which has made it a more inviting place to play. Yesterday they used the cribbing as a place for the snakes to go to get a drink of water;
I’m hoping that once the plants grow more the animals will play in the ‘jungle’ too. Up until now the children seem to have viewed the plants on the hill as a decoration and not an area to play — that was not my intention. Playing with animals in the garden is one of my most vivid childhood memories.
There are some more changes and additions that I am considering for the playspace. They will happen gradually as I observe how the children interact within the space.