Sweet Summer

As teachers, it is a privilege to have our summers at home with our little guy… and we know it. We drink it in, every exciting or mundane moment. This summer, as with many, we have a list of things to do, places to go, people to see, and simple experiences to enjoy.

One big family project has been our front yard. We are transforming it from a “blah” piece of lawn and random flowers to an intentional space full of edibles, pollinator favorites, and fun features to engage our toddler. Here are some pictures of the progress:

We also have a larger goal of turning our yard as a whole into a playscape for the the little dude. Currently we have a withering wooden swing set, a DIY balance beam, sandbox, some stumps, a mud kitchen, a play tent and pea tipi for shade, and a dig pit area with an assortment of digging and collecting tools. In our porch our toddler enjoys his easel and a nature table for his collections, as well as an assortment of natural loose parts (bark, logs, sticks, pinecones, rocks, etc.)

I would love to build a play den, but for the moment that feels a bit daunting, and our boy doesn’t seem that into “localized” (ya know, where they stay in one place) play. So instead, my next project (besides fixing and maintaining what already exists…which, phew, is sometimes enough) is to build a simple bridge over our irrigation canal that will allow the little guy to access the water a bit more independently. He loves splashing in the water, going fishing, and throwing things in the water to watch them sink or float.  That is the dream, now to crank it out before school starts!

Our garden is a place where we snack, observe insects, work together, and soak in the natural beauty of plants and chickens doing their thang 🙂 We hope to eventually adding a small raised bed garden for our little guy to take ownership of. I am hoping that this will be a place of wonder for him to plant and care for self-selected crops.

An outdoor music station and more options for climbing are also big on the list, as well as maybe even an additional water feature…a DIY water table or rain gutter water wall?? Stay tuned for what we actually end up accomplishing and experiencing together this summer!

Now, as a note/reminder, I share what we are doing only because I LOVE seeing what others are up to and feel so inspired when someone is tackling something that looks daunting, or trying something I would never have thought of on my own. The sharing of ideas between families and communities keeps my journey as a mama fresh and fun!

SO….What places do you like to play in your space? What makes an inviting outdoor space to you?

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