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How to set up an eco-friendly outdoor playroom

eco-friendly outdoor playroomeco-friendly outdoor playroom
eco-friendly outdoor playroomeco-friendly outdoor playroom

 

How to set up an eco-friendly outdoor playroom

Children need to play, it is a simple fact of life. They need to exercise their bodies and enrich their minds, and this can all be done without harming the environment. An outdoor playroom does not have to be made up of products that are mass-produced and harmful to the environment, it can be a place that enhances its natural surroundings. Outlined below is some helpful advice on how to set up an eco-friendly, outdoor playroom.

 

Design sensory, quiet and secret places

One of the first steps in setting up your natural outdoor play area is to consider whether you can divide the area up into smaller spaces using budget-friendly materials. Look at your jungle gym plans, you may be able to create a secret alcove underneath it for children to create a mud patch to play in or a tented area to hide away in.

Starting with smaller sensory, quiet and secret places in the larger play area will allow your children to spend time in nature simply contemplating life or experiencing new things, such as a herb garden with different herbs and different scents or a digging area with some rocks for more active play. Secret spaces can be created with screening plants, such as bamboo or ivy, and allow children to have quiet time without the intrusion of adults, while still being perfectly visible to parents.

 

Use nature as part of the playroom

A kids jungle gym does not have to be made of metal or plastic. Using wood for creating toys and other play items not only saves you money but it is highly eco-friendly. Children benefit from being outside in nature, and what better way to encourage playing in nature than using natural materials to build with.

You could use an old tree stump as a tea-party table for children, using wooden chairs or a homemade bench as seating. For sandpits, be sure to source clean beach sand that is responsibly sourced and cleaned. If you have a lush garden with trees, you can hang swings from the branches of these trees or knotted ropes for your children to climb up and down. Using nature as part of the playroom also saves you money that can be used for extra toys and equipment.

 

Use recycled materials

A play area, with a DIY jungle gym, does not have to be created from brand new materials. You can use both recycled and recyclable materials for a highly sustainable playroom. Look for play equipment that can be built from recyclable wood, steel or aluminium as well as 100% recycled or recyclable high-density polyethylene (HDPE).

Your play equipment should be built in such a way that when the time comes to dispose of it, you can disassemble it into separate parts and recycle it accordingly. Not only will you be saving money by using recycled materials, you will be teaching your children an important lesson about reusing, recycling and reducing their carbon footprint on the world. You can check with kids jungle gym builders for green certificates to ensure you are getting the right play equipment.

 

Decide between fixed and non-fixed equipment

Adding fixed or non-fixed equipment to play areas has caused some debate among childhood development circles, but there are benefits and disadvantages to both you will need to consider before adding either to your home.

 

Fixed equipment

  • Provides familiarity and stability to the space for children.
  • Provides a base to extend upon with the addition of open-ended materials and resources.
  • Can help to define and easily break up spaces as mentioned previously.
  • Could possibly limit creativity and the urge to experiment and problem solve.

 

Non-Fixed equipment

  • Allows for creative play and problem-solving.
  • There is no right or wrong way to use the equipment.
  • Easy to extend on and source.
  • Allows children of all ages to move, carry, redesign, recreate and combine materials.

 

Consider water and power

In order to make the space truly environmentally friendly, you will need to take the water and power of the area into consideration. An outdoor playroom is the perfect place to have a water catchment tank, as you can use this water to irrigate the garden your playroom is ins or to create (messy) fun mud patches for children to play in.

If you have outdoor lights, be sure to swap them for solar powered ones, which you will find are available in unique designs and colours. If any of your equipment needs electricity to function, try to encourage your children to use it less regularly, or opt for toys that your children can operate manually, such as swing sets or seesaws. You will soon find that children do not need high-tech toys and prefer exploring nature and using simple toys to have fun.

eco-friendly outdoor playroom