This project is a bit more nuts-and-boltsy, but not too difficult. Take a few plastic barrels (you can get plastic barrels from your local food warehouse that might pack olives or veggie oil). Wash them, trim them to whatever size you want and mount legs to the bottoms (or not- they still sound interesting). You could also mount them permanently in the ground or bolt them to a fence. Or you could build a wooden stage and attach them as a permanent feature. BOOM! BOOM!
5 Nearly Free Do-It-Yourself Playscape Projects
Here are five simple projects to start you on your way toward a multi-sensory natural playscape. They’re not difficult or complex. They just take a little bit of creativity and time. Alter them to suit your own needs and licensing requirements. Do you have any parents who could help you? Spirited staff? Don’t forget to include children in the process.
Planting bulbs is a strange and mysterious experience, especially for children. It sounds crazy, but you take muddy onion/potato-looking things and stick them in the ground at the end of the growing season. Then you wait or forget about them and hunker down for winter. Tick tock tick tock, spring comes along and so does a pleasant surprise. Green shoots push out of the ground and then, before you know it: FLOWERS! Be sure to plant bulbs in strategic, fun ways that act as colorful accents to your play6scape features and pathways.
This project may be the easiest of all. The biggest step: do nothing. Let your lawn grow and grow and grow. With your very own lawnmower as a creative tool, you can carve out a maze, playhouse, village, or zigzaggy paths. You may even want to plant wildflowers or add native plants and grasses. Plants will grow, flowers will bloom, wildlife will appear, and children will play.
Willow structures have been grown for centuries all over the world. They are remarkably easy and rewarding plant. The trick is to plant the willow branches (ask your local nursery if they have any willow branches they would be willing donate) in the WINTER so that when spring rolls around the willow will start sprouting new roots and leaves. As your willow hut grows, take cuttings and plant another dome, tunnel, chair, or fence. You can find living willow branches for sale at the Earthplay Store.
This project is about planting sunflowers in a square, circle, or any other shape you’d like. You can use plants other than sunflowers, corn, canna lilies, bamboo, use plants that work well for your region. You can look at the American Horticultural Society Plant Heat-Zone Map to learn what plants will do well in your climate. If the sunflower house is a success you could create a permanent house using trees or shrubs in the same layout. An apple tree house perhaps?