Creative play is an essential part of all children’s lives and in an age of iPad’s, TV’s and electronics, encouraging them to get enough “outside time” can sometimes be a challenge.
Cubby Houses & Sand Pits
Cubby houses come in endless shapes and sizes from realistic tiny homes to a contemporary design that complements the main home. Their quaint lifelike appearance will spark any child’s imagination, giving them a “secret hideaway” to play, pretend and explore countless stories. Adding an outdoor kitchen, table and chairs can be an added luxury.
Sandpits are simple and easy to construct and when the children grow up a cleverly designed sandpit can be transformed into a water feature, garden bed, or fire pit. They are a designated space where children can dig, build and create without limits. Putting aside copious amounts of sand gathered in their shoes and socks it is a reasonably easy, clean activity.
Trampolines are a memorable part of any child’s life, but integrating them into a garden can sometimes do more harm than good becoming an unsightly eyesore. Sunken trampolines help to integrate the tall structure subtly into the garden by lowering half of it into the ground. Screening and low-lying planting around the trampoline will help to disguise and blend the safety net into the backdrop of the garden.
Swings, Slides, and More
A swing set can offer countless hours of fun for children coming in a large variety of shapes and sizes from full playsets to single-seat swings attached to sturdy beams or trees if space is an issue.
Slides are another awesome backyard toy. A custom slide can take advantage of gardens with slopes or multi-level terraces. Off-the-shelf products can ultimately be erected anywhere.
Chalkboards are a simple and space-saving way to incorporate creative play into the garden. The simple black wall or screen will appear modern and insignificant when not in use. As an added bonus, all chalk mess remains outside.
Chickens are naturally playful and friendly in nature which makes them the perfect outdoor pet for any child.
With the right setup and tools, chickens are a breeze to care for. Their simple requirements allow kids to get involved with the process. A chicken coop does not have to be a large and costly investment there are many designs available as “off the shelf” items. consider space for them to sleep and nest as well as a space to explore during the day.
And last but not least…you get to enjoy fresh eggs!
Digging in the dirt, eating, and learning are things almost every kid enjoys. Creating a child-friendly vegetable patch will allow them to dig, grow, observe and of course eat amazing yummy foods.
To encourage them to get involved, make sure it is low lying and easily accessible for them to reach. Vegetables are fantastic as they germinate quickly and can be eaten once matured appealing to not only their taste senses but also to things like smell, touch, and sight.
If incorporating children-specific play equipment is not something you want in your garden, consider utilising natural elements and simple ornamentation to create destinations for children to visit and explore.
Many common plants can have toxic leaves or sap, so ensure that planting around the play area is non-toxic. If you plan for play to take place in and around planting, ensure robust and resilient species are used.
Small shrubs and screen planting can create secret gardens and hideaways for children to adventure through and explore whilst still staying safe.
Turf is often overlooked but its soft cushioned surface makes it the perfect place for kids to play ball games, run on, and lay on. As an extra, consider creating turf islands or mounds that will further assist in creating a garden full of imagination.
Ornamentation like steppers, logs, tires, and lights are all simple aspects that look great in all gardens but also provide the child with a space to play and utilise their imagination.