I have been wanting to create a playground area for the boys for a while now, but am no fan of big brightly colored plastic contraptions that litter the yard. After some searching for ideas online, I came across something new to me: natural playgrounds.
Natural playgrounds blend native material, vegetation, and landforms to create a play area that connects kids to the natural world through unstructured free play. Plus they look really cool.
We plan to create many of these natural play areas throughout the property over the next few years, but will be starting with the small backyard first. We already have some logs to use, and can get some boulders (eventually), but what I really wanted to do first is put a slide into the hill like this:
I didn’t want to use one of the short, plastic slides you can find stocked in your home improvement stores. But after an quick search online for stainless steel slides, I learned they cost well over $1000. Ouch! So I started casually searching for used ones. To my amazing luck, I found one for sale in our local Facebook classifieds page and got it yesterday for only $200! Fantastic deal. I can’t wait to put it into the hillside and see the kids’ faces!
I had an awesome childhood that was spent climbing trees, digging in dirt, and exploring the woods in upstate New York. We’re fortunate to have acreage here in Washington so my kids can have an equally fulfilling childhood. Adding natural play areas throughout the property will make it that much more special. Let the work begin!