I was inspired to do this when I first saw this blog post linked to on Pinterest. I finally got around to doing it; we had a very late start to summer but I wanted it ready for our July festivities (4th of July BBQ, kids’ birthdays, general summer fun…).
This was a super quick project. We already had the perfect spot for it. Our backyard is weirdly landscaped, so we had this random retaining wall here. Last summer it’s where we put the sand & water table, and the year before a kiddie pool. The grass was already dead as a result of that, so I just raked the area. I’m debating whether or not I want to put a bit of topsoil there, since the dirt is very… dirty? Okay, duh, I know. It’s just very fine dirt that is quite dusty and manages to get everywhere.
This was also a super cheap project. The fencing came from Lowes and was just a few bucks for each section (I like the look of the wooden fence on the original link, but went with what was cheaply and readily available, and I still like the look of the fence we chose). The little decorations were already on clearance at Target (my son helped pick those out, we went with a butterfly and a mushroom) and he wanted the flag one day when we were at Lowes for something else.
I added in some of our little gardening projects from the spring. The larger planter in there has a strawberry plant and a couple of carrots. There’s a mason jar growing a marigold (which is also a bug deterrent, I believe?) and the little ceramic pot has a lone hot pepper. I don’t have much of a green thumb, if you can’t tell… most of our starter plants died. I also picked up a citronella plant and planted that in there in hopes that it might help with mosquitoes (WHAT is with the bugs this year?!).
I threw in the Tonka trucks he got for Christmas and his gardening shovels and rakes, although those are sometimes used elsewhere. My husband tossed a few coins in there (treasures to dig up, I guess?), although those will need to be removed before our littlest plays in there. Oh, and there’s a disposable lasagna pan that we already had (pack of 2 from the Dollar Tree). Mud pies, anyone?
Okay, onto the photos. You can click on them to make them larger.
Here are the befores and what I had to work with.
And the afters.
Very pleased with the outcome, especially for it costing very little and only taking about 15 minutes to throw together. We have a sandbox, but I like that this involves the earth and plants and has a more nature-y feel to it. I like the idea of having a space where kids can dig in the yard and feel like they have their own place to freely explore. While the kids would have been welcome to use the space before, setting it up like this seems more inviting. My nephew was immediately drawn to it, so it must feel more welcoming this way (and kids know that it’s for them).
Major thanks to the imagination tree blog for giving me the idea. Check her out, there are lots of great kid ideas on there!