5 tips to help you create a kid-friendly yard to promote outdoor play
If you have a yard for your kids to stay in during spring and summer days, then you’re in luck. However, if you notice that your kids are avoiding it, you might need to give them a little push. By adjusting it to their needs and preferences, they will be more likely to spend their free time there, in fresh air. Here are some of the changes you can make in your yard to encourage them to play there.
Create more open space
If you have a large yard, there’s probably plenty of space in it to plant a few trees, have a seating area with garden table and chairs, and still leave enough of clear and open space for your children to play and explore. On the other hand, some yards are too small to fit all of these things, meaning that you’ll probably have to sacrifice some of its features to provide your children with the open space they can use for playing and developing their imagination. Plus, open spaces are like an invitation for them to run and spend all the extra energy they have on something positive, so that their mood improves and they can sleep better at night. Therefore, if you have to, remove anything you can that’s a nuisance for your kids to get more open space for them.
Green it up
There are many benefits of the nature’s green on our wellness and mood. It keeps us optimistic, energized and healthy. Furthermore, when the temperatures go through the roof, green areas are always a bit cooler. Hence, if there’s room in your yard for planting a tree or two to create shade for your kids while they’re playing, by all means, plant ahead. And don’t forget, bushes and trees function as filters, keeping a significant part of dirt and dust from the nearby roads at bay, which means cleaner air for your children to breathe. After all, you know how much your kids love going to the park or the countryside, and since it’s impossible to find time to take them there every day, they can play in your yard instead. Finally, simply planting grass will make for a great surface for playing sports or having a picnic with their favourite toys.
Make your yard safer
When decorating your yard with your children in mind, you have to make sure that the surfaces in it are safe for your little ones to run on, but also simple to maintain and appealing to the eye. One of the best solutions to fulfil all of these criteria is the functional decorative concrete, which is not only durable and modern, but it also comes in different colours, so that it can be combined with the rest of your outdoor décor. The parents whose children suffer from allergies will love the fact that it’s hypoallergenic. It’s also slip-resistant, which is very important, since it decreases the chances of your kids falling down due to new shoes or some spilled water. All this in combination with the fact that it’s very versatile and can contribute to your yard’s charm makes this an increasingly popular option for kid-friendly yards.
Turn your patio into a common space
It would be a shame to waste a perfectly good patio, so furnish yours the best way possible. For families with children, this means furniture which will encourage both children and adults to spend time there. A nice table with some chairs around it can make for a great place for parents to sip lemonade on hot afternoons or cocktails after their children go to bed, while kids can replace their rooms with the sunny outdoors and play cards, draw or have their afternoon snack there. In case the furniture is hard and uncomfortable, you can solve the problem with some colourful cushions. Add some fairy lights and you can have fun family time no matter what time of day it is.
Make the best of dirt
To your eyes it may be simple dirt and mud, but to your children, it’s the perfect ingredient for making a cake, building a small mountain or simply the best thing to dig through in your yard. So, find a spot as far away from your flowers as possible and leave it just the way it is, without any grass or other plants, so that your kids can play and let their imagination run wild. If you add a tree stump or two nearby, or even make a shelf with a few stones and a small plank between them, give them a few old pots or plastic containers you don’t need, they’ll have a whole kitchen of their own to play in. You’ll have to give them a bath afterwards, but they’ll probably be so happy that you really won’t mind.
The only thing better for children than unstructured play is outdoor unstructured play. With a little creativity and effort, you can give them just that and keep an eye on them at all times from any of your windows.
About the author: Mike Johnston is an avid writer and blogger from Sydney, Australia. He is a regular contributor to numerous lifestyle blogs and online magazines, where he writes about interior design (his specialty!), travel, family, sustainable living and other related and unrelated topics. Mike’s goal is to create insightful and compelling content that will help readers navigate through these vast and ever-changing fields.