Today I rolled some big cut logs that never got chopped and put them by my garden. My little ones LOVE the challengs of climbing and jumping from thing to thing, and these big logs seemed like the perfect, free, natural thing for them to play on. As they get more nimble, I can easily scoot the logs further apart. As it is, my kids had a BLAST. My son would jump from big log to big log and then to the ground, hopping like a from from "lilly pad" to "lily pad." My daughter loved walking in circles from log to log and then holding my hand and jumping down. I was amazed at how quickly she became more and more nimble, making less errors and needing less help!
Climbing up and climbing down!
See that herb spiral just feet from the logs? It's a perfect place for a snack!
We got a load of gravel and used it to make a gravel bed for the kids to scoop and dump in. We were torn about putting down a layer of something under the gravel, but settled on just weeding really well and applying a thick layer of gravel. We did use some broken granite slabs that we'd gotten for free to act as a barrier to hopefully keep blackberry from growing in the sides (we laid them down first along the edges and then covered with the boarder logs and gravel). For the boarder logs, we used some old cedar trees we'd cut and debarked a few years back, as well as some cedar stumps from our ring of stumps. These holds back the gravel, and also give a place for us to sit. We even sat and ate our lunch there today!
So far, the kids are loving it. As I was filling it up with gravel, my son brought over his dumptruck to the gravel pile and filled it with his shovel and then pushed it all the way to their gravel pit to dump it. Then they fboth started scooping and dumping with their shovels while I brought over more gravel in my wheel barrow.
Once I got the stumps set up, my kids decided these were fantastic for climbing on and jumping off of. The gravel is a bit softer to land in than the grass or the floor in our house, so they really had fun with this.
Eventually, I would like to build a raised bed on the south side of it, and erect a trellis (you might notice some black metal in the background. That's a trellis we were given), and grow kiwis over the pit. It'll give us a shady place to play in the hot summer months, and a place to grow kiwis. That's my hope, anyway!