Natural Playgrounds

Natural Playgrounds

There’s a new phenomenon with playgrounds these day called “Natural Playgrounds.” Parks are starting to create play areas for kids made entirely (or mostly entirely) of things found in nature ~ teeter-totters made from tree logs, climbing areas made from logs, tic tac toe boards carved into tree stumps, etc. They are really cool areas and a nice change from the standard metal play structures, plus, it’s always nice and shady back in the woods! Major bonus for our fair-skinned fam 🙂

Those trees!!! I could have brought a book and sat amongst the fall colors for hours 🙂

This weekend was gorgeous outside – leaves changing, cool breeze but sunny – perfect for a trip to one of these natural playgrounds. Eli wanted his cousin Cam to come with us, so we swung by his house and added another kiddo to our troop for the afternoon. The biggest blessing in life is having cousins the same age living just 5 minutes away! Eli and Ava are both blessed to have that, as I was growing up as well. It’s like built-in brothers and sisters but mom and dad only have to take care of 2 of them 🙂 Hahaha! Ok, so off we headed to Blendon Woods Metro Park to spend some time in nature. The kids started on the Ninja Course – cargo nets, tight rope areas, tire swing, and so many climbing opportunities!

Ava eventually made it to the top also 🙂
Cousin fun on the tire swing!
Teeter totter in the woods ~ it was all fun and games until Eli was up in the air and Ava jumped off causing Eli to slam down to the ground. Classic move.

After the Ninja Course and a couple play areas along the trail, we finally made it to the BEST part of the playground – the ZIPLINE! Definitely a highlight of Blendon Woods! It’s a completely free, unmanned zipline that uses a pulley system to bring the wood swing back to the top. It seems intimidating at first (at least to the parents it does!) but the wood swing makes it easy for the kids to hold on without worrying they will lose their grip like a traditional zipline with just a bar to hold onto. Of course, Eli and Cam wanted to know how they could go as fast as the adults did, so Sam suggested they double up on the swing to have more weight. Much to their delight, it worked like a charm to send them flying fast down the line and bounce back at the end. Boys!

We had a terrific day exploring, and stay tuned for part 2 of our trip through the woods when we did some Geocaching! Another FUN, FREE family activity to get outside 🙂

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