Yesterday we returned from a week in northern Wisconsin at my parents’ cabin. The entire time we are there they are engaged in some sort of outdoor activity: fishing, exploring the woods, watching the ducks and loons on the lake, swimming, throwing rocks into the water, climbing trees, and keeping the campfire lit. Every evening they crash, completely exhausted from a day spent exploring outside.
Now that we’re home our tiny yard doesn’t have the pull that the wooded lakeshore has. We have a few recently planted tiny trees, and a number of flower gardens (the wildflowers are the only ones that survived our 5 day absence–we’re in the middle of a drought). My husband and I are considering what to do with the shriveled plants that weren’t able to withstand the 100 degree heat and lack of water. Our current plan is to start designing a natural playscape in our back yard–places where the kids can dig, build, and explore. In August we’ll be heading out on a 3 week road trip to Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, and so whatever we do with the yard it’ll have to be able to withstand three weeks of neglect. I think a playscape is the way to go–the above article has a few ideas–I’d love to hear any other suggestions you may have.