FUNSHINE home away from home
This past year our playground has shown more wear, mostly due to weather, but also due to time. Our staggered logs are decaying some, but it is a learning experience for the children as they chip away the bark to discover bugs, decay and what the inside of logs/trees look like.
Our FUNSHINE Wharf boat also needed to be replaced, so I found a used sailboat to replace our old, weathered, wooden one. It has masts and sails. We made a weaving area using branches as the frame. The children weave grass, twigs, and flowers and strategically include other decorative items found on the playground such as flowers and pinecones, even ladybugs and other treasures.
Our plan for this season is to use chicken wire to sculpt different animals and grow ivy, vines or willow in and around them so they “come to life”. These will be placed around the playground for the children to water and care for as they watch the vines grow and envelop the structure.
We will also be adding more loose materials to our Construction Annex for added imaginative play. Items included will be tires, loose boards, gutter scraps, tarps, and PVC. Nature scavenger hunt is a popular activity we do often using a rebus guide. Cloud gazing, while relaxing on a blanket, is done every day the clouds are ‘fluffy’ and moving with the wind.
Our magical Fairy Garden is prepped yearly by a family and is the highlight of spring as the children carefully place the fairies, gnomes and elements. They know it is their special garden to interact with it daily by moving things around as if it were their own little magical place. I often go out before the children have arrived and move things a bit as if the fairies and gnomes were working and playing through the night! We plant wildflowers and succulents for ground cover and add beauty and rehome worms and ladybugs as we find them.
The playground is always open for families to enjoy with their children and we continue to host an annual family BBQ and Easter egg hunt. Two enrolled families help care for our vegetable garden by weeding it regularly. The children help water the plants daily and harvest the fruits of our labor as the plants ripen. We all know if the children plant it, care for it and harvest it, they are more likely to eat it!