If you have a backyard, one thing you do is to build a play area for your kids. It doesn't have to be too big, as long as you plan it well. Then, you can keep your children safe, they are close to home, and they can go outdoors anytime and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. In addition, they can exercise, release their excess energy, and express their creativity.
By carefully choosing the playground equipment and providing the play area with various manufactured and natural items that children enjoy, you can have the perfect play area where your children wouldn't mind spending time without needing to leave your home.
Aside from choosing the appropriate playground equipment, you should also consider playground equipment maintenance and check tips to paint a playground surface and equipment to ensure that they will be safe for the children.
Tips for building a fun play area
There are so many ways you can create an exciting play area in your garden. You can find information online on what to do. You can also consider the activities that your children love to do and the things that interest them. The information you gather can help you choose what to include.
Here are some tips.
1. Build a secret space
Most children are creative and innovative, and they can turn many things into play toys. They also want to have a place they can call their own. So giving them a private area where they can hide is a good idea. You can erect a tent, a fort, or a treehouse. Your children will have the opportunity to use their imagination when they are there. Although it will not be entirely a secret hideaway, you are giving your children some freedom.
2. Give several play options
Often, children are more interested in ordinary things like dirt, sand, rocks, and other natural items. Yet, it is still essential to give them plenty of choices, which will make them happier. They will definitely enjoy standard playground equipment, such as a swing set, a slide, or a see-saw. Just ensure that you can lower or raise the swing seat to adjust to the different heights of your children.
Another thing you can add is a sandbox, which can give children the chance to enjoy sensory play. Moreover, a sandbox is ideal for young children with motor disabilities. It does not have to be very big. You can add a tire swing if you have a bigger backyard and sturdy trees. A slide is another go-to playground equipment. If your backyard area has room for one, you can add a slide. Just consider its height and curves.
Below are the common types of play that children adore and which you can add to that special place created for their enjoyment for a more elaborate discussion of what we already mentioned.
- Active play. Running around and exhausting all their energy is the main cornerstone of building a play area for your children. Interestingly, you can provide this with or without a piece of equipment. While you may bring in the playsets mentioned above, you can still encourage active play without them. For one, you can recycle things around the house to support all the climbing, hopping, swinging, balancing, and other activities they love doing. For example, you may repurpose an old car tire and turn it into a swing. For another, some activities may only require having an open yard. Take away all the distractions so your children can run freely in the yard without any risks.
- Quiet play. Some children are not as active or lively as others. They find entertainment in the stillness of things, whether alone or with the company. A hammock beneath the trees where they can read their favorite books or a cubby house where they can play with their favorite toys is more than enough to keep them busy and happy during their free time.
- Messy play. Some children like it rough. They enjoy playing with sand, rocks, pebbles, grass, seashells, pine cones, and the like. Good thing, it is not so difficult to bring them all into your play place with improvised versions that will help keep your children safe. Messy plays support children's brain development. By giving them an opportunity to play with all their five senses stimulated, you are enhancing their sensory experiences, which is crucial to their brain's development.
- Imaginative play. Children who love pretend plays will be impressed if they can have a space to put their imagination to work. Are your children fond of dinosaurs? Create a Jurassic Park-like zone where you can put dinosaurs made of cardboard. Are your children inclined to the whimsical world of fairies? Decorate a part of a playhouse for that kind of play, complete with princess costumes to complete the feel.
- Creative play. Inspire your children's creativity through various activities that you may add to their play space. For example, you may put up a music wall, a chalkboard where they can write, draw, and solve Math problems, plus other items that will enhance their artistic side. It is also a brilliant idea to add crafting kits for sewing, embroidering, or crocheting. Those creative play opportunities will give them something to do and put their energy to good use. Consider this a way to prepare them for school activities or see those activities more enjoyably as part of a seemingly ordinary play.
3. Climbing features
Children love to climb, so if your yard has trees, think of installing ladders as long as they are sturdy. You can also consider a small climbing wall or a jungle gym. If you have space, these features are good for helping your children build their muscles and boost physical confidence. To ensure their safety, you can install rubber playground mulch.
Ensure that the backyard play area is safe by painting the equipment with a protective coating and choosing the play items carefully.