As a mom, naturally you always want what’s best for your kids. You want to give them the most incredible childhood possible so that they have some amazing memories. You also want to do all that you can to aid their development, giving them the best start in life.
An important part of raising healthy, happy, well-rounded children is outdoor time, and yet, studies have shown that kids are spending more time indoors than ever before. This is partly because there’s more to do indoors than there was 30 years ago when we were growing up, and also because today it’s no longer safe for kids to roam around outside riding their bikes and building dens like many of us did as children.
The answer to encouraging kids to spend more time outside is to create a garden that’s child-friendly – somewhere that they can safely play and have fun in. The question is, how should you go about doing that?
Playing equipment is a must
One of the most important things a child-friendly garden can have is playing equipment. If you want to encourage your kids to spend more time outside, you need to make outdoor play seem as fun as playing inside. There are various pieces of play equipment to choose from, from slides and swingsets to climbing frames and play towers; there are lots of options. It’s just a case of determining how much room you have in your garden and what would be suitable for your kids – this depends on their ages and interests. For instance, for younger kids, a mini slide and playhouse are ideal, for older kids a climbing frame, swingset, and big slide are perfect. It’s about picking equipment that’s suitable for your little ones and safe for them to use.
Lots of outdoor toys and games
As well as play equipment, make sure that there are lots of outdoor toys and games on offer for your little ones to play with. Think bikes and trikes, ride-on tractors and trailers, scooters, rollerblades, footballs, bouncy balls – basically anything that’s suitable for playing with in your garden. The more there is for your little ones to play with, the better, as this is more likely to make outdoor play time more appealing to them.
A covered area
To ensure that outdoor play can go ahead all through the year, it could be worth investing in a covered area for your garden. By adding a covered area, you would make your outdoor space more usable for your little ones, even in wet weather, giving them more time outside. If you’ve already got a summer house that has an awning, then you could encourage your little ones to play in there in cold weather. To protect them from the sun, you could consider investing in a shade sail to go over their play equipment – to learn more about the perfect design for you, read the shade sail buyer’s guide. Most shade sails are shower proof but not waterproof, so they don’t protect against wet weather.
A nature area
Do you have an area of your garden that gets little use? Then why not turn it into a nature area for your kids? Outdoor play is a great way to teach kids about nature and the environment, so creating a nature area could be a fantastic move. Fence this area off from the rest of the yard and in it place a bird table, a bird feeder, a bird bath – above child height, of course – and any other items that you think will help to attract nature. Although a nature pond could work well, it’s not a good idea if you have small children.
So, there you have it, everything that you need to know about creating a child-friendly garden.