We have been working on the backyard at our house since we have moved in. It had grass growing wild in the back, but we knew it had great bones. As the fall arrived I began to think about how the kids can enjoy these outdoor play spaces even in the winter. Over the last couple years we (and by we I mean my husband) have built this
and this for the kids.
I am pretty sure that our backyard is fully equipped for children to run around and play. As you can see in the pictures above the only problem was that there was a lot of dirt everywhere. Now, in the summer it is fine because the kids love playing in the water if they get dirty, but in the winter it becomes one big mud pit back there. No good! I had asked my husband what he thought and we decided to put gravel back there. We decided to put pea gravel around the house, swing set and the other play areas and ordered 2.5 yards of pea gravel and used 2.5 yards of crushed granite to create a walkway to the play area. In all honesty I didn't know how the pea gravel would work out. I didn't know if the kids would throw it, only walk on it, play in it, eat it, who knows! I just knew that I could not have all that mud back there again. I have been extremely happy with the choice. The kids love to play in it. It is like sand but better! They dig in it, pour it, walk on it, rake it, and build with it. I didn't know it would be so fun for them. So with some ground rules in place (ie. no throwing rocks, eating rocks, putting them in the lawn etc.) we have been very happy with our choice. It also allows us to not have muddy feet in the winter and a happy mama, double score!
Here are some pictures of it in process.
We created a walkway with flexible edging that was easy to install and put the crushed limestone as the path.
We also purchased a ton of bark to cover pretty much our whole backyard. Bark is great to help with moisture retention in the summer and it also helps keep the weeds down. It gives the kids some boundaries as to where they can and cannot walk.
The finished product. I am hoping that this will be super practical for the fall and winter and allow the kids to still play outside!
I also had to throw in a picture of my dad mowing our lawn holding our son. Our son LOVES The lawn mower!
I know I am a bit late, but our oldest started Kindergarten. The days can be long, but the years are truly short.