The Evolution of a Playscape.

Alas, my big obtrusive play climber has cracks in it.  To much hot, cold, sun and rain. I can not say, that I was sad to see it go.  I am forever tired of saying “Up the ladder down the slide!”  What ever will we do with out a big obtrusive climber.  I have searched the web for creative more natural playscapes.  What I have found is anything goes, and it is completely up to what resources and imagination you have. With a bit of imagination, and very little money,  here is what we came up with.

King of the Mountain

I love the bales of straw, they are very versatile and cheap.  We have done many things with them so far.  I can’t wait to see how many other creative things we come up with.  Check out my earlier post on A Bale of Straw and the Green Fish.

Steps through the boiling hot lava past the mean snapping turtle.

I have these stones.  I have moved them several time through my yard.  They don’t really go with anything and there is not enough of them to do any major landscaping.  So, I decided we need some jumping stones.

A very fast road and a wall to walk around the world.

The only thing I had to buy was the wood which is  4 x 4, and the little stakes to keep it stable.  These were not expensive at all.  I just raked back my wood chips, and now I have a dirt path for our bikes, cars and running. I have not added the light sand that will help keep the road from getting to muddy.

Here are some of the things that I gained from the removal of the big obtrusive play climber.

  • I probably saved $200 or more, by not going out and buying another big obtrusive play climber.
  • A second play surface.  I had wood chips, now I have wood chips and a nice dirt path.  This is an important detail when you are working toward a CDA and Accreditation.
  • I have nice jumping stone and a balance beam wall.  Plus, with the nice wall that surrounds the wood chips.  I can finally show, “Yes I have more than enough wood chips, thank you!”

I have been more than pleased with the small transformation of my play yard.  I feel that more has been gained by these small transformations than by buying a large plastic thing that  has limited uses.  More natural, and imaginative play is what I find now.

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5 Responses to “The Evolution of a Playscape.”

  1. I think this article is excellent. Great advice. I think others will agree.

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  2. Oh my gosh! I love these ideas. I have (almost) that same plastic climber and it is cracked to pieces. I couldn’t bare to get rid of it because the kids love to climb. You have changed my mind, especially since I will have a bunch of school age kids this summer and they tear everything up.
    Thanks!

    Now, anything to change out a horrible metal swing set with?

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  3. Children seem to gravitate to the open-ended play possibilities that come with simpler, more natural “loose parts”, don’t they?

    I do have a large wooden climber, but also a big sand area with a boat, lots of stumps, and a big log.

    I have gotten to the point where I won’t buy anything plastic. I got tired of looking at it :)

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  4. I almost forgot,…..last week I added an outdoor art space. A wooden pallet, which was free, propped up against the garden fence and the kids use chalk on it! Works great!

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  5. I too, have been transforming into a natural playscape. The kids really do seem to like it more. I have some large tree “chunks” to play on, a board….that sometimes they put on a tree stump for a teetor toter…..and fairy houses. They LOVE to make fairy houses. Google it and see what they are. My husband is getting ready to cut some “blocks” out of some downed tree branches.

    The possiblities are so endless, and for the most part…CHEAP!

    Like

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