Having a garden for your children to play in is one way to expose them to nature, allowing them to experience the joys of frolicking in the outdoors. However, you will need to ensure that they are safe while they are playing outside. You can use diamond mesh fencing as part of a boundary fence in your garden, as it is durable and effective.
If your children frequently play outside and enjoy the benefits of the African sun, then read on below for some helpful tips on how to make your garden a safe place to play.
Divide and conquer
Having an area that is cordoned off by a diamond mesh fence will prevent your children from wandering off into the main garden. Your children will be able to play in the grass and experience nature without running the risk of encountering dangerous gardening tools or reaching the gate out to the road.
Your barrier should set out a big enough space for your children to play with their friends without becoming cramped and cluttered. One of the benefits of using diamond mesh for your fencing is that it is easy to dismantle and move if you feel that the space is not big enough. Dividing your yard will also allow you to keep your children out of your flower beds and from climbing tall trees in your yard.
Give them shelter
Playing outside can be fun, but in rainy weather, the play area might become muddy, mushy and damaged. You could build a covering similar to the one which covers your verandah, or use something like a gazebo to place over the area when you see stormy skies are on the way.
Having shelter will also protect your children from the sun’s harmful rays when they are outside on warmer days. Be sure that the shelter is not easy to push over during rougher play. This will also designate the space as a play area, so when your friends or family come to visit, they know exactly where their children will be while at your house. Remember to keep the shelter clean of mould that could be damaging to your child’s health, drying it regularly after heavy rain.
Avoid poisonous plants
While there is nothing wrong with planting some fun plants in your child’s outdoor play area to spruce it up, it is vital that you avoid planting poisonous plants at all costs. Poisonous plants might not look harmful, but little eyes and little fingers are often attracted to bright berries, easy to pop into the mouth in the blink of an eye.
Some of the poisonous plants you will need to look out for include oleander, ivy, rhododendron, azaleas and foxglove, for example. Be sure that you do a full search of your garden before you set up the designated play area so that there is no danger of your child accidentally finding one of these plants and touching or ingesting them. If you want to decorate the space, choose plants such as rose succulents or even fake pot plants to avoid all risks.
Put away gardening tools and other equipment
Children love to imitate their parents, which means that if you have gardening tools lying around, or any other outdoor equipment, the chances are that they will try to ‘use’ these tools the same way that you do.
While it is adorable to watch your children trying to imitate you, the sharp edges of rakes and trowels can be dangerous to young children. You need to ensure that you put away all gardening tools and do not leave them in reach of the play area. If you want to encourage an interest in gardening from an early age, you can look for small, plastic gardening tools and teach them the use of each one. Playing in the garden is an educational and safe way to entertain them for hours on end (just be sure that all mud pies are fully baked before consumption).
Cover all ponds and pools
While your children will be spending time in their fenced off play area, they might manage to climb out and make their way to the pond or pool. It is important to cover all bodies of water while your children are outside, even if they are old enough to swim without floatation devices.
Look for strong safety nets or covers, or you could even use diamond mesh fencing to fence off the pool area so there is no danger of them being able to enter it. You should also educate your children on what to do if they fall into the pool or pond, and ensure that there are steps or a ladder they can use to pull themselves out with. Set out definite rules about the pool area, and make sure that there is always adult supervision during swimming times.