Here is part two in our series on designing the perfect kids garden written by professional garden designer Helen Spry from Ezyplant. Helen is a mother of two very active boys and has been a domestic garden designer for 10 years. In this post Helen looks at equipment that can be added to a kids garden to encourage imagination, play, relaxation and exercise. To see part one where Helen discusses matters relating to productive gardens, turf and paths for kids click here.
Trampolines provide hours of fun and physical activity and are available in a range of sizes. Apart from the physical benefits they can also be used for reading and doing homework. A quiet outdoor classroom provides a wonderful space for learning and can be helpful for remembering spelling words or math sums. Jumping on a trampoline or bouncing a ball while saying the word/sum out loud can make all the difference in retaining information for some children. Give it a try!
Sandpits provide a creative space and will guarantee hours of play. The bigger the better especially if you are catering for more than one child. Essentially a 3m X 3m size pit will allow 2 children to play happily. If your garden allows, consider a huge pile of dirt for hours of fun digging, making mud pies and creating cities with roads and houses. If you have children that love to ride bikes then creating some jumps in the garden will ensure hours of fun whilst learning great skills. Get the kids involved in the construction and watch the track grow.
Swings are such a lovely way to pass the time. I’m sure we all remember the first time we were able to swing on our own and how difficult it was to learn the art of doing so. To reach such great heights that you thought you might be able to fly is a wonderful feeling and just another step in a child’s sense of achievement. Whether you purchase one or design your own so you can swing with them they make a great addition to a kids’ garden.
Cubby houses are always a winner with the kids and can be as extensive as your budget can afford. With so many accessories available on the market your cubby house or fort can provide a great creative space for real life activities and imaginative play. Involve the kids in painting their play space. Let them choose their favorite colours and designs.
Think outside the square and make good use of any available space. If space is limited Play Equipment can be purchased that incorporates the fort, sandpit, swings and climbing equipment. For me as a garden designer I always suggest planting a climbing tree as a natural alternative to some monkey bars. A basketball/netball hoop can be attached to a carport/shed or concreted into the edge of a garden which sits beside the driveway. Marine ply can be painted with blackboard paint and attached to the fence, cubby house or to the side of any structure.
It’s important to get the kids involved in the development of the garden. Have fun and be creative. The kids will love it!!
For more information on things to consider when planning a garden take a look at www.ezyplant.com.au