When we moved into our new house last summer, the home had been mostly fixed up (aside from a few plumbing issues that surfaced in our first month living here… old pipes) but the yards were completely flat dirt. Horrible dusty barren dirt, too, filled with trash; even the Bermuda grass could only survive in a few patches.
We’ve been slowly trying to make the space both aesthetically pleasing and functional, so towards that end we got twenty tons of pea gravel delivered one weekend, to fill in a play area in the back yard.
Let me tell you, when you’re a kid there’s not much more exciting than a huge pile of rocks arriving on your driveway one morning!
Especially when that pile is big enough to be a small mountain and you get to climb up it!
All three of the kids also helped a lot (as much as they could) with transporting the rocks to the backyard. Rondel and Limerick shoveled the gravel into bowls and buckets, then dumped them into the wheelbarrow for Paul to take back. Even Aubade would fill up her little bowl using her hand shovel and pour it out into the wheelbarrow 🙂
Now that we’ve had it in the back for a while, it’s really made a difference with how we use the yard. There is still a lot of dirt in between our home and the graveled play area, so we still have a lot of work to do (and a lot of dust tracked in…), but we’re using a lot more of the yard, in what I’d assume is a fairly typical manner for a family with three little kids:
- digging in the gravel
- having dinosaur swim parties in the kiddie pool
- burying toys in mountains of gravel and having them erupt out like volcanos
- dancing on the trampoline
- being elephants in an exhibit at the zoo
- swinging and swinging and swinging (Aubade can stop and dismount from a big kid swing safely all on her own now!)
- racing down slides
- covering ourselves in gravel
- pouring water in the dirt and painting with the mud
- chasing each other around pretending to be monsters
And it has been so fun! The kids get to play and explore and imagine freely, and I get to watch them learn and grow and build their friendships with each other, which is such a privilege.
Not bad for a big pile of rocks 🙂