One of the best parts about raising kids on a farm is the sheer number of things for them to do. Just walking outside with little ones and letting them climb around on hay bales or sit on a tractor is endlessly fascinating. And with acres of woods, the Treinen children developed into obsessive rock and tree-climbers. I was never sure if I was a bad mother or a good mother as I watched them climb much higher than I ever could have–being only four or five feet above the ground makes me freeze in terror.
We like to think of the Treinen Farm Play Areas as a way for us to invite guests to “Be a Farm Kid for a Day.” To climb on hay bales and tractor tires. To scramble up a fence and pet the horses. To play in the corn and dig in the sand.
But the tree-climbing piece has always eluded us, because although it’s perfectly permissible to let
your own expert tree-climbing children ascend to the highest branches, it’s a little less comfortable to invite your farm guests to do the same. But, tree-climbing is so fun…we figured there had to be a way.
We began to take field trips into the woods scouting our land and the neighbors for likely climbing trees. We’ve got 70 acres of woods, so there’s always a number of dead trees or large fallen branches, and we started collecting interesting trees, mostly oaks, to turn into our new tree climbing playground.
We decided that laying them down and letting their branches stick up (and putting down lots of mulch) could make a great climbing place. With the help of a loader tractor and chainsaws, the new Natural Play Area at the Treinen Farm began to shape up.
Before we got everything into its final location, we thought we’d test the playground on the Treinen children and relatives… here are some preliminary photos from our new play area. I’ll post more, but here are the kids trying it out. Initial findings are that the new play area is seriously fun.