“Fun the Old-fashioned Way” is the guiding theme behind My Big Backyard. Children and their grown-ups are re-introduced to the simple pleasures of running in the lawn, splashing in a creek, and digging in the soil. They learn about the water cycle as they trace the journey of a raindrop from a bursting thundercloud at Raindrop Stop, through Critter Creek to Pond Out Back. They role play as beekeepers in Welcome Wildlife! and explore the part insects play in creating our soil in Decomposition Maze. The musical roots of Memphis are expressed in the House of Rock, one of several playhouses along Playhouse Lane. In addition, marimbas are there for the playin’ in Backyard Bluff, where children can perform for their grownups in the gently sloping amphitheatre. In and among a majestic grove of southern magnolia, visitors climb into the treetops to learn what lives there – birds of course!
The trees also offer shade for one of My Big Backyards’ favorite spots, a certified Nature Explore outdoor classroom full of natural props and building tools. Children build forts, hold puppet shows and create crafts from sticks, seed pods and other gifts from “the outside.” Teachers are invited to Nature Explore to gather ideas for their own classroom gardens.
Since its opening in 2009, an average of 300 people a day enjoy My Big Backyard, and membership increased by 900 families in the first year.
- Haizlip Design Studios