Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Thank You - Our New Play Structure

Our outdoor play space is continually evolving.....

(This photo is from June 2006 when we first moved in.)

I can't seem to locate the photos from 2008 when we had 19 tons of sand delivered! I'm sure all of the children remember the huge truck backing into the yard and dumping the HUGE mountain of sand that became our sandpit.

(This photo was taken in September 2009 after the completion of our new fence.)
As you can see the majority of our "stuff" is misplaced as we had to move it away from the perimeter for the fence work.

(This photo is from June of 2010, before we put in the new play structure.)

In early September, we were informed that we were eligible for a Quality Improvement Grant from the Great Start Regional Resource Center (4C of the UP). I could not in good conscience ask for anything to use indoors. (Have you been to our place? We seriously have a lot of resources!). We have however been working on changing our outdoor space, and there have been some recent requests for a treehouse. We don't have a very good tree for a treehouse, so we found a great outdoor play structure with a tower that will have to suffice! (For those of you who are not right here in the local area, We live one block from a local park. Prior to the installation of our new structure, we spent a lot of time using the city's play equipment. We will still visit the park, but it is nice to have some of our own "big" equipment in the yard. The park does not have a fence around it, so having this equipment in our yard makes the experience much safer.)

The new structure came as a pile of wood and a box of hardware. The box, was conveniently missing the instructions. Fortunately, we were able to get a set of the instructions from the company.

After 3 weeks of difficulties with the weather. (It rained A LOT!) We finally finished the structure! It has a great climbing wall (we added extra "stones" to aid our smaller children in having a successful climb).
There is a really cool yellow slide that goes really fast!

We have two swings. On one side there is a infant/transition swing, and on the other side a regular swing.

The tower is like a fort with a periscope, telescope, and steering wheel.

We have also added quite a few other things to our play space.

We put up an outdoor easel on the fence last spring.

Inspired by other bloggers and folks who work with young children, we created a Mud Pie Kitchen. (See more about this here.)

With some ideas from other bloggers, The U.P. Children's Museum, and some of our own ingenuity, we created an outdoor music area. (You can read more about this here.)

Our outdoor learning space has definitely come a long way! Don't worry, we are still evolving! Stay tuned, our next big addition is on it's way!

Thank you to the Great Start Regional Resource Center for providing the necessary funds to update our play area!

We would also like to thank all of the other early childhood educators (parents and professionals) for sharing all of their ideas and continuing to inspire us to evolve :).


jenny said...

love, love, love!

Scott said...

Your outdoor space is really great! I'm sure the kids will help it continue to change and grow.

My friend died

 I learned a hell of a lot from Dan Hodgins.  He was mentor, a friend, and a "bone shaker" for many of us in the field of Early Ch...