Tuesday, May 15, 2007
We discovered a fun place just outside the Lexington city limits called Boxerwood Gardens. They officially opened a new preschool play section on Mother's Day and we were there to check it out! What a delight...
Almost everything was natural, using raw wood or recycled items. There was a "Mud Kitchen" where children could make mud food and serve it on child-sized table and chairs. There was even a sink for them to wash their hands in when they were done. There was a "Willow Tunnel" which will eventually be completely covered with vines and a small grassy mountain with a tunnel going through it. Josiah enjoyed the sand area, where there were rakes and shovels to play with.
The highlight for both kids was a re-circulating creek. There were little plastic frogs, snakes and lizards hidden in the water or under rocks. Josiah loved finding them, throwing them back in the creek and then retrieving them again. Steve spotted a REAL frog and Naomi was occupied with that for the next 45 minutes. She and another little boy played together, catching the frog, touching the frog, chasing the frog, laughing at its antics. I even held it for a few minutes -- my first time ever!
We had such a good time that we went back yesterday, bringing Mimi and cousin Owen with us. This time we also explored some wooded trails in the preschool section, where the kids gathered shells in baskets, got to feel antlers and bones, and made towers from sanded bits of wood. We also watered flowers with watering cans that were provided.
I enjoyed letting the kids play outside in a 'natural' environment where they could explore, but within bounds. I only had to watch a small section of water to make sure they didn't get hurt in the creek. I knew the woods were fenced in. But Naomi and Josiah got to use their imaginations and play in a different way than they do at a playground. Plus I reveled in the gentle breeze, the cool shade, and the lovely sound of babbling water. Almost everything there was shaded since the trees have been growing on this property for a long time.
We still have more to explore in the general gardens. It should be a fun place to visit all summer, and maybe we'll even see that frog again!