Outdoor Play

I've dug myself a hole. I've used 'go outside' as a consequence for my children's bad behaviour and I realise now that outdoor play and the backyard in general has become somewhat of a punishment.
It now has negative connotations linked to it -
'You're being too loud, go outside'
'Stop running around the house, go outside'
'That's enough bickering and fighting, go outside'

On top of this I have noticed that our yard is turning into a stumbling hazard. It is a wonderland of opportunity for play as I, the consumer, have filled our land with balls, bikes, swings, slides, a trampoline, water guns and an array of other 'things'.
I'm guilty and I feel silly writing it all down. I admit that our backyard is a jungle of not inspiration as I naively thought, but an overwhelm of items that don't satisfy or inspire.

What happened to the days of digging in the dirt, playing make believe games and collecting rocks?
It's time to re-think outdoor play - Plants more trees, keep the rocks, mound the dirt into piles and let the rest be.

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