Most parents want to provide a safe, fun outdoor space for their children to play. We’re all aware of the benefits of fresh air, sunshine, and exercise! And yet, growing interest in design and aesthetics makes many of us feel wary about installing the typical trampoline set-up. Luckily, a growing trend allows parents to install safe and fun play features for children, while preserving the beauty of their landscaping.

Today many parents are finding creative ways to make their yards both fun for kids, while preserving beauty and curb appeal. If you’re planning a landscaping project, or trying to balance your kids’ tastes with your own, consider the following creative ideas to accomplish both goals simultaneously.

A free-form sandpit can double as part of low-water landscaping, as well as providing a fun place for kids to play. All they will need are a few simple toys from the dollar store, and then the kids can spend hours building sandcastles. Sand also provides an excellent base for swing sets.

If you wish to include a water feature in your yard, you will (of course) want to keep it shallow if you have young children or grandchildren. But you can also make the feature fun for children, by providing a wading area, helping them build tiny boats to sail in the water, or turning it into a goldfish pond (though there is more maintenance associated with this option).

Treehouses are popular with kids, but what about your home’s design? If you incorporate it into your landscaping correctly, a treehouse can add personality to your yard. The same can be said for playhouses on the ground. Many homeowners build playhouses to match their homes, and use them as gardening sheds later when the kids are grown.

Jungle gyms provide a traditional playground-style climbing structure, but they can detract from your landscaping. Many parents have discovered that when they landscape with large boulders (also a great low-water xeriscaping idea, by the way) the kids spend hours climbing and exploring around the rocks. This type of arrangement also allows for more imaginative play than typical playground equipment.

A below-grade trampoline can provide children with the bouncy fun they all love, without detracting from your home’s curb appeal. When you work with a landscape architect, you can even find ways to incorporate the feature seamlessly into your landscaping. You’ll hardly notice that it’s there! This option can create future critter options, so it may not be the best choice for your family.

Weeping trees, vine-covered arbors, and other such features add beauty to your landscaping while also providing fun for children. Kids usually love to use these features as hiding spots. Remember, as you plan your landscaping, that children see certain additions in a whole different light!

For more ideas on incorporating natural, safe, and fun play spaces for your kids, give us a call. We can take a look at your current landscaping and offer suggestions for upgrades that will please both you and your children.

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