If you live in an area which experiences long summers and prolonged periods of clear, sunny blue skies, simply getting a swimming pool will pretty much be more than enough to make for a backyard play area the kids will love. Between taking the occasional dip, playing all sorts of in- and under-water games and occasionally lying beside the pool on the sun-kissed concrete to heat their bodies back up again, kids just never get tired of a swimming pool. For many reasons of practicality though, especially for people residing in the UK (it rains a lot), the maintenance which comes with a pool that can only be enjoyed for a few days in the year is just not worth it in the long run.
Kids still need a backyard focal point which they can converge on for their daily refill of fun times and if a pool isn’t a practical option for you, all’s not lost. You can still assemble a backyard play-area which the kids will love so much they’ll seldom want to go to the park and drain any little bit of energy you have left if you need to supervise them. A nice backyard play-area which is fully visible from any good spot in the house gives you a good vantage-point to keep an eye on them in an non-intrusive way, but what’s important is the children’s own ability to customise their play area and make it their own. The secret behind assembling a nice backyard play-area lies in considering two things, namely the active phase of children exploring the outdoors and the passive phase.
The active phase entails what they’re doing when they’re fully engaged in physical activity, while the passive phase is when they’re just sitting around a bit, perhaps munching on some snacks or just having a chat. Kids are quite savvy with mobile phones and other forms of technology these days, so maybe the passive phase may involve them staring down at their device screens. Either way, it’s just a matter of creating that active-passive balance with whatever structures you choose to install in the backyard play-area.
A sand pit is great for both active and passive backyard activities for instance, but it’d still be best complemented by something like a couple of swings or even better, a jungle-gym type structure.
The jungle-gym really doesn’t have to be one of those mega ones found in school playgrounds, but rather a very simple one like some of those available from Oldrids. It’s the type of simplicity which leaves plenty of room for the kids to build-on and with the levels of creativity kids typically show, you’ll be surprised at what they come up with. Also, if a backyard structure installed for kids is too specific, it gets very old and boring very quickly.
Houses and gardens are getting smaller and smaller these days, so if you have some backyard square footage to work with, a nice lawn is often all kids need as it can double up as a “sports field” and a place to just sit around and play or relax, in addition to complementing the jungle-gym, sand-pit, etc.