Modern parents know the many challenges they face convincing their children to play outdoors.
In the age of smartphones, tablets, and other devices, many children would rather stay indoors than venture out to play in the fresh air.
In fact, Child in the City reported that children now only spend an average of 4 hours a week playing outside. But it also suggested that new media isn’t the only thing to blame, as there are now less open spaces in the city for kids to play in.
As a concerned parent, you can remedy this problem by transforming your own garden into your child’s little playground. With the right things placed outside your home, your kids will be naturally encouraged to have fun outdoors.
So what exactly will entice them to play in the garden?
Keep Their Hands Busy
First, you have to give kids a reason to stay outside.
Think of some of the activities they enjoy and simply set them up in your garden.
For instance, playing in woodland areas can boost creativity among kids.
They can do things like go bug hunting or foraging to keep them active. To set this up, you can establish a garden that houses a variety of plants that lure all kinds of bugs. You can start the kids early too by letting them plant the seeds themselves and learn about the many plants in your garden, as you go along.
Why not put a sandpit in your garden, too?
Children love the idea of hiding objects in the sand for others to dig up with toy shovels. They could also be inspired to build their own sandcastles, as if they’re spending a day at the beach.
If your children are interested in drawing, you can also build an outdoor art station.
Why not dedicate a corner of your garden to where they can paint or draw? Preferably an area of the garden where they can’t mess anything up like decking, where paint might stain the wood.
Provide Fun Obstacles
Go ahead and take advantage of your kids’ energy by letting them jump, climb, and crawl.
If there’s a tree in your backyard, you can set up a simple tyre swing.
If not, you can opt to get crafty by building your own wooden swing set for them to enjoy the outdoors all year round.
How about building a mini-climbing wall as well? This alone provides kids with their daily dose of exercise.
Climbing walls are great for encouraging children to get into other outdoor activities in the future, too.
If you have any discarded tyres lying around in your garage, you can also lay them out in the backyard and create an instant obstacle course!
The sight of those tyres may encourage the kids to hold races where they have to hop from hole to hole.
It’s the perfect excuse to get those legs working and heart pumping.
Build Them a House of Their Own
A playground is never complete without a playhouse.
Kids love a good playhouse and building their own little shelter outside helps empower them with a place they can call their own. When designing your child’s very own playhouse, it’s best to put their safety above all else.
That means you should not only consider the layout of the house, but also the materials it’s made from.
Screwfix lists an array of playhouses that are made from FSC-certified wood. It’s a material that’s not only environmentally friendly, but also safe and durable.
While most of their playhouses follow the standard design, there are other projects that are more ambitious in terms of structure. Ask your child what they would like to have in their own little home and you can work together to choose the best one to suit their needs.
Also look at the potential to add other aesthetic features to the playhouse, such as a slide, so that it can keep kids occupied while outdoors.
Of course, there’s also the option to put up a tent inside the house if you don’t have the luxury of a spacious garden.
HomEdit list several tent ideas, ranging from small teepees to large tents with furniture inside.
While they’re not as durable as playhouses, kids will still love crawling into them for a little ‘me time’.
So there you have it – some fun and practical ways to get your children off their tablets and smartphones and into the big outdoors.
Whatever ideas you choose for your garden or outdoor space – remember the most important thing is to stay safe and have fun!