Monday 30 March 2015

DIY play area stepping logs

Spring is here and the dirt digging sisters are back in action.  Shannon has completed a very early prep. of her vegetable bed, turning the soil and doing some planting.  She is 8 months pregnant.  I guess some people "nest" at this stage while others garden. 

On my side of town I started a new backyard project.  My parents recently had some trees taken down on their property and I spotted some nice sections of a log.  They looked like they would make perfect stepping logs for the kids in the backyard.  Dad dropped them off and I hauled them to the back yard.  I also had a stock pile of other logs from a friend who took down a large pine.  Below is me digging the last hole for the last log. 

Below: I am placing a log into one of the hole.  If you look closely you can see my fresh manicure.  I'm glad there is a picture of it for posterity as my purple nails did not last long.  The final step, not pictured, is me jumping up and down on the logs to make sure they were settled into place.  This took more balance and skill then I imagined.
Some people may view this structure as a bit risky for kids, it has  uneven and rough surfaces which could pose harm.  Even my Dad who seemed more than OK with his own kids playing in the creek, tree tops and a fire pit without supervision warned me that the surface of the logs could get slippery for the grandkids.  With reports of swings being removed from playgrounds for fear of injury (and liability)  the counter viewpoint is recognising that kids need to have opportunities for some degree of risk  in  play and exploring. Here is an interesting article that reports "emerging research suggests that imposing too many restrictions on children’s outdoor risky play hinders their development."

Interestingly my almost 3 year old son, enthusiastically, wobbly stepped from log to log.  He paused on the lowest log (about 3 inches off the ground) smiled at me and successfully landed a jump.  He beamed and I smiled back as he raced to do it all over again.