How To Create A Safe Outdoor Play Area For Your Kids
If we listen to recent media reports, kids are spending too much time indoors glued to electronic devices. For their health and development, they should spend a significant amount of time outdoors. One way to encourage this is to create a fun and safe outdoor play area.
One of a parent’s worst nightmares is for their child to be taken. Security is of the utmost importance when it comes to creating outdoor playgrounds.
- Ensure your children are supervised by a suitable adult when playing out of doors
- Children should be taught to stay within their garden perimeter and not to venture into the street unaccompanied
- Fence off all outdoor play areas
- If possible, obscure the view of play areas from the street
- Ensure that gates are kept closed and cannot be opened by children
- Lock tool sheds and garages
- Ensure grids and drains are covered
Removing Potential Hazards
Though we would like to, we can’t wrap our children in cotton wool. However, we can create a child-friendly home. And we can ensure we build a safe environment for them to play.
Start with what you have already and make that safe. Clear all rubbish and unwanted items from the play area. Check surfaces for problems. If your driveway is crumbling or full of holes, this could cause a tripping hazard. Update this if necessary. Exposed aggregate concrete works well as it provides a non-slip surface. It is achieved by placing the concrete and then removing the top layer to reveal the aggregate. The effect is decorative and also low-maintenance. It will also keep other family members safe, especially in wet weather.
Other potential hazards include:
- Sharp branches and thorny bushes
- Gardening tools and appliances
- Animal droppings
- Ponds, swimming pools and water features
- Glass and other debris
- Poisonous plants
Remove any potential hazards and rearrange the area for your children.
Swings, Slides, And Climbing Frames
Children love swings, slides, and climbing frames. They will keep them entertained for hours. However, falling from a height can cause significant injuries. To prevent this from happening, teach children about playing safely. As an additional preventative measure, create a soft surface in these areas. This could be sand, wood bark, or rubber chips, etc.
To make a fun and varied environment set up different zones. For example, you could have an area dedicated to swings and slides, etc. Another area could be a small plot for them to plant seeds and flowers. Ensure they have enough space in which to run around and play.
Children love to play unencumbered. A messy area outside will allow them to do this. Add a paddling pool for water play and a sand pit. Paints and clay work well outside too, and you don’t need to worry about your furniture being ruined.
Create dens and secret areas for them with tents, playhouses, and covered areas. This will provide them with a space of their own and fire their imagination.
Putting some safety measures in place will protect your children. Insist that they wear helmets when riding bikes, or roller skating, etc. Knee and elbow pads are also wise. Whenever you buy a new toy, go through safety with them. This is particularly important for large outdoor toys such as trampolines, etc.
Once your safety measures are in place, ensure they are checked and monitored. You can then relax and have fun with your children.