Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Exploratory Garden

One of my goals for our yard this year was to make an exploratory garden for the girls.
I've seen the idea in several different forms floating all over Pinterest and decided to make
it our own.  It was a very inexpensive and simple project that the girls are LOVING.
Here's what we did:
Step 1:  I picked this shady, unused flowerbed for a couple of different reasons.  I wanted
the garden to be in the shade because Louisiana summers are brutally hot and this play
area will give the girls respite from the heat.  It's also right next to our back patio and
Brees' outdoor kitchen, making it easier for us to keep an eye on them.

Step 2: I raked up all the mulch, moved the existing stones to create a barrier from the rest
of the flowerbed, and then tilled the soil.


Step 3: I added a hefty amount of dirt to the now barricaded play area, enough for the girls
to do lots of digging and burying and sorting.  I planted a few shade loving plants to add
texture and so that the girls would have living things to water and nurture.  In reality,
these little plants will most likely get trampled and/or picked apart by Brees so I made sure
to find plants that are pretty hardy and inexpensive.

Step 4: I added lots of fun little do-dads, some things that we already had around the yard
and a couple of new items that I picked up in the dollar section of the supermarket. 

Pretty rocks leftover from Isabelle's fish aquarium, perfect for sorting into patterns, burying, and building watering holes.


Jungle animals, dinosaurs, and plenty of shovels and trowels.

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Sand sifters for finding buried treasure.

Pretty pinwheels for decoration and a best friend to oversee all the creativity.

I barely had enough time to get everything in and ready before the girls pushed me aside
and got to work making the space their own.  I gave them buckets of water and a couple of
lawn chairs, made myself a cup of tea, sat back and watched them go.  They played for a
little over an hour, a lifetime in kids's time, and I never heard a single argument, complaint,
or demand.  I hope that this little play area will encourage their imaginations, stimulate
their senses, allow for plenty of role play, and serve as an excellent source of learning
about plants and insects and all things green.  Happy exploring, my little gardeners!!

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Caitlin A. said...

What a neat idea! I've never heard of this before :)

Chrissy Z. said...

What a great idea and it looks like they had a blast! xxx

Olivia said...

So fun, right?! Now come over and play in it!!

Olivia said...

So simple and fun! They are loving it!

Olivia said...

It's like a free pass to get as dirty and crazy as you want. It's awesome!

Vanessa said...

I love this idea. A treat for the kids AND for you. I love it when I can sit back and let Alexa play ... if only she had a sibling to play with. Fingers crossed for someday soon!

P.S. Brees' hair is so cute — the little flippies!