How to turn your garden into a kid’s paradise?
Photo by Alexander Dummer on Unsplash
These days, getting kids to stop staring at various screens is becoming increasingly more challenging. The ideal solution would be getting them to spend some quality time outside.
Outdoor playtime is an essential aspect of a healthy childhood. One way to get kids to step outside and play is by turning your garden into a paradise for kids, using these ideas.
Some initial advice
Don’t try to predict what a child wants in a backyard play space: ask the child what they think would be fun. Kids’ needs are still pretty simple: they like to walk, run, hide, climb, and swing through the air. They love to explore, build, and pretend.
Outdoor space designed for days of imaginative play should allow children to relax, think, laugh, and create. The yard could be a springboard for a child’s potential, the fun space where kids can be kids.
With that out of the way, let’s see what you could do to turn your backyard into an ideal playing space!
Build a sandbox
Children as young as one year old can enjoy digging their toes into their own backyard sandboxes. Sand play can aid in children’s development. By digging, filling, pouring, and pushing sand using scoops and buckets, they develop essential motor and muscle skills, as well as hand-eye coordination.
You can buy a sandbox online or simply make it yourself. After that, all you have to do is change the sand inside every year, and your sandbox will be good to go for many years to come. The playground-grade sand that fills the box is available at big-box stores and supply yards. Consider adding a cover to protect it from the elements when not used and using hardy plants to edge the sandbox.
Backyard camping grounds
Camping is a childhood staple. But if your children aren’t yet old enough for the real deal, a backyard campsite is the perfect way to test the waters. First, find a level, soft spot in the yard for your tent. Then, make sure it’s free of roots and rocks and that the soil is well-drained. Finally, set up your tent.
For a more permanent shelter, consider a small log cabin that can serve as a storage unit for bikes, scooters, and all manners of sports equipment when it is not in use as a hideaway. The best part is, you don’t even need a building permit to place a small structure in your garden.
Use playground tiles
If you need to set up a play area or have a paved patio but no grass, that is not a problem. A play area can be created almost anywhere using rubber playground tiles. They come in a variety of colors, can interlock, and won’t break the bank (that is unless you need a lot of them). Some are even made from recycled rubber tires.
Install a sunken trampoline
Nothing keeps children more entertained than bouncing up and down for hours. There are some great trampolines on the market in a range of sizes, but they take up a lot of space.
For something less scary, a sunken trampoline is a fantastic option. You can either buy a do-it-yourself kit or get a professional to install it for you. Besides looking lovely, an embedded trampoline is less likely to blow over, and children won’t fall off it.
Build a treehouse
A treehouse is the quintessential symbol of a kid-friendly backyard. Not only does it give kids a place to play with friends as well as boost fine and gross motor skills through climbing and imaginative play, but experts also suggest that treehouses teach kids a balanced approach to risk.
Suppose you are concerned about your kids’ safety and keeping nature undisturbed. In that case, you should know that many professionals specialize in building treehouses that pay special attention to safety and maintain the tree’s natural growth habits.
Build a climbing wall
If your kids are driving you up the wall, you could get them to climb one instead. It’s easy to purchase ready-made climbing walls, but they’re often included as part of a play structure that can be too limiting, bulky, or expensive.
If you do not have the space for a large piece of equipment, create your own instead. All you are going to need is a pack of climbing wall holds. Make sure you choose a very sturdy fence or wall, then simply screw the holds in at various points. Once again, if you worry about safety, get an expert to do this, as they must be extremely secure.
Paint a blackboard wall
If you have a spare wall you don’t know how to decorate, transform it into an art station by adding a coat of specialized blackboard paint. If your wall isn’t flat, you’ll need to clad it with some exterior plywood and add a sealant along the edges. Voila, you have a blackboard wall!
An easier solution is to hang a framed blackboard. Place a seat below that would function as a kneeling spot for little ones to reach their artboard above.
I’m Rebecca, a translator, avid traveler, and a bookworm. My job has given me the amazing opportunity to travel to dozens of countries around the world, and writing on Rough Draft gives me a chance to try to showcase some of them.