Portrait of Play, Week 27

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We have spent more time in our backyard this summer than ever before. We started making a play hut with tree branches last summer, and somehow it stayed up through the year. While it was more my project last year, the kids I care for made it their own this summer. They spent days making a path to it, creating a lush carpet of weeds, and decorating the interior and exterior. They made a seesaw for their play yard from objects they found, and they planted impatiens in an old tire they drug over. Landscaping has been at the very end of our very long renovation list, and we are getting closer to being able to invest time and energy into it. James recently began clearing away more of the back section of our property and found concrete stairs leading to a patio. With romantic notions of The Secret Garden, I’m looking forward to exploring more of what might be hidden beneath years and years of unrestricted kudzu growth, and I hope by next year, we will be able to play in the creek as well.

Winnie especially loves being outside. She often brings me her shoes to put on and goes to the door. She squeals when those actions effectively move us all outside. She spends most of her time playing in the little house, splashing and trying to drink the water from the play sink, and peek-a-booing out the windows and doors. The older kids have been setting up their play hut area, digging, and playing in the sand. They worked carefully together to make tunnels that they could put their hands in and meet in the middle. The girls are so lucky that they get to spend their summer days with their cousins and other big kids who are out of school. Our days are so much richer when we get to share them with others.

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