I love how today’s play space shows the huge potential for family fun, play and learning an average, suburban backyard can have.
Where is the space? Victoria, Australia
Tell us a little about how your children use and play in this space
Our backyard space is a work in progress. We have laid beautiful turf and installed a cubbyhouse and a trampoline, but the rest of the backyard remains untouched. The siblings who share this backyard space have very different interests and talents, but the backyard is a haven for them both where there is so much for them to do.
Cammy is an imaginative, creative, cautious and contemplative five year old girl in her first year of school. She likes to create, get messy and role-play in the cubbyhouse, and uses most nooks of the backyard to enter imaginative worlds. Ike is two years old. He is quick, fearless, musical and energetic. He loves to climb the stairs to the cubbyhouse, jump on the trampoline, explore behind the shed and the sides of the house, and play and make music with his sports equipment.
What are you and your children’s favourite elements within this play space?
Whilst we have added some wonderful features to our backyard, Cammy loves the empty garden beds, unpainted fences and unstructured space under the cubby house, which provide blank canvases for her creativity and imagination.
Ike just loves the space and the variety. For a modest, urban backyard, there is ample opportunity for him to jump, climb, run and kick balls…things he loves most of all.
My husband loves his lush lawn.
Choosing my own favourite was a no-brainer. It’s the cubby house. It replicates and extends our home beautifully and provides a range of opportunities for diverse play and learning.
How does this space reflect your beliefs about how children play and learn?
Play is quite simply a joyful part of my children’s’ days, and it prepares them so well for life and learning. As a parent I have learned not to place too many restrictions on my children’s play. This is much more realistic outdoors than in.
Our backyard, while bared-boned but beautiful, gives our children the opportunity to safely explore, experiment, create, move and play freely. As a family, we can be together while still pursuing our own interests.
Head over to My Little Bookcase to find out more.
About Jackie: Jackie is an experienced classroom teacher. Currently on family leave, she spends each day in the company of her two enthusiastic children. Jackie manages My Little Bookcase, an online resource that aims to model and provide parents and educators with fun and positive ways to engage their children in literacy-building activities. She is also an educational consultant for Story Box Library, an online reading room showcasing Australian literature. For more inspiration, connect with Jackie on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
Check out the previous Our Play Space posts…