We’ve been enjoying some extremely lovely sunny days lately, and while it’s great if you are able to get out and about with little ones in tow, if your spending time at home, you need peace of mind that your own outside space is safe for your baby. With this in mind, I’ve been looking at some creative ideas that can help you make your garden a bit more baby friendly, so everyone can spend more time outdoors.
Whether your baby is crawling, toddling or is still a babe in arms, easy and safe access to your outdoor space can be a real bonus. Being able to fling open double or bi-fold doors can make it easier when you have to dash inside for a nappy change and if you’re staying indoors, out of direct heat, during the sun’s peak hours, you can still enjoy some fresh air, bringing the outdoors, inside. Ramps can be useful when it comes to getting pushchairs and toys in and out, but it’s wise to keep the entrance from your home to your garden otherwise clear. Before you get started on making over your garden, start off by being aware of potential dangers. You may need to fit drain covers to keep small hands safe or fence off areas used by pets and you’ll certainly want to keep bins stashed away!
Concrete, gravel and paved areas are generally not very safe for babies and can result in scuffs or worse if accidents occur. If you’ve seen fake turf in the past you may have thought about its suitability for your space but did you know that you can buy cushioned, rubber tiles? These tiles are great for creating play areas or covering patios and terraces for extra protection. They come in lots of colours, so you can design your own bright mosaic or opt for grass effect rubber paving so it looks like you have a real lawn! If you’d like some extra padding to fit around a climbing frame or slide or as a spot for your paddling pool they’re a great start. However, it’s worth remembering that rubber can warm in the sun, so you may also want to cover them with play mats to be extra safe.
Creating a shaded area for play or relaxation is also a must, if you plan to spend time outdoors with kids and it needn’t cost a fortune either. Sun umbrellas or tents with UV protection are relatively cheap and easy to store, while a travel cot with its own sun shade is particularly handy when you have a younger baby who is happy to play, nap and explore a smaller space. One of the more expensive options would be to fit a retractable awning that extends from the edge of your property. This can be a really convenient way to shade from the sun when required and could also allow your little one to play outdoors during rain showers. Whatever route you go down, it’s important to remember that young children should be kept out of strong sunshine as it can make them very ill. Check out this NHS information for more guidance. And don’t forget, muslin cloths, blankets and other non breathable items should never be used on prams as sun shades as they can cause babies to dangerously overheat.
If your garden is quite compact, you may be wondering what kind of activities you and kids could get up to, but don’t worry, there’s lots you can do even in smaller spaces! If your baby is eating solids, an outdoor picnic can be lots of fun and you can also make use of wipe clean PVC mats by trying out some ‘painting’ with yoghurts mixed with food colouring. If your child is a little older, you can recreate some seaside fun at home with a sand and water table for them to explore, there’s a great basic model on sale in Aldi at the moment. Don’t forget to cover your sand after play and to change it regularly.
If you’d like to encourage the kids to be green fingered, you could work on some raised planters together. Think about picking some easy to grow fruit or vegetables and purchase or make a planter with their name painted on the side, you’ll be surprised how much pride they feel as they see their mini garden grow and reap the rewards!
Have you done anything cute and clever to help make your outdoor space more kid friendly?
This is a sponsored post.