Aarons Outdoor was recently featured in Child Care Australia – Issue 01, 2022.
Creating an engaging outdoor play space encourages children to play outdoors and be active while learning and growing. Whether you’re building a new backyard play space, refurbishing an existing play area, or redesigning your entire outdoor space, follow this guide to foster active play.
First, include open areas in your outdoor play spaces to inspire unstructured play. This allows children to use their imagination and move freely. You’ll also want to incorporate surfaces like woodchips or sand where kids can dig, pour, and get hands-on experience with textures. Building a playhouse or hideaway invites social collaboration as children develop interpersonal skills through interactive play. Placing logs or boulders in your backyard play space encourages climbing and motor development. By designing an enticing outdoor play area, you can motivate children to play outdoors, learn through experience, and burn energy through active play.
When planning new play spaces or refurbishing your backyard, keep these key principles in mind. Creating an engaging outdoor environment gets kids outside and active for healthy development through play. Work with our team to design yard play spaces where children’s growth and abilities blossom.
Ideas For Your Play Area
Providing children with challenging, adventurous, ‘risky’ opportunities is a valuable and enriching aspect of outdoor play. Children can learn to navigate their environment, assess risks, and contemplate consequences.
When designing a play space, it is vital to include a variety of play areas, that is, choices for all children regardless of age, ability, needs and interests. These may include the following design elements:
Including both fixed and movable equipment, for example, slides, climbing structures such as rock walls or scramble nets and balancing items such as natural boulders. Various heights and access points create more choices and challenges and help children develop their core and upper body strength, balance, and gross and fine motor muscle development.
Provides opportunities for running, jumping, rolling, ball play and organised games.
Not all children want to be active. A quiet space such as a cubby or fort facilitates calmness, solitude and time out. A place to read a book alone or with a friend is essential.
Children are naturally social beings, and areas such as a platform or stage can be transformed by adding loose parts or props, enhancing imagination and social opportunities. Our gazebos, pergolas or thatches make for a great stage or platform.
Facilitating open-ended, unstructured opportunities to be creative is invaluable. Various materials, resources and loose parts encourage children to create, design and construct. They use their imagination and cognitive abilities to invent and engineer, mastering their own creations. This type of learning reinforces independence and develops a sense of accomplishment.
Providing sand pits, digging patches, sensory gardens, frog ponds, magnifying glasses, and binoculars provoke children’s curiosity and encourage exploration. We foster a child’s innate passion for lifelong learning if we can stimulate curiosity.
Interacting with nature is crucial in today’s hectic, over-scheduled lifestyles. Being amongst nature provides wellness benefits, both mentally and physically, for everyone.
We want to teach our children to be stewards of their natural world. Learning about bushes, bees and bugs in a natural bush setting or a purpose-built nature-like environment teaches children about the value of their environment and inspires them to protect it.
Beyond Design – Inspections And Maintenance
Once you have created your exciting new play space, you will need a comprehensive post-installation playground inspection beforese w,hich we can provide. This verifies compliance with the relevant Australian Standards and checks for general safety and operational issues. By inspecting and properly maintaining a play space, educators can manage potential hazards to children and preserve the condition of the play space.
The types and frequency of inspections are detailed in AS 4685.0:2017 Playground equipment and surfacing and range from daily, quarterly or annually.
Specialising in playscape construction for the Early Education sector means we understand the NQF framework and the Australian Standard playground and surfacing requirements. We can work with you to offer a complete service, ensuring you are compliant in all aspects of your new outdoor space.
Crafting Inspiring Children’s Environments
When creating outdoor areas for children’s environments, include spaces for creative activities where they can be physically active through outdoor experiences. As you go through the design process, focus on elements that create areas for exploration and unstructured play. A thoughtfully designed outdoor area stimulates curiosity and imagination while getting children physically active outdoors. Work with our team to craft inspiring children’s environments full of possibilities for active play, learning, and discovery. With the right outdoor area, you can enrich children’s growth and abilities.
At Aaron’s Outdoors, we offer an incredible range of products to help you create enriching outdoor play spaces where children’s imaginations can flourish. From playsets and playground equipment to cubbies and kid’s furniture, we have everything you need to design a backyard oasis. Our team would love to collaborate with you on bringing your outdoor vision to life. Browse our website to explore the possibilities – we can’t wait to help you craft a play space full of active fun and learning for the children in your life!
“Little Village ELC is a boutique 59-place childcare centre located in Western Sydney. Not knowing where or how to start, calls to various suppliers began to try and coordinate the mammoth task of designing our outdoor space.
We had a vision for our space and after contacting Aarons Outdoor we quickly realised they were a full service construction company who specialised in childcare centres. The team came on board and turned what was initially an overwhelming task into a well coordinated and seamless project. They consulted us at every stage, took our vision on board and offered suggestions to improve on what we had. We worked with their in house Landscape Architect and they delivered an outdoor space that took our breath away”.
Lena Barboutas, Centre Owner, Little Village ELC