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The Kids Garden; Their Fantasy Island

In an age when Facebook, Xbox, iPad and PlayStation are all regular parts of the younger generations every day lexicon, playing outside and exploring the world before them has become something of an extinct tradition.

Granted, a lot of the time spent indoors is self-preservation given the fabulous British weather we’re all so accustomed to, but our children aren’t exactly being encouraged to make the most of the great outdoors. Why should they step away from the comfort of the home, where their imagination can be fed to them, if there’s no incentive to be out there in the first place?

That’s where you come in. Instead of playing along with the platitude that our councils and governments continue to take away playing fields, parks and all things in between, why not take it upon yourself to make your garden the outdoor outlet for imagination they’ll thank you for later in life?

With reports of our children’s health and weight reaching panic-stricken levels, be the reason your children are the exception to that rule and give them the space and tools their body and mind needs to exercise fully. Make that garden, front or back, the kids garden.

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Fit a summer house – Whilst a summer house is generally a place for the adult mind to relax and wander, it can be a great place for your children to play out their various adventures. The fact that it is set up in the garden gets them out of the main house and into the fresh air and sunlight immediately, keeping them in and around there as simple as using it as storage space for their toys. The place thus becomes their playhouse with which to entertain themselves as they see fit.

Toys – Here at Birstall we have a range of wooden bikes available with which your little men and women can ride off into the sunset of that garden space. The options don’t end there though, of course, with a slew of outdoor based toys, like remote controlled vehicles, go-kart’s and play houses all available for you to envelope your children’s minds and bodies in.

Paddling pools – Kids, summer and water go together like cake and custard; they inevitably find one another and inevitably look like the happily ever after Disney often wrote about. The sun is not far from making its annual visit so the time is nigh to put the kids together with that pool and that water and have them splash around to their heart’s content. The range of pools that exist are vast, so you can expect to find something suitable whatever age your children may be.

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Tree houses – Even more special than a summer house as it has the unique honour of both being elevated in a tree but also being built specifically for them.

A fortress of solitude that, unlike their bedrooms, gives them the chance to lock themselves off properly amid their own fantasies, while having to exert themselves somewhat athletically to get there. The tree house is a great way to let your child find the independence they may be looking for.

Football goals, basketball nets, putting greens, trampolines – Sport is that great outdoor venture that doesn’t need to happen as it does on the TV. Small goals, trampolines, putting greens and basketball nets and hoops are all readily available in a variety of sizes and easily constructible for the kids to get in on and play out their Wembley or Augusta laden futures!

Swings, climbing frames, slides – Complaints about the closure of parks and recreational areas are well documented, but instead of sitting back and letting it happen why not instead bring the park to your doorstep?! Swings, see-saws, slides, climbing frames of all shapes, sizes and types are out there for you to make your garden the alternative source of recreational activity they otherwise being deprived of.

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Include them in the gardening process – You’d probably not be surprised – depending on age, of course – just how much time your child likes to spend being with you and mimicking your every move. So why not play to this by having them involved in the gardening process? Planting flowers and vegetables and watching them grow gives them a sense of achievement not even Xbox and PlayStation provide. Having them involved in the construction of that trampoline or paddling pool gives them ownership of those activities and, again, pride can be gleamed by them for that.

The options don’t end there. Be imaginative and creative and think of what it was that made your outdoor endeavour as a child so fruitful. Bring that mind-set to the fore and create a zone that your children can thrive. The world as they know it does not have to start and end with Microsoft and Sony.

With the summer but a few short weeks away, give your kids a reason to get themselves out into the forgotten world of the great outdoors and have them sail out and onto their own island of fantasies.

Published April 29th, 2014 by Jordan. Article ref 2749

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