Research from the NHS has found that exercise and fresh air can significantly improve your mental health. In a study conducted by the University of Essex, it was discovered that exercising outdoors was associated with improvements in both self-esteem and mood. With the rise in technology, it is becoming even more important to encourage children to play outdoors.
Sensory play is just as important as outdoor play. Sensory activities at a young age allow children to explore and investigate. It has been discovered that sensory play helps to develop nerve connections in the brain, as well as the development of speech and motor skills.
By creating a safe and vibrant space in your home, you can help to teach your child vital skills which they’ll carry with them through life.
No matter how big or small your home is – if you’re creative enough, you can make a play area anywhere.
Here are 5 imaginative ways to create the perfect play area.
Sensory play areas are full of bright colours and different textures. You can create a soft and colourful indoor play area by using these great alphabet tiles. You could also add sensory toys, such as a colour changing lamp. Get creative with different sounds and smells to keep your baby entertained for hours.
Lay down some durable artificial grass in the garden, add some football goals at each end, and voila! A mini football field in your back garden. This is perfect for getting the kids outside for some fresh air and exercise. Alternatively, you could turn your outdoor play area into a mini rugby pitch or hockey field – whichever sport you fancy!
Every child loves making dens, as they provide a safe space of their own. Get some bed sheets and build a fort behind the sofa. If you have outdoor space, you can create the perfect den with a small shed and a lick of paint. If you’re feeling even more creative, why not build a treehouse or a platform like this one
Create a sensory garden by planting colourful flowers and painting pots in a variety of colours. Flowers such as forget-me-nots and pansies are brightly coloured and will attract insects to your garden. Lambs ear plants (Stachys Byzantina) are velvety soft and easy to care for. You could also add a variety of herbs, such as mint and rosemary, which have vibrant and safe smells when rubbed between the fingers.
If you’ve got a large and sturdy tree in your garden, why not create your own DIY Tyre Swing. You can buy special ropes which secure your swing to the tree so that nobody goes flying. You could also get creative and paint your tree swing in bright colours, or even in camouflage as part of an obstacle course.