We live in the safest neighborhood in Los Angeles. Seriously, it's guarded by military police and the only way in is with a DOD ID card. Kids play out in the cul de sac all afternoon and in to the evening while parents casually watch from driveways or open garages or not at all. I love it. I love sending the kids out front to play so I can empty the dishwasher or fold a load of laundry or sit down with a cup of tea.
I also long for more time with them. We have a huge backyard at this home. We can see the ocean, Catalina Island, the hills of Palos Verdes. It's a beautiful space ripe for play. But the cul de sac beacons and that's where the kids play. Brad and I have been dreaming and scheming of play sets for our backyard to encourage the kids to play back there a little more often and so I can watch them play without having to change out of pajamas ... ;)
Obviously my first stop was Pinterest to find some inspiration and dang there's a ton out there. We're thinking something that's much more open-ended than a simple slide and swing set. We want to foster more imagination and creativity. I want a lookout tower or a covered space for reading and coloring and scheming. Brad wants a rope swing and a rock climbing wall and we're both against swings at the moment ("mama can you push me?" on repeat doesn't sound like the relaxing backyard play I'm imagining).