Natural Play Areas for Kids

Creating a natural play area for your children is one of the best ways to get them interested in nature and learning about earth sciences without them even knowing. It can also create some wonderfully happy memories for them to think back on later in life.

Putting together a natural play area for kids to enjoy isn't hard; all you need is the right equipment and you're set to go. Consider incorporating these items to help you get started.

Swing ' A tire swing or a plank board swing are great additions to natural play areas. Hang swings from a tree limb, if possible, and make sure the board or tire is tied securely from a heavyweight rope. Another swing you can install for older kids is a heavyweight rope with a thick knot at the bottom that you can stand on while swinging.

Water ' Some of the best memories for children are catching tadpoles, and fishing and splashing around in a creek or pond. To create your own DIY pond, drape a sheet of plastic over a large tire and fill with water. A large landscaping fountain would work as well. Whichever you choose, make sure to keep the pond clean of mosquitoes and other unfriendly insects, but leave enough to attract frogs.

Food ' Grabbing a handful of blackberries or plucking an apple down for an afternoon snack right from your own backyard is an experience kids cherish. Keep in mind blackberries, blueberries and other shrub fruits take a year or two to start producing berries, but can add hours of interaction and fun once they fully mature.

Seating ' Make sure the play area has a spot where your children can sit and rest between all the playing and running around. It can be a clear spot of grass or you can add a few large stumps as chairs.