For many of us, this period of lockdown has been a struggle. The worry and stress of Covid 19 and the threat of catching it is also accentuated by the boredom of not being able to go very far outside our homes. Although this week has seen some loosening of the restrictions, when it comes to our children they are still spending most of their time at home. This is why our gardens and outside spaces are just so important.
Outdoor play is just so important to young children, and luckily we are having some wonderful weather this Spring that is making it a pleasure to get out into our gardens. We all need fresh air, space and freedom, and this is especially true for the young. Children need their daily exercise to keep them fit and active and they also love being in a natural environment where they can also enjoy finding out about plants and animals and generally messing about and getting dirty (I absolutely believe that dirt is healthy when it comes to kids.)
But it is not just about what they learn when they are in the garden that makes it a such a bonus when it comes to health. These days, even the youngest of children spend an excessive amount of time in front of the TV, or playing games on tablets and consoles. The time when they should be out in the fresh air is instead spent in stuffy bedrooms and in living rooms as children avoid getting outside.
One way that you can ensure that your children make the most of their outdoor space is to make it as attractive to them as possible. Beautiful gardens that are simply full of plants and flowers are all very well as an adult only space, but if you have children, you need to think of their needs and experience too. You need an area where they can play, where they don’t have to worry about not treading on the flowers, or about making a mess. Outdoor toys and equipment like those produced by Wickey can add so much to their enjoyment, and give them some ownership of their space. The toys do not just have to be limited to swings, slides and climbing frames that can take up all the space, a sandpit with lid could be a brilliant option for adventurous playtime. Children can have great fun with these, making and building, and also burying items. They can use a myriad of outdoor items that they can use to dig, along with recycled bottles and containers that can enjoy a second life. The fact that the sandpit has a lid means the sand is protected from the weather when it turns bad, so you don’t have to keep replacing it, you can literally use it for hours and hours of fun.
If you have a little more space, you could opt for a much larger sandpit that also doubles as a vehicle with a roof for a feast of imaginative play. A water area would also be good as you teach children items of science without them even realising it – exactly the way learning through play should be.