Our goal for the next twelve months is to create a play space for Will. He’s gotta help build it of course. He’s two, now; learn to swing a hammer already, kid. One of the main reasons we bought a house with land is that we want our kids playing in the backyard, getting dirty, and realizing that there is more to life than the Disney Channel.
Living out here in the country makes it a little hard to visit community playgrounds. So why not bring the play to our own grounds, right? Community playgrounds have been a great source of inspiration for us. By visiting several in our county, we learned what we like, what we think is a little too dangerous, and what toys strike our fancy. This all leads me to The List.
I make lists about everything, and play areas are no exception. Here are some things we wrote down on our dream play area wish list.
1. Jungle Gym
There is nothing more fun to a young kid than having his own space to monkey around. Learning to hang, swing, climb, slide, and balance are not only great for physical development, but also great for teaching that fun activity includes more than a TV remote. We definitely want a jungle gym that has all the fixin’s, such as electricity so we can plug in our fans during a Georgia heatwave and for when our future tweens need escape to their own space. We also want it to have a slide, a rope for climbing, a rock wall, and easy access wide stairs (for mom’s old knees). And a zip line for when Will gets older . . . say, three.
Will is already completely infatuated with sand and sandboxes. With a little proper planning, we hope we’ll be able to squeeze in a sandbox near the jungle gym and have storage (maybe under the jungle gym) for buckets, shovels, and all the necessary sand accouterments.
3. Rest Area
Let’s face it, I am at the beginning of my baby-bearing timeline. If we want four to six little ones, Mommy is gonna need a rest area. Also known as the police station. And first aid station. And kisses-for-boo boos station. Hopefully, we can also squeeze in a rest area complete with a picnic table for snacks and breaks, a couple large shade trees to keep us all cool, and a hammock in the shade for me to lay, nurse, and relax.
4. Multipurpose Court
We were surprised to find that this house came with its own tennis court. Technically speaking, it’s not a regulation-size court, but for non-pros like us, it’s perfect for getting out there to hit a few balls. Ideally, we would love to convert the court into a multi-use court. This will be perfect when the kids get older. Jeremy has plans for movable basketball goals and lines drawn for tennis, foursquare, badminton, volleyball, pickle-ball, and, of course, half-court basketball.
5. The Creek & Woods
The main reason we loved this piece of property was that it has a creek running through the back woods. It has flat rock that is just perfect for wading and chasing frogs and floating boats down over mini waterfalls. It’s my favorite place on earth, and I still can’t believe it’s ours. We already have enjoyed frequent trips with our water shoes strapped on, but in the future, I’d love to have clear paths cut for four-wheeling, a bench built near the water for relaxing, and perhaps a stationary post with hooks to hang our bags and towels and a recycling/trash box for any trash that floats downstream.
6. Secret Garden
When we redid the landscaping near our mailbox, we discovered a bunch of extra rocks that we moved to a secluded little area near our veggie garden. I’d love to convert this area into a “secret garden” for Will and his future siblings. Kids love planting, watering, and watching things grow, so why not give them their own space to do it, right?! I hope to get loads of pots, some outdoor mats for seating, and perhaps a tee-pee for the kids to sit under while their garden grows.