Outdoor Play Area

When we first moved into our house, the back patio area was quickly identified as one of our first projects. It was all red bricks and very uneven, so we replaced with stamped concrete. Big improvement! The patio area also featured a very pretty waterfall… that didn’t work. We (ahem, Karl) spent many hours and $$ trying different pumps and re-sealing it in hopes of getting it back up and running (although, according to our neighbor it hadn’t worked for at least 10 years, 2 owners ago). After a lot of resistance, Karl finally convinced me that it was time to rip the thing out and make the area functional. As mentioned back here, my mom still had my 90s Little Tikes play gym so we decided to make the area a mini playground for the kiddos.

I think Karl may have been kicking himself for convincing me to get rid of the waterfall once he realized just how many rocks and concrete he had to remove. It was a lot. Our quick little backyard project lasted about a month and a half thanks to those stupid rocks. After demolition, he had to remove some electrical work, level the ground with additional soil, spray for weeds, tarp the whole area and finally, add wood chips! We used wood chips specifically designated for playgrounds to keep the area as safe as possible. Here are some photos of the process…trust me, Karl loved me taking pictures from the window while he worked 😉

Not a progress picture, but the best one of the original waterfall area I could find...

Not a progress picture, but the best one of the original waterfall area I could find. It was a hot mess.

Check out that hunk with a sledgehammer! (Sorry Karl, but I had to...)

Check out that hunk with a sledgehammer! (Sorry Karl, but I had to…)

Finally, no more rocks!

Finally, no more rocks!

We're getting there... tarped and ready for wood chips!

We’re getting there… tarped and ready for wood chips!

Forever daddy's little helper, Ricky loved filling up his little bucket with wood chips and carrying them behind Karl's wheelbarrow.

Forever daddy’s little helper, Ricky loved filling up his bucket with wood chips and carrying them behind Karl’s wheelbarrow.

Daddy's biggest fan- this is a common sight, at our house, Karl outside working and Ricky standing watch at the window.

Daddy’s biggest fan- this is a common sight, at our house, Karl outside working and Ricky standing watch at the window. Note- the first blog appearance of Ricky’s beloved bunny, Hop.

And finally…cue drum roll please…. the final product!

Final play area Okay, so I realize this is not anything mind-bogglingly spectacular, however it is a big leap forward in making our yard more kid-friendly! We’re very happy with the final product and Ricky may or may not be a fan as well (please note that he is in the play structure in the picture above because the second it was ready he was all over that thing). Yay finishing home projects! …now what’s next?