Location: 13800 Switzer Road, Overland Park, KS, next to the soccer complex.
Cost: Monday – Thursday, Free; Friday – Sunday, $2 a person, 1 and younger free.
A few weeks ago, we took a trip to one of our favorite places here in town, the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead.
Morgan’s Playground, in the back of the apple orchard by the schoolhouse, has small play equipment designed for small children. There’s only one way in and out of the play area, so I was able to sit and watch the munchkins run around and play without having to worry about them escaping without my noticing.
The play equipment is bright red, so it’s nice and high-contrast. There’s a thick layer of mulch on the ground. There are also high baby swings, which were too high for Peanut to access on his own, but they’re at the perfect height for parents to push their children easily. Peanut was able to navigate this area easily.
When we visited the dairy barn, I was delighted to find a new tactile activity: a milking station. There are hanging buckets of water with plastic “udders” underneath, with another bucket sitting on the ground. The idea is that you “milk” the cow from the first bucket into the bottom bucket. Both kids loved playing with the water, and they enjoyed the activity. I think this is also a great one for building up hand strength–Peanut was really fascinated by it, and I didn’t hear any of the “my hands are tired” complaints we get with some other hand-strengthening activities. With this, it was fun, so he wanted to stick with it.
Also in the dairy barn, we met a very pregnant dairy cow. We were told she was friendly, and she definitely put up with my two kiddos. This was a great chance for the kids to see how BIG cows really are and to get an idea of where milk comes from. They also loved seeing the calves out in the back paddock by the barn. Sprout was absolutely fascinated!
We visited another small playground that’s behind the General Store. This one is made of wood rather than plastic like Morgan’s Playground, and there are larger spaces between the stairs. This playground is also not as well maintained–it’s currently mulched, but it was too muddy to visit when we’ve been to the Farmstead in the past. The equipment here is clearly designed for smaller children, but, in this case, I’d skip it and head for Morgan’s Playground instead.
It had rained–lots–before our recent visit. Of all the things we saw, I think the kids liked the big puddles the best. They ran through the puddle pictured to the right over and over and over again. The puddles were largely on the east side of the Farmstead, so if it’s been rainy and your kiddo isn’t a fan of moisture, you might want to avoid that part of the park. If, on the other hand, your kids like splashing like mine do–go over by the prairie dogs and check it out!
Some more photos from our recent visit: