a blog about art, craft, design and beautiful everyday life
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Before I had kids I never could have imagined that I would have something specific to say about playgrounds and such. But now that I'm a mother, it turns out that I do.

Really, sometimes I wonder who designs these playgrounds. They are supposed to be places where kids can have a good time, aren't they? But aren't they supposed to offer the parents of these kids at least the slightest bit of relaxation as well? My girls love playgrounds and I like going out with them as well, so by now we've seen quite a few, and it still keeps surprising me how child- and parent unfriendly these places can be. They're situated next to roads with busy traffic, with no fence or border whatsoever. They have slides meant for young kids with stairs so difficult to climb that only super gymnastic at-least-eight-year-olds can mount them by themselves. Or there's dog poop all over the place (seriously dog owners, using a playground as your dog's toilet?).

So no matter how much we like visiting playgrounds, often it's just quite a stressful experience (for me, that is ;)) with two girls running in two different directions, one towards a busy road and the other one towards a ditch. Helping one climbing the slide while the other one wants me to push her on the swing. Making sure that the youngest one isn't hit by another kid on a swing. Releasing the eldest one from a climbing rack that turned out a little too high and scary after all. And meanwhile making sure that her younger sister isn't climbing a super high construction that contrary to the young kids' slide is super easily accessible.

The thing is that actually I don't think it should be all that complex: a good playground for young kids (and their parents) should have a proper fence (with just one entrance) and some playground equipment that is designed with the possibilities of the targeted kids in mind. Water and mud are always a simple and good idea, though not in amounts that make the situation dangerous for any kid that can't yet swim.

Lucky for us we do know a place where they've understood these rather simple things. It's a children's farm with lots of animals, and even better: a big 'gnome fairytale wood'. Everyone can bring his leftover garden gnomes here for a cozy retirement in a big gnome garden where kids can play endlessly with and among the gnomes (the people who supervise the place are super relaxed about kids playing with the gnomes and moving them around). There's a playground with a lot of sand that becomes a giant mud pool after each heavy shower (which the kids love and I -after a deep breath, because they always end up as muddy little piglets- love too, because in the end there's nothing better than seeing your kids whirling in the mud enthusiastically). They have lots of children's bikes and cars and plenty of room for driving them. The play area is quite large, but since there's only one entrance, as a parent it's relatively easy to maintain overview. They even serve coffee and some (super simple) snacks.

The fun thing is that this isn't a super fancy place at all: it's freely accessible and mainly run by volunteers. It's relaxed and a bit messy in a charming way. They don't serve expensive food or drinks and it's all totally mix and match, but then really (so not the fashionable kind ;)).

And while the girls play in the mud, sometimes their mama can even spend a few lazy minutes on a bench. Now that's what I call a playground! 

Curious about this place? Here you can find it's details.

Comments (6)

About a year ago we slightly impulsively bought ourselves a house. And I must say we're quite happy we did. Living here has been much fun and very comfortable, and sometimes it's hard to imagine what living in our previous apartment was like. Two kids, second and third floor, lots of stairs, no elevator! How did we do that? But of course we managed, and I'm sure it would still have been possible to live there in a more or less convenient way today. But this is much better!

However lately we've also been confronted with this other side of 'being homeowners'. And I must say I've started to revalue renting ;). Sometimes it seems like every other day something breaks down or needs maintenance. A leaking water boiler, a broken tap, a door that doesn't close properly anymore, a door lock that's broken, a leaking radiator, a toilet cistern that keeps flushing for hours... Things keep being added to the list, sometimes on a daily basis.

The house wasn't in very bad condition or anything when we bought it, and we thought we'd done most of the necessary maintenance before we moved in last summer. But apparently there has been some more deferred maintenance, and well maybe this maintenance thing is just some sort of ongoing task for the rest of your non-renting life. What I realize mainly is that when you're renting (from a good landlord) it's all so easy: just one phonecall with your complaint and they take care of it. But now often I even have to figure out first what kind of complaint I actually have and what kind of repairman could be the right person to solve it...

And I know that this is all 'investing in your own property' and all that, but it's just such a bummer to see such large amounts of money flood to all kinds of service men... Honestly I just want to spend hundreds of Euros on all kinds of frivolous interior items and not on new toilet flushing systems and boiler repairs! ;)

Ah well, I think if we keep going at this pace we'll have replaced the complete house by the end of this year ;).


This saturday it's time again for one of the nicest handmade, craft & design blog events of the year: the Yvestown fair. Please come and visit us in Lommel, Belgium if you have the chance! Here you can find all the information about this year's fair and look back at the lovely one last year. I already look forward to get inspired again by all the beautiful handmade items and designs. For me this last year has been very much about having another baby and particularly about all the fuss that comes with moving house, and I have missed making things and being surrounded and inspired by the things that other people make. So I can't wait to be part of the Yvestown fair again, hope to meet you there!

Comments (1)
Today's Few of my favorite things is all about vintage ceramics and tableware, one of my big loves. And there's much more to come! (and as an admin for the flickr-group vintage ceramics I recommend all vintage ceramics-lovers to have a look and post their pics over there!)
Photos (from left to right, from top down): 1 bird in the hand, 2 Liquid Paper, 3 Verito, 4 Gayatri, 5 tannie annie, 6 Verito, 7 Mizutamago, 8 David Cowie, 9 unknown, 10 unknown, 11 le train fantome, 12 tannie annie
(the 'unknown' are somewhere to be found on flickr too, anyone who can help me with the correct reference please let me know!)
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Het is weer hoog tijd voor wat flickr-inspiratie!
foto: Yael Fran
foto: smosch
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Weer een aantal all times favorites uit de immer uitdijende Flickr-schatkist. Deze keer, gezien mijn huidige preoccupatie met de inrichting van huizen (okay, ik ben daarmee altijd gepreoccupeerd, maar op dit moment nog net wat extra), met als thema 'inspirerende huis-dingen'.
                foto: designsponge
                foto: le train fantome
                foto: sfgirlbybay
                foto: designsponge
                foto: decor8
                foto: Spring Globe
                foto: Bird in the hand
                foto: designsponge
                foto: decor8
                foto: le train fantome
                foto: designsponge
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Webloggen kost soms best veel tijd, om nog maar te zwijgen over inspiratie, doorzettingsvermogen en dat soort ingewikkelde dingen. En nu ben ik uiteraard zelf zo'n weblog begonnen, maar het is natuurlijk in niemands belang dat ik er volledig aan onderdoorga... Daarom zat ik al een tijdje te broeden op een manier om op weinig inspannende wijze toch regelmatig leuke updates te produceren. En die heb ik nu gevonden: my favorite things!
Uit de enorme hoeveelheid mooie foto's van anderen op flickr, die ik aldaar inmiddels in mijn 'favorites' heb staan, ga ik gewoon regelmatig at random een mooie selectie tonen. Van het kijken naar mijn flickr-favorites word ik zelf namelijk altijd erg vrolijk. En dan doen anderen het leeuwendeel van het werk, terwijl ik toch ook iets moois en inspirerends heb om te laten zien. Goeie deal, vind ik zelf wel, en uiteraard met muzikale omlijsting. Vandaag deel 1...
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About Ninainvorm

My name is Nina, I'm a ceramics and paperwares designer and mom of Rosa and Julie. This blog is about making, living, liking, loving and so much more!

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