The first thing on my list for the garden is: A Giant Chalkboard
We have the perfect space on the outside wall of the extension, where I really want to attach a large board and paint it with chalkboard paint to make a giant chalkboard. I’ve seen these in children’s centres and find them so cool! Not only for chalk, but they are brilliant for mark making with paintbrushes and water, as the water shows up so well on the black chalk board. At the moment the boys do their chalk activities on the walls and floor (you can see some of our chalk play ideas here) but this idea would definitely be neater.
My next idea is: An In Ground Trampoline
A trampoline is another one which has been on my list for a while. It’s a great way of keeping children active (and even for me, as I know I would join them on it!) and should give hours of family fun! A trampoline built into the ground has a couple of advantages – firstly: Just how cool does it look! Secondly: It seems a lot safer. I do worry about the possibility of injuries with a raised trampoline, as one of the kids could fall off. With three boisterous boys jumping around, you never know! An InGround trampoline such as this one from Activity Toys Direct just avoids all that worry.
We would also need: A Pirate Ship
Every garden could be improved by a pirate ship! We don’t have a play house at the moment, and the boys love playing in this kind of ship play area when we see them in parks or children’s centres. I also think they look pretty amazing as a feature in the garden! This Pirate Galleon from Activity Toys Direct looks brilliant and would have plenty of space for three children to play together, and even room for a couple of their friends to join them!
I need to make: A Proper Path
We have a bit at the side of the garden which is quite overgrown at the moment, so one of the next things on my garden to do list is to dig all that out to make some more usable space and then pave a wide path that would be ideal for the little boys to ride their ride ons, especially for Mr T to ride his beloved coupe car up and down (similar to this one from Activity toys direct). It would also be great for Mr Z to ride his bike and scooter up and down.
I would also like: A Sand and Water Area
I am planning to make an even wider bit at the end of the path, with a shelter covering that area and make that part into a sand and water play area. We currently have this plum store-it wooden sandpit. I would love to add a water area like this and then get some more toys and equipment to use in this area. Sand and water play is so brilliant for learning through play, and I love to see the children exploring and learning!
We do already have: A Climbing Pyramid
The item we currently have that we would definitely keep when making a dream garden, is this Plum Climbing Pyramid. We got this over the summer and it is amazing, with loads of room for all the boys and their friends to climb and slide, and hide underneath. It’s brilliant for Mr T as he needs to build up his muscle strength so lots and lots of climbing is very good for him!
I have been meaning to put a kitchen in the underneath tent section of the climbing pyramid, to make a good use of the space and encourage imaginative play. As it is outdoors, this grill play kitchen would be ideal!
I would like: A stash of materials for Loose Parts Play
I posted here before about Loose Parts Play and how great it seems to be for children to play and learn, for their imagination and development. I would like to incorporate that into my dream garden, although not to have all the loose parts hanging around all over the garden when not in use, so I would like to make a little storage area for everything to be kept when not in use. You can use anything really for loose parts play, but some giant tyres to make vehicles with would go down well with the boys.
Lastly, I want to: Paint all the shed and fences in bright colours
If I am making the garden into a children’s play zone I feel like I might as well go all the way and make rainbow colour fences! I’m not sure how happy my husband is with the idea, but I think it would look great – nice and bright and cheerful! I would also like to take some wooden blocks and paint them all different colours, like this. It could be used for construction play and when not in use, it would look bright and colourful in the garden.
This blog post is an entry into the Tots100/Activity Toys Direct garden makeover competition