We have been renovating our house over the last number of years and while the inside is nearing completion, an equally challenging task is next on the agenda……the outside spaces. Neither of us are green fingered and the thought of tackling the overgrown mess outside fills me with such dread. We definitely need some expert intervention on this one even for some consultancy. One key proviso for me a safe and fun environment for the kids. I decided what better to do than to reach other so my fellow blogger to see what they have done with their gardens.
First up some great tips around keeping the area itself safe and enclosed. Elizabeth from The Homemakers Journal had some great suggestions in terms of basic safety, keeping the tools and equipment in separate storage areas. Also crucially and a very important consideration, keep all sprays and fertilisers out of reach of little hands (and animals). Jo from Cup of Toast also highlighted the importance of keeping hazards out the way, I love her suggestion of giving the kids their own shed that way they are contained and away from potential hazards or even escaping!
Pete who writes at Household Money Saving highlighted the importance of making sure the toys themselves are in good working condition. This is a brilliant suggestion and probably one im guilty of not doing enough off particularly for the likes of trampolines and swings which could pose a risk if not installed or used correctly.
I love Natalie from Mummy and Moose suggestion of training the dog to do its business in one area and training the kids to avoid! Genius!! While we don’t have any pets one suggestion that ill definitely be implementing is from Sarah of A Few Favourite Things of keeping the wheelie bins separate. Safety aside we have 3 and they are so unsightly looking!
I also love Carolin of Mummy Alarm suggestion of soft surfaces for playing on. I have two boys and they just love playing rough, climbing and skipping around the place. Hopefully a soft surface would lessen the cuts and scraps. Having done my research (extensive research!) I have found ESP Play who amongst other products offer a great range of soft surfaces. I really like the artifical grass or the rubber mulch. I’m all about low maintenance but practical solutions.
The bit the boys will love!! Both Stacey of One Small Human and Anoushka of Spitting Yarn mentioned mud kitchens!! I have never heard of this before but I suspect the boys would love it, quite literally, a sectioned off area with some kitchen utensils and some muck/mud. You can’t beat the messy play to keep them entertained for hours. Emma from Our Fairytale Adventure suggested a sensory garden including a fruit and veg patch. I love the idea of growing some of our own vegetable so this is something im definitely looking into. Check out Emma’s gorgeous garden at the above lunch, that pergola is some serious garden goals!
The boys really want a tree house or some kind of play equipment and the Dada Fairy has promised them that he would get them something when the garden is done! I always end up doing so much research im a total planner and need to know everything! But have a look a the tangled equipment from ESP Play . Absolutely love the look of them and I know my kids would love them too and no doubt proving hours of fun out in the garden. I do note it would need one of the above mentioned soft surfaces due to the inevitable fall risk but I really do love them and combined with the soft surface above I think it would be a fantastic investment in our garden.
One of the most interesting things I did come across while looking for children’s play equipment was the study on the aforementioned ESP Play site which showed as a result of extensive independent research commissioned by ESP and carried out by Liverpool John Moores University, they discovered that the average amount of physical activity taking place during PE lessons was remarkably low. This really shocked me and to my mind while the tangled equipment looks good it is doing far more than just that, it is actively encouraging physical activity. A really huge benefit in my mind.
Lots of fantastic tips and inspiration above, however one thing I do know for sure is that ill definitely be enlisting the services of a gardener when its all done to keep on top of the routine maintenance. Left to myself and the Dada Fairy we wouldn’t have a clue where to start!!
Ill look forward to revealing the finished product over the next few months.
Note: This is a collaborative post