It seems like everybody is worried about kids spending too much time on screen these days. While it sometimes can be a struggle to drag your child away from screens and into the sun, it’s not impossible. It helps to create a space where your child expects to have fun and looks forward to it. Still seems a little too difficult? Don’t worry, there are so many ways to make your garden the safest and coolest place to play. In this blog, we are going to help you transform your garden into a kid friendly fun zone.
Stay clear of toxic plants
Most kids know not to eat grass or flowers, but sometimes curiosity gets in the way or your child might be too young to remember.
Some of the more common toxic plants are: arum lily flowers, daffodil bulbs, all parts of azalea, rhododendron, datura, delphinium, foxglove, hellebore and lobelia; the leaves of box (Buxus), calendula, rhubarb and tomatoes; the berries and seed of clivia, cycad, laburnum, Melia, privet, sweet peas and wisteria.
A playhouse or cubby
Building a cubby is a guaranteed hit. Just like we sometimes need a break from our kids, sometimes our kids need a little break from us. It provides kids with their own space and allows them to feel like they are king of the castle. There are so many interesting designs for cubbys these days, but if you’re stuck on what to choose the classic never fails. If you’re feeling fancy you can make it double story and stick a slide on it!
There is a reason hide and seek never gets old. If you have a large backyard then you should consider creating little nooks and hideaways. If you can do this with trees and flowers even better! This is best for a child with a big imagination as it can create a sense of adventure.
Not every child is keen for actioned packed play. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be out in the sun any less. Create a nook that is peaceful and quiet where they can take out a book to read.
You can do this by providing a comfortable place to sit or lay down. Installing a bench is a good start, or even buying a few weatherproof beanbags. It’s also a good idea to at least provide partial shade for the summer months.
Keep play dates in mind
If you are thinking of investing in equipment you are better off getting a pair of swings, not just one. After all, it’s no fun going on a swing by yourself! If your child can play with their friends outside then they will. You don’t have to install a massive sandpit for the whole class, just make sure that they are able to share this amazing space with their friends.
Don’t be afraid to get messy!
The idea of cleaning up can give even the best of us a headache. However, you can create a lot of outdoor fun without renovating or installing play equipment. You just simply turn your backyard into an art studio! Lay down some newspaper before you start and wear a smock, then let your children run wild with paint, dye, paper-mache, foam, crayon and anything else you can get your hands on. You can even roll out butcher’s paper and create a mural.
If art doesn’t interest you then turn your backyard into a mad scientists lab. Let them go crazy with Bi-carb soda and vinegar.
Make the best of small spaces
If you’re working with a limited backyard then you are better off going with features that are multi-functional. Perhaps you can give your child a section of the vegie patch so they can grow their own. You can set up a ‘tool station’ or ‘outdoor kitchen’ that doubles as storage.
Make use of your walls and fences
If you working with a really tight space then you can hang games off the wall, a chalkboard, or hang up a felt backdrop they can stick animals too. Some people use high fences and wall to make their own rock climbing walls! If you have any old pots, pans, bowls, spoons and drying racks hanging around stick them on your fence and voilà! You have your very own musical wall.
The best part of using your fence and walls is that you can easily change it up when your child gets bored of it.
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