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Worm Farm/Ant Farm. this link has 20+ ideas of natural outdoor activities & alternative play structures. some simple & some pretty elaborate. mostly for younger kids.

Preschool Playgrounds: "It's Simply a Classroom": Natural Playscapes

This reminds me of the giant rocks in our backyard in Maine. I took my sidewalk chalk down there and made my own playhouse.

Natural Playscapes - Tao Of Craft

Very cool sandbox, like the garden utensils hanging on the wall, and wheelbarrow, and birdhouses, and tunnel.

A Delightful Daycare in Portland My Great Outdoors

Etsyfrom Etsy

DIY Playhouse Plans Home and Garden Easy Do-It-Yourself Backyard Outdoor Cave for the Kids or Natural Looking Storage Shed for Grown Ups

Pinned from

I so want to incorporate more natural play areas into our backyard. In some respects it is nice that it is so open to run, but the lack of privacy with the bike path and shade in the later summer is an issue.

let the children play: just add stones, logs, stumps and mounds.

WooHomefrom WooHome

25 Playful DIY Backyard Projects To Surprise Your Kids

diy-backyard-projects-kid-woohome-25-what could be better than a mud kitchen!!!.....some really good ideas here

25 Playful DIY Backyard Projects To Surprise Your Kids