The reason why so many parents in the 21st century have a problem getting their kids to play outside is due to the fact that they take a wrong approach to the situation as a whole. You see, instead of grounding your kids or taking away their phone, what you need to do is incentivize playing outside. The best way to do so is to rely on the good old concept of intrinsic motivation. By transforming your garden into an ultimate playground, you’ll make them want to play outside, rather than feel like they need to. Here are several tips to help you out in this regard.
Keeping the place safe
Before you start planning a playground layout, you need to ensure that the place is actually safe for kids. This means rooting out any weeds that can cause a rash, removing any debris that could cause a tripping accident and, most importantly, pruning branches that appear risky. Other than that, a messy garden is home to numerous pests and keeping the place pest-free is one more thing you can do in order to protect your child. This task is fairly simple and it isn’t something that you’ll have to do that often. Nonetheless, even if it was demanding, the safety of your child would be more than worth it. With that in mind and without further ado, some basic landscaping is the first step you have to make.
A tree house
There’s nothing that a kid wants more than a place where they can be all alone so that they can shut themselves off in the world of imagination. This is what a tree house is, not a toy, not the first piece of real estate that your kid owns but a getaway. Here, they can hang out with their friends, make their own rules and even learn a thing or two about responsible homeownership by having to keep the place tidy and functional on their own. Still, constructing a treehouse is not an easy project, which is why you’ll need some instructions, materials and specialized equipment. In order to make it as safe as possible, you should look for nearby agencies offering reliable scaffolding for hire.
A vegetable garden
While this may not be the first thing that comes to mind when constructing a playground, yet, if the gardening is so fun for an adult, can’t it be so for a kid, as well? Kids are curious by nature and always want to learn more. Why would anyone assume that a child won’t be interested to learn where the food on their table comes from? Moreover, composting, watering and even preparing the garden can be fun activities when put in the right context. Making things thematic can be even more interesting for your kid, which is why pizza gardens and taco gardens are getting more and more popular by the hour. This is a scenario where your garden produces the majority of ingredients that go on a pizza or in a taco.
As for the playground equipment, this is where things get interesting. The majority of this equipment is really easy to build and install. For instance, a seesaw is probably the simplest and the most iconic of all playground equipment, yet, it doesn’t take an expert craftsman to make it. Other than this, you can also make a rope bridge, a swing or purchase and install a roundabout.
Sure, the latter is not something that you can make on your own that easily, yet, it’s still not a major investment. Just compare it to the price of constructing a desk or a pool and you’ll see just how frugal addition to your backyard this actually is. Nonetheless, it all depends on the size of your backyard, the number of kids you expect to have in the backyard (your kids, plus the neighbors and friends) and the list of playground equipment should be more than clear.
Ask your kid
At the very end of the day, it’s always a good idea to ask your kid what they would like to have in this playground. Sure, kids are kids so don’t be surprised by some unrealistic or unreasonable demands like installing a massive bouncy castle in your miniature backyard. In order to avert a scenario where they demand something and you outright refuse (after asking them for their opinion), what you need to do is give them a couple of options and tell them to choose one. Everyone wants their opinion to be heard and honored and your child is not an exception to this rule. Therefore, by helping them contribute to this project, you’re encouraging them to take the ownership of the playground that comes as a result.
The most interesting thing about constructing a playground lies in the fact that it’s an investment in the health and development of your kids. Playing outdoors and engaging in regular physical activity is important for their health (both physical and mental). Other than this, some of the above-listed activities (like gardening) are something that can be done as a group effort, meaning that it brings the family together. Either way, transforming your garden into an ultimate playground is an interesting concept that you can’t afford to miss out on.