As your family grows, and your kids become more and more able to play outdoors on their own, it's time to do a bit of garden remodelling. Your cultivated garden or yard might currently be your ideal outdoor living space, with decorative candles and wicker seating where you can host barbecues and drinks with the neighbours, but it might not be a safe, child-friendly area. Give your little ones a safe place to play with our tips for turning your yard into a playground, and for creating an area that's stimulating and fun for both children and adults alike.
Keep it hidden
As well as preventing any trips or falls, investing in some good garden storage can help you keep your outdoor space clean and tidy, even when you have kids at home. Built-in storage can come in the form of a multi-purpose bench or table, or as a waterproof outdoor toy chest. If you have a sand pit – which is fantastic for sensory play – you can easily disguise it in a sunken planting bed surrounded with natural shrubs and grasses. This gives your kids a wild, jungle-inspired sandbox to play in, while also disguising it when your guests arrive.
Grow your own
Taking some time to create garden projects with your kids can be a great bonding exercise, as well as providing them with a relaxing and educational task to enjoy. Children will love growing a vegetable box or patch, and it will teach them about health, nature and responsibility. This also means you will have a plot of home-grown organic vegetables to use for balanced meals. Get really creative and use trellis planters to curve plants or flowers into a sheltered den or tunnel shape to give your kids an adventurous hideaway.
Keep it natural
When turning your yard into a playground, it is both better for the environment and for your outdoor living aesthetic to choose natural materials. Why not source a fallen log or tree trunk for exploration purposes? You could create a set of stepping stones from rocks or rustic paving slabs through a pond with a water feature, or hang a wooden swing from a sturdy tree.
Keep it safe
With the play items and natural features in place, turning your yard into a playground for your kids also requires a safety inspection. If you choose to erect play equipment make sure there’s a safe distance from any walls, rocks or hedges. Set up swings or slides over spots with grass or wood chips to give your kids a soft landing in case they fall, and regularly check over all of your play equipment and the general area to make sure there are no broken bits or pieces lying around.
From turning a yard into a playground to more outdoor living tips, the Engel & Völkers website covers all of your design and property needs. Browse online for additional advice and more outdoor decor inspiration.