Children need safe play spaces, both indoor and outdoor. These play spaces should bring out the best in them and ensure they are comfortable to learn and explore their environment, and if their favourite play space can be found in their own garden, all the better. To keep them looking to their garden as an exciting and engaging space as they grow up, it helps to have a variety of play elements involved. Here at Garden Play, we`ve put together this guide with the view to offering tips that will help you make a garden play space limitless in the fun it provides.
To spark the imagination and creativity of your children, you can help to create a play space that embraces fairy stories, superheroes and other adventurous stories. Whether it’s through the presence of a playhouse, an area for their toys and costumes, or utilising any trees or bushes in your garden as a magical forest, there’s many options.
Messy Sensory Play
There are many ways to activate your child’s brain through play. Sensory play elements unlock a variety of learning experiences, and can be achieved by introducing elements like sand and water play. By feeling the texture of different soils, whether splashing around with water or modelling using sand or clay, brain receptors are activated as they learn the craft. You can place tubs with small holes in to run water through. Simple spades, scoops and tubs can help them in fashioning small castles and other items as they play with their sandbox.
A garden slide, a swing set, a bounce element in the form of a trampoline or space hopper; these are some of the best active play equipment items for your outdoor space. Not only can they provide fun play for children of all ages, but they also provide them with exercise at the same time. Each activity helps to build up and strengthen a child’s agility, core strength and overall general fitness.
If you want to ensure your children keep playing for hours, you can also introduce equipment like balls, hoops, bean bags and skipping ropes. To go a step further with combining garden play with physical development, an item like a balance beam is another piece of equipment that can be built in your garden, helping to develop gymnastic ability and strength whilst also offering lots of fun.
To enhance a child’s creativity, there are many audio-visual play elements that you can introduce into your outdoor space. Toy musical instruments, art supplies such as paint and chalk, as well as problem-solving puzzles and plastic building bricks; these are just a few exciting examples. All of these features can aid in activating a child’s brain to be more creative and active while choosing the right tools and costumes for the task in hand. The introduction of drums and small chalkboards come in handy as your children practice new and fun art forms.
Quiet Play & Secret Spaces
Building hammocks, Wendy houses, forts, animal dens and tepees are all ways to bring about the feel of a ‘secret’ playing room. With young children, it’s possible to have them under close supervision, while they enjoy the illusion of being in their own private world. You can be watching them from nearby while they’re in their own cosy den, interacting with their teddy bears, action figures and/or dolls.
It can also be great to teach your children about how to handle and appreciate all of the elements present in your garden. This can range from looking out for insects to watering flowers. Showing them how to plant flowers, and tend to them as they grow, can be a great way to teach them values like patience, investment and enjoy themselves at the same time as they learn.
By creating all or even some of these outdoor play elements, your child will come to love your garden as an exciting and engaging area where they also learn a host of new things. We hope you enjoy the journey!