My folks live about an hour outside of town up in the mountains on a river, the scenery is beautiful, but it is good for other reasons too. This place allows us to let the Things and dogs experience things they wouldn't have the chance to as easily here in town. Generally the animals and the kids have the run of the back area of the house along with a river to explore and plenty of other amusements. I am always amazed how long the Things can go without telling me they are bored when we are up there. The dogs spend thier days playing in the river, running in the property and lazing under the deck out of the heat. Up there the dogs and kids seem to find things to do, imaginations to distract them, and adventures to have.
The space lets the dogs escape the kids a lot easier, and lets the kids do stuff I would never let them do here. The most current example of kid freedom is Thing Twos sling shot obsession. I am not sure if it was Popi purchasing him a sling shot or the sling shot in Angry Birds, but Thing Two is obsessed. We have gotten him a few targets and remind him not to shoot people or animals and off he goes. I hear nothing but sling shot pings for hours some times. Thing One has a crafting itch that can be a bit messy, but at my parents she can indulge throughly because my mom has a designated craft space. Thing One has free run of all the supplies and paints, and my mom is infinetly patient letting her go to it, and then helps her clean up. Both these activities could be tough at our house, I would never feel comfortable with Thing Two playing with a sling shot in our yard and we don't have a ccraft specific area where Thing One can craft out of the way and uninterrupted.