Many older houses come equipped with clotheslines in the backyard. Our home is one such place.
The large metal pole cemented into the ground in the middle of our outdoor classroom was an eye sore for me to look at every day.
So I sat down and brainstormed up a few ways that we could take that eye sore and make it useful.
Idea number one: Mount a birdhouse on top of it.
Purple martin bird houses are commonly mounted onto poles and observing the social habits of these birds can be quite entertaining as well educational.
Downside: its not the cheapest option.
Idea number two: Make a maypole.
Martha Stewart has a surprisingly simple maypole tutorial on her website, and all you really need is a bit of ribbon and some basic supplies that the average crafter probably already has on hand.
Downside: maypoles aren’t very fun unless you’ve got at least a half dozen children who want to do the dance.
Idea number three: Build a giant sundial.
If you’ve got some rocks or stepping stones to place in a circle around the pole then you’re pretty much set.
Downside: If your pole is near a hill or in a shady area (which mine is) then this idea, while great in theory, isn’t so great in practice.
Idea number four: Make a large balance scale.
Just a couple buckets, some rope, a bit of hardware and you’re in business. A balance scale is an excellent hands-on tool for early science and math concepts. Plus its just good fun.
Downside: there really isn’t a downside, but since we already had a smaller scale in our backyard, I decided to go for a different option.
Idea number five: Tetherball game.
I loved tetherball when I was a kid! Of course, I never did learn the rules to the game, I just remember hitting the ball as hard as I could and trying to make it wrap around the pole.
The how-to was pretty simple, all I did was place a rubber ball inside of a mesh laundry bag, then knot the bag and zip tie it to the end of a rope. The other end of the rope was secured to the top of the pole.by