My kids love to explore and play in our yard. We’ve been hard at work on our massive yard project trying to get our yard to look better and be more functional. On a whim I decided to dedicate a space for the kids so they could dig in the dirt and play without destroying any of our new plants. This little discovery garden has become one of our favorite daily play spots and it cost nothing to create and took about ten minutes. Both kids love it and it gives them a sweet little place all their own that has become a home for all the treasures they find as well as the perfect spot for imaginative play.
We had a spot where weeds had already taken over near our patio. I used bricks left over from another project to border the space and had Bear help set it up. I told him that he could dig as much as he wanted in his discovery garden. I love that within the boundaries of this space he has the freedom to do whatever he wants. He chose wood scraps from our fire wood pile to add, and brought out some of his favorite rocks and shells to add to the garden.
We let the tiny flowering weeds take over and also planted wildflower seeds we are watching begin to sprout. Every day we check to see if they have grown. The Bear gets to water them and has really taken ownership of his little garden.
Every time we go on a walk, we come home with new treasures for his garden. His dinosaur and animal toys often come to play, and he loves to keep the birdhouse he built with Daddy in his garden.
The Pearl Girl loves to explore the discovery garden as well. She picks up rocks, sticks, and shells and you can see her processing each new object. As she grows I’m sure she will add more of her own touches to the space.
My favorite things about our little discovery garden are that the kids have the freedom to explore and get their hands dirty and play creatively. Whenever Bear asks if he can add something or do something in his garden I get to say yes. I’ve really been surprised by how much time he wants to spend in this one little spot that cost nothing to set up and took so little time to create. So many of my favorite childhood memories include playing and exploring outside. In my opinion a magical childhood doesn’t need to cost money or be stressful to create, kids just need freedom to explore within healthy boundaries.
What kind of spaces have you created for your kids to explore?
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