Monday, August 4, 2008
Playtime in the Garden
It is summer time, we need to go outdoors. The kids need fresh air, and a bit of the sun wont hurt. Who said you need to get out of the house to find the perfect playground? Nope, you can actually find the best one in your backyard, assuming that you have the space.
Okay, admittedly, having a swing, a seesaw and a slide would be the perfect childhood playground dream scenario; but you could skip that and have the kids enjoy the outdoors, too.
Here's some simple outdoor home playground tips:
- Sandbox: If you want an almost no-cost sandbox; check out the woods for discarded tree branches that could be used to create the sitting borders of the box. You would need four branches, try to cut them into the same sizes. Then lay them in the form of a square. You can tie the branches together with a strong rope or nail them together or just pound them hard into the soil. If you want, you could use a thick plastic as flooring before pouring the play sand into it. Buy enough play sand to fill the sandbox. And dont forget the sandbox accessories: pail, spades, forms, etc.
- Tent - Buy one of those kiddie tents and set them up in the garden or even in the balcony. It would be a good hiding place or picnic area for the kids. My kids love to sit inside and play make believe games.
- Dancing Flower - This Dancing Flower reinvented getting wet in a fun way. The first thing to do is make sure that the rod is firmly stuck on the ground. Then you need to screw a water hose to the noozle, and presto -- the pressure of the water would bring the wiggly plastic water head to dance. You wouldnt really know where the flower would turn. Better let the kids run around with their bathing suits though.
- Picnic Blanket - As the name suggests, why not a picnic in the backyard? Spread your picnic blanket and bring the chow out. Chopped refreshing fruits: nectarines, strawberries, bananas, etc. would do the trick. But cookies and hotdog sticks would do, too. And please dont forget the ice cream.
- Wadding pool or a big 'batya' -- Invest in a small wadding pool. Or you can take out the big mouthed 'batya'. Fill it up with water, and presto, you have water fun for the kids. Use clean water only. And dont leave the kids alone, it is better to be safe...
- Water Slide - This is becoming a popular water fun attraction, but you would need enough space to really enjoy it. Better watch out for the kids, too; especially when the playmates are a mix of toddlers and teenies. Getting wild in a becoming too slippery surface sometimes ends up with more cries of pain, than cries of pleasure.
And some more tips: before sending the kids to play outdoors, dont forget to use sun block lotion. Let them put on their hats or caps when the sun is high; or better yet, avoid going out under the sun between 10 am - 2 pm. Or when this cannot be prevented, place the fun accessories in a place that gets more shade such as under the trees. You can also use beach umbrellas to provide more shades. And make sure that the kids get to drink a lot, we want them fit and healthy for the summer, too.
This article was first posted at PMN: Home and Garden.