Fun and Cheap Eco Ideas to Turn Your Backyard into an Ultimate Playground

Jun 16 2016     /     , ,

Image 1 - Main pic

We live in the age of technology, and it’s no secret that kids are fascinated with iPads, TV screens and video games. Most parents think that children today are spending less time outdoors than children did in their generation, however, the statistics may still shock you. A survey conducted by Edelman Berlandt (the research was founded by the Henkel Company) of more than 12,000 parents across 10 countries around the world revealed that every third child spends less than half an hour outside each day.

As you may have already known, spending the majority of the day indoors comes with potential health risks. The most obvious is Vitamin D deficiency due to the lack of exposure to the sun, which can lead to poor bone health, cardiovascular diseases and even asthma. One way to encourage your child to have fun outdoors and even exercise is to turn your backyard into a playground. This will also allow you to get creative and have fun building it. However, as with anything, the best play areas are those that have been properly planned out.

Movable Sandbox

A sandbox is essential for any playground, but build-in sandboxes take up a lot of lawn space and if you have a small backyard, or if you simply do not want to sacrifice room, you might have some doubts about buying one. If that is the case, a sandbox on wheels might be the best option. One possibility is to buy a plain-old sandbox and mount some wheels on it, but you could always build one from scratch by yourself over the weekend.

Image 2 - Sandbox

Backyard Kitchen

Play-kitchens are still extremely popular, but the problem is, they can cost a fortune (prices range from $100 to $500) and kids usually leave a mess after they’re finished playing. Luckily, you can build a mud-pie kitchen out of pallets for $20, or you can even use that old shelf you have been meaning to get rid of for the last couple of years. It only takes a few hours to put everything together, and you can always get your child to help you with the design.

Outdoor Blackboard

If your child loves to draw and doodle, a chalkboard is a great way to express his or her creativity. Some people do not have enough room for a chalkboard, and nobody likes to clean up chalk dust. So, why not attach one to your fence. Just get a piece of plywood, paint it over with two coats of chalkboard paint and you are ready to go. It will not only add personality to your backyard, but it will also stop your child from using chalk to draw on your driveway.

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Climbing Wall

A recent study from the University of British Columbia found that kids who engage in seemingly risky activities are more active and confident than their peers. Additionally, the study found no evidence of increased injuries from engaging in risky play. Therefore, have no worries – your little tree-climber will be safe and sound when you turn the corner of your backyard into a climbing wall. Of course, you have to have a soft surface below in order to make things safer for your child. So, make sure to at least put a mattress on the ground.

Safety Measures and Regular Inspections

By installing safety surfaces in your backyard, you will ensure the safety of your children when the inevitable falls happen. However, you should avoid rubber mulch, as there are toxicological and environmental concerns and conflicting reports about the benefits of the material. Instead, you should try foam padding, as it is remarkably effective for creating soft spots and it is environmentally friendly. If you have a pool area in your backyard, consider installing Elmich’s VersiJack paving if you want to surround your pool with a safe surface.

Image 4 - Backyard pool

 

After you finish with the installation process and your child starts climbing and playing on a regular basis, it’s important to inspect the play area on a monthly basis in order to prevent injuries. Make certain that no sharp edges or points are sticking out from the playground structure. With regular maintenance and quick repairs, your playground should last at least a decade before you have to start replacing worn pieces.

 

 

About the author

Marie Nieves is a lifestyle blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. She is an avid lover of photography interested in interior and exterior design and regular author on several blogs. For her articles, she often consults décor specialists, home organization experts and bloggers.

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