You need not have the biggest backyard in the neighbourhood to create the best outdoor play area for your kids and their friends. Children aren’t fascinated by fancy things. A child only needs something simple and fun such as a sandbox or a rope swing to be happy. All you need is a little planning, a little effort and a lot of creativity.
You just need to make sure that the play area is safe and secure for your kids. Next on the list of priorities is that it should boost physical growth, motor skills development and aid imagination and creativity in children.
How do you design an outdoor play area for the little ones? Here are a few hints for help.
Let them get close to nature. Give your kids the opportunity to explore natural wonders on their own. Include a planter box if your yard lacks space. But if space isn’t a constraint, plant trees and let your little ones take care of them.
Build a birdhouse or birdbath to attract winged visitors to your backyard. Your kids would soon learn to appreciate nature and its magic when they see trees grow, flowers bloom and chicks hatch from eggs in the bird’s nest.
Create an opportunity for motor skills development. Your kid doesn’t need to visit the playground to get some exercise. With the incorporation of the right elements, he/she can get it in your yard. And have fun too.
Buy a swing, see-saw or some other outdoor toy that would aid your little one’s motor skills development. You can also build them. But it’s easier to ensure your baby’s safety when you buy a high-quality outdoor toy that adheres to the safety guidelines.
Add a little seating area. Whether it’s a small, simple structure with just the posts and roof, or even a canopy made from colourful sheets, or an elaborate fort complete with slides and ladders, every kid would love to have a playhouse of their own.
Include thoughtful accessories such as soft cushions in bright, bold colours and interesting lights and lanterns. Add a play kitchen or a little table and chair set for your little princess to give her the perfect setup for pretend play.
Incorporate a sandbox and a play pool. Kids love to play in the sand. And it’s safe too. You can buy a sandbox from a retailer and install it in the yard or build it on your own. If your kid’s older, let him/her carry the tools or pieces of wood in a toy dumper.
Another great addition to the outdoor play area for your little one is a small, shallow pool. It can be ideal for splashing around. It can also double up as the rough ocean on which they sail their toy boats when they play pirates.
Boost the creative quotient with the right supplies. A chalkboard wall is a great idea to let the children express their artistic selves. You can also include it as part of the fence that surrounds the outdoor play area if space is a little short.
Involve your kids in the little projects you take up to add to the play space’s attraction. Let them carry small blocks of stone to create a roadway for their cars or put together railway tracks for their trains. Create tunnels with cut-out PVC pipes.
You need not break your back, or your bank, to create an amazing outdoor play space.
Measure out the dimensions of the area. Designate spaces for specific activities. Chalk out a rough layout with this in mind. Next, make a list of your resources. You don’t need to buy everything new. The old lantern in the attic may become the perfect accessory for the playhouse. Or, the chipped table can become centrepiece for the garden tea-party.
Linda England is the founder of JD Kidz. She founded the company in response to a need for an online store specialising in all those must have items that every child would need in their early years.