I vacillate between wanting the back sleek and uncluttered and wanting the kids to use it to their heart's content. While we can walk to Stacy Park together and they can roam the (sometimes littered sometimes creepy) creek there, they don't really have a "wild" spot near home they can explore without an adult except the back yard. Since our house was built in 1950, there not much wilderness left in the yard. I try to attract bees/butterflies/beneficial insects, and the local cardinals, doves and other birds like the bird feeder. But I've found myself having to build/create activity spaces for the kids.. The sandbox is shown above, usually covered by a bright oilcloth to keep it from turning into a litterbox. It was a hit with Noah the last few days as we buried treasure (hardware and glitter bracelets) again and again. I'd like to enlist his help in making a water run with old bottles, or hanging the scrap metal he and his brother pick up on walks to make a music area.. but that would create clutter, so I am conflicted..
The boys have enjoyed balancing on logs we "rescued" from Johnny's yard last fall (after he sold the house next door and the construction people cleared some trees). Unfortunately they've also enjoyed climbing the mountain laurel, which is still too spindly for their weight. It lost a small branch or two over the weekend. We only have two climbable trees, really- the front yard Red oak and the hackberry in the back. The sycamore is far too immense, and all the other peripheral trees are tiny and thin, or have straight featureless trunks.
Alex has surprised me by wanting to play baseball in the back recently. I used to worry he couldn't throw (he can now). Catching is still a work in progress.
That will be me for a few hours this week and I get gaps and breaks in my work schedule. Lolling, sniffing the dirt, arranging some rocks...