My kids love getting really dirty and I love letting them. For me there is no greater sight than my kids covered in mud and exploring nature. This is why I love the Dutch Speelbos so much. It translates to “play forest” and that exactly what these places are. They are little bits of wilderness set aside for kids to explore and enjoy. Bosschuur De Meren is my absolute favorite. It’s located in Wintelre, just outside of Veldhoven. We are here all the time. In fact is you are looking for us on a Sunday morning there is a very good chance you will find us here.
I love it because it is imagination based free play. There are no swings and no slides and, while I think traditional play grounds are amazing, I think kids should also be free to discover and create using their own imaginations. There is a water pump, a pile of sand, and trenches dug in the forest at the back. There are generally plastic shovels and buckets and occasionally some trucks and cars for the kids to play with.
The “play area” is surrounded by forest and there is a fitness path if you are feeling sporty. The big kids are always building wooden huts that my kids love to play in and the trenches are always fun to climb in and out of.
Just across the street there is a small lake with a sandy beach area. I wouldn’t recommend swimming in it but its nice to play in and great for a picnic. You can also hunt tadpoles here in the spring. There is also a nice walking trail through this area that is really good for the kids. I don’t have any pics of this area because I have only been over there a few times and it was a while ago. My kids play till they drop and we never seem to make it over to the lake. I will make more of an effort next time and add in some pics.
So here is why I love this Speelbos above the others.
- There are picnic tables. Not a huge deal but it’s really nice to have a place to sit and watch the kids play.
- no equipment for my little to hurt herself on. Sure she can still hurt herself here but with jungle gyms and swings I have to be very close to help her or catch her if she falls. Here I can really let her be free. I can sit and watch her explore on her own and, lets face it, a 1 1/2 year old doesn’t get many opportunities like that.
- I expect the kids to get good and dirty. I love the water pump and I know to bring a towel and an extra pair of clothes.
- There is a welcome building that is open on Sundays (this is one reason why we go there then). It is staffed by volunteers and everyone is so nice. They have drinks and cookies for the kids and coffee or tea and ask for a donation in return. Sunday is also the only day there is an accessible toilette. FYI
This is a link to their website for more information. Boschuur De Meren
I really recommend checking it out!