Making space for play

We want different things

It’s no secret that parents and children want different things from a garden. While adults are interested in beautiful design, property value and maintenance, kids are often happiest in an unkempt jungle that allows for free play. But there are some ways that both kids and parents can get what they want from an outdoor space ...

Finding a happy medium

Flower beds can restrict play and make areas of the garden “out of bounds” to children. Instead try to keep space between plantings for children to explore.

Too many open spaces can restrict play; create areas for hiding and exploring.

Play equipment is great but try to allow some space for children to use their imaginations for free play.

Choose plants that are “kid friendly”. Plants they can pick smell and hide under.

Pick plants that are hardy, less maintenance for the grown ups and more resilient for child play. Native Australian plants are a good alternative. See Sabrina Hahn’s suggestions and Water Corporation's waterwise plant selector.

Shade is important for sun safety, consider planting trees that offer shady play spaces.

Consider making areas for kids play and keeping a no-go area for special plants, it could save heartache in the long run.

Keep anything you don’t want the kids to touch out of their reach.

Place a weather proof box outside to store toys and equipment. If you don’t have the skills to make one, why not use a large tool box, they are inexpensive and hardy.

For more hints go to

Let the Children Play: How to create an irresistible outdoor playspace for children


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