As a parent, you know just how important it is to get the kids outdoors, allow them to get that much-needed fresh air, run around, and burn off some energy. However, knowing that that is important, and making it happen, are two entirely different things. Getting them to step away from their electronic devices and toys inside can be difficult to say the least, and can often end up in an argument. So, what’s the solution? It could be that your back garden is in desperate need of a kid-friendly makeover, thereby making it a lot more inviting and fun for kids to hang out in.
To help you on the journey of creating a family-friendly back garden, we’ve gone ahead and come up with six essentials that you’ll want to consider adding into the design plan. Once you’re finished with the garden, you may even find that it’s a battle to get the kids to come indoors at the end of the day!
Ensure the Garden is Safe and Enclosed
If you have older kids, this may not be a concern, but for those with young kids, you’ll want to be sure the garden is safe and enclosed for them. This may mean a privacy fence needs to be built, or you can even use hedges and dense trees to create a perimeter. Of course, even with the safety features, you’ll still need to supervise them if they are young.
Make Outdoor Dining a Family Activity
Another way to get the kids to venture outdoors more often is to embrace outdoor dining. They need to eat, they love to eat, so go ahead and serve them meals outdoors. You don’t have to go all out and build an outdoor kitchen; all you need is a flat level area for seating and a table and chairs big enough for the whole family.
A great option for a level seating area is to use outdoor composite decking, which you can find through Ecoscape UK. This is ideal for busy families who don’t want to have to deal with the constant maintenance and upkeep of a traditional wood deck, but still like the look that it gives. The composite decking offered through Ecoscape comes with a 20+ year warranty, which means you've got piece of mind when it comes to durability. And let's face it, kids are known to play hard and be rough so you know the decking will stand up to them. You won’t have to worry about the kids getting splinters, the deck fading or rotting over time, and you’ve got that great area for family meals.
Give Kids a Shady Area to Retreat To
Just because you want the kids to get some fresh air, doesn’t mean they want to be in the direct sun at all times. This can be pretty hot, and you don’t want to run the risk of them getting sunburn. Even when wearing the proper SPF, too much sun can still cause a burn. The best solution is to work a shady area into your garden design. This could be a table with an umbrella, a freestanding umbrella that can be moved around, an awning, a gazebo, or even strategically placed greenery so that it creates shade.
Water Features and Kids – a Perfect Match
In terms of activities, water features are always a big hit with kids. There is just something about water-based activities that capture their attention and scream “fun” to them. Just what kind of water feature you include will depend on your budget and the space available. Some options include:
A small kiddie pool
An above-ground pool
An in-ground pool
An oversized sprinkler
A slip and slide
If you have young children, there are water tables that you can find that are basically a small basin of water that is on legs. Kids can stand at the water table playing with float toys, and other objects. For toddlers, this can provide hours’ worth of fun and entertainment.
Stock the Garden with Sporting Activities
For those who have kids that are very sports-minded, you’ll want to stock the garden with all the necessary equipment. This can include a soccer net, baseball bat, a ball pitcher (a kid-friendly model), badminton, bocce ball, croquet, and so forth. Just be sure you also consider how you plan to store these items so they are easy and quick to access, and won’t be left strewn all across the lawn when they finish playing.
Let’s Not Forget the Swing Set
Finally, there is the swing set, the staple in every family-friendly garden. While there’s nothing wrong with the traditional models, nowadays you can find those that feature swings, slides, tire swings, a built-in clubhouse, a sandbox, and so much more. These play sets allow you to create your own kids park in your garden.
By using all of these tips, you’ll be able to create a family-friendly back garden that the kids will love spending time in.