Now that spring weather is finally here, my kids are pretty much living outdoors. I love it. They wander around doing kid things and having kid adventures, and the only time I see them is when they wander back in toward the house for snacks and drinks. They even fight less then when they are outside. The only problem is this swamp. It borders one side of our yard, and is proving to be a child magnet.
I don't mind the mud so much - as long as I catch them before they bring it inside with them - but we've had a pretty wet spring and the water level is rather high. My six-year-old and four-year-old would probably be perfectly safe wading and splashing to their heart's content, but the two-year-old has started playing down there whenever she wants (even sneaking down all by herself), and that is a little more risk then I am prepared to tolerate. This year, even the mosquitoes are against me. The buzzing and biting hoards usually chase the kids away from that corner of the yard, but so far they haven't made their appearance this spring (please note that I am NOT lamenting the lack of mosquitoes, only that since we usually have an abundance they did serve a useful purpose.) Since a fence isn't an option, we needed to come up with a way to let the kids know "You can go only this far - the swamp is out of bounds."
My favorite husband - the ideas man in the family - came up with a very promising solution: let the kids decorate some garden stakes and then place them along the edge of the yard, marking the boundary. Theoretically, by participating in this project they will be more likely to remember the purpose of the stakes and not cross beyond the pale. Only time will tell.
On his next trip to Menards (let's call it Home #3), Aaron picked up some stakes. I gave the tops a coat of white paint, since I didn't know how well my craft paint would adhere to raw lumber.
**Please note my feet in this picture. A concern that I never appear on my own blog has been voiced. Since I don't have enough hands to take pictures of myself doing other things, this seemed the best way to right the wrong.**
On Saturday afternoon I set the kids up outside in the yard, and let them paint however they wanted.
As they finished decorating the stakes, I stuck them in the ground to dry.
Several hours later, after the paint was dry, I brought them down to the edge of the yard and pounded them in.
"You Shall NOT Pass!"
We'll see if it works.