By Jane Marsh
Designing a backyard space for your toddlers can be fun and rewarding. You get to tap into your creativity and planning skills to make a safe and fun environment that encourages your children to play outside and explore the nature around them. Whether you have lots of space or not, you can fit a small section into your yard for play. Here are ten things to know about designing a backyard space for toddlers.
1. Keep Safety a Priority
Ensure the area is suitable for children and install fences if necessary to ensure your child doesn’t wander off. Inspect the space for any hazards, such as sharp objects, dangerous plants or chemicals used outside that are harmful if ingested. Get equipment and materials that are age appropriate and meet safety standards. Safety comes first when you’re making a space for kids.
2. Create the Play Zone
Designate a specific area of the backyard for children to play. It can be a corner or a separate space with a barrier. If you don’t have much room, it can even be a small sandbox that allows them to get outside. Add soft surfaces like rubber mats, swings, slides or monkey bars.
3. Stimulate Senses
Children stay curious and love to explore each of the five senses. Make the area brightly coloured, textured and have fun shapes for them to play with. You can even find safe native plants so it smells nice while observing nature.
4. Include Storage
The play area will likely have a lot of toys the kids can use while in it. They can quickly clutter your backyard, making it look disorganized. Provide storage solutions like bins or shelves to store toys when not in use. It will keep everything tidy while avoiding tripping hazards.
5. Provide Shade
You won’t want your little one getting a sunburn or overheating. Make sure you put up umbrellas or make the space under a tree. You can also use your home as shade if sections of your home block the sun. Ensure you clean out your gutters so rainfall can drain properly without flooding the space you created for your kids to play.
6. Make it Accessible
Make sure you consider your toddler’s size when designing the backyard space. Use ramps for elevated play areas, and ensure pathways are wide enough for strollers or wagons. This way, you can have everything you need and children can navigate it easily.