27 Foolproof Ideas For An Epic Play Garden For Your Kids
I don’t know about you, but our garden has been invaluable to us over the years. Weve been through a huge array of toys and equipment and as we start to set up our garden again for outdoor play this Spring, I thought I’d let you in on some of our favourites.
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So where to start
Now the weathers looking better the kids will be back playing outside, if your kids are like mine they get so fed up with the same boring equipment in the garden.
Start by overhauling your activities and equipment. We started by looking at what was the most popular activity and hands down for us it’s a swing set.
We used to have a metal framed one but it seemed to rust quickly and I was buying a new one every year. Being a child minder has its effect on equipment and it wasn’t big enough for the amount of use it saw so we invested in this.
It is Amazing, it’s so solid and the kids can go higher on it without worrying about squeaking hinges.
Ours came with a 10 year guarantee too. The kids love being able to all play together instead of taking turns. I’m so glad we went for this.
Another investment we made is this play gym. Originally for the kids when they were little but as you can see it still gets used by everyone as a seat, a den or even part of an obstacle course. It’s well used now but here’s the newest version.
A see saw and round-about
These are also great if you have space as every child through my door loves them. They also become included in every roleplay game and activities.
Sand and water table.
Bouncy castle or some bouncers.
Temlum Hanging Kids Pod Swing Seat Nook Tent – Child Hammock Nest for Indoor and Outdoor Use- Includes Hardware (Red)
We LOVE these hanging pods for kids. We have decided to get 3 of them to hang from the big tree in our garden. They offer kids a quiet place to be alone as well as a fun place to play. Wonderful idea and will be well used here.
Basket ball net.
This little guy has been best friend to all my kids. He’s been out in all weathers too and still looks like new.
He’s also small enough he can be brought indoors on wet days too.
Some place for the kids of their own is a good idea, whether it is a shed, play house or a willow tee pee, somewhere for kids to hide away and think when the mood takes them. We have the pink version of the house above and the along with the mud kitchen. they spend most of their time out in this in all weathers.
Low cost ideas
Leave a small area wild
Kids love wild corners they can play and imagine in. Maybe a wildlife area, small but safe wildlife pond or pot area? Plant some wildlife friendly plants and let your child watch and see what comes to visit.
Natural loose play bits
This is the basis of most of the play in our garden,
- Small twigs and sticks
- conkers and other large seeds
- wood slices large and small.
Anything that can become whatever the kids dream they can be, from stuff to sell in a shop, to food to serve to people, or to builders rubble for diggers to move. Encourage their imaginations with some loose parts like this.
Use tree stumps to for a variety of uses; seats. tables, balancing beams, stepping-stones across the hot lava. The list is endless.
Cable reels are wonderful and have endless possibilities. This idea from teachmemommy is a fantastic use of a cable drum as a farm play centre. Just some paint and some imagination work wonders. I guess you could double this one up with tree stumps too if you sat and painted one up.
This mud kitchen is a fantastic addition we added this Spring. All the kids love it (as you can see by the mess its in) that its well-played with. We don’t use it for mud however, just water but we keep all the toy food and kitchen toys out here. Instead of buying one though you could collect old pallets people usually throw away and use the wood to make this quite easily. Charity shops and thrift stores are great places for finding utensils and old cutlery etc too.
Tin Can Alley
This is a hit every summer with the kids. The set we bought is above but you could just as easily make one from crisp tubes with lids on or tin cans. Sometimes we change the faces depending on the season, Halloween faces, easter eggs etc. We just add our own stickers to the cans.
Have somewhere to sit.
It’s not essential, especially if you have tree stumps or a picnic rug but id think about some sort of seating if you can. older kids just wanna chat most of the time so give them somewhere to connect to each other.
Repurpose old tyres
Why not try painting them and filling them with soil to make a mini garden for your kids to play in with mini tools or make a fairy garden or stones for the kids to dig in with their toy diggers?
Think about what you have available and what you can repurpose and go from there. You DON’T need to spend a lot of money to make a fun play garden.
Have a chalk board
A blackboard is wonderful for all kids as they can draw and get creative, either on the board or on the pavement.
Buy a pot of chalk board paint and it’ll last years. Just paint over a smooth board with a few coats of paint and you have a great addition to your garden.
Ours is used for drawing, keeping points in games. writing messages to each other and so much more.
We attached our board to the garden gate so it’s not taking up space and it’s easy to access.
DIY Obstacle courses.
This doesn’t require any specific equipment. If you have something to climb over, jump from, go under, and run around you can make an obstacle course from anything. The kids here love to compete worth each other so we have different obstacles each time and they ask to be timed to see who is the fastest.
- Run from one end of the garden to the other
- Now jump through each swing
- Balance along the beam
- Run round the cones backwards then jump over the chute and through the finish line.
Somewhere to store it all after play.
We use a garage and a shed but think carefully about the space you have to store your equipment before buying it.
So there’s my 27 Foolproof Ideas For An EPIC Play Garden For Your Kids! Every kid on the block will wanna come and play!
Here’s a quick re-cap
1. Assess what you have
2. Look at your childs interests
3. Look at what you can make and repurpose
4. Only buy what you can afford and have space for. If you can’t fit in that giant trampoline then don’t! Just visit a trampoline park occassionally!!
Let me know if there is anything you would add to this list!! Remember to PIN this for later !!