Creating a Natural Play Area For Your Children
We know how important it is for our children to get outside in the fresh air and step away from their screens. The challenge can sometimes be in making that a more tempting option for them than their gadgets are. Along with imposing boundaries around their tech time, it can be fun to lure them outside by creating a natural play area that will be simply irresistible to them, and we do have a few ideas for you.
Make it a safe area
First up, before you start adding in all of the fun elements, do ensure that the area is safe for children to play in. Remove ponds and water features if your children are very young, then secure the garden with sturdy fencing. Perhaps look into composite wood fencing for a durable option able to withstand high winds and children throwing anything and everything at it. Check that there are no toxic plants and pull out any brambles or stinging nettles. Level the playing area if the ground is uneven and then you are ready to start adding in a few attractions.
Create a mud kitchen
Have you ever seen these? They are great for young children, and they are likely to keep on appealing to kids all the way up until their teenage years. All that you need is a little station with a few items and utensils from your kitchen. Set them up on a wall, pallet or old table alongside a few spoons and bowls filled with dirt and water and invite your kids to explore the mud kitchen. They won’t need to be shown much more than this, they will soon be well away baking mud pies and mixing their dirt batter!
Give them their own garden
Children can learn so much from having their own space in the garden. They learn a sense of responsibility for their own patch of land, along with nurturing it. They develop an understanding of how life cycles work and how the environment can impact and they will no doubt develop an appreciation for and love of nature. Along with designing it, planting it and tending to it, encourage them to document it. This could involve drawing the plants and creatures that they see there, looking up what they are and learning about them, and then they might want to conduct regular growth experiments.
Use your recycling
You are likely to have a bin full ready to recycle, so before you send it all away, utilise it in the garden. Set up a junk corner, full of cardboard boxes and tubes, discarded containers and tins. Ensure that all are safe for your kids to play with and use, removing any sharp edges and objects. They can then choose to build or play with them, and if you add in paint and glue, all manner of modelling can take place. It’s guaranteed to bring out their creative sides and keep them occupied for hours out there.
Which of these ideas have you tried for your children? What else do they enjoy playing outside?