5 Ways to Ensure a Safe and Fun Back yard for kids.
Safety is Key:
Top 5 Backyard Safety Tips
1: Check the Weather! Playing in the sun might be fun but there are times when it is better to stay inside. Install an easy to read thermometer to your patio window or door. This way you are able to tell what the temperature is before going out. Remember that the wind and humidity plays a big factor in temperature also. Print off a "Child Care Weather Watch Graph" and know when it is ok to go out or when it is too hot or cold.Keeping up to date on your local weather before you head outside is good as well to decide if today is really the best day to bring out all those toys.
2. Dress for the weather. This includes sunscreen. Even on a cloudy day with snow a sun burn can happen. Nothing is worse than an upset sun burned two-year old! So read directions and apply at least 10 to 15 minutes before go outside. Also, use your best judgment when it comes to clothing. Children love to dig in dirt, roll, and crawl in grass so those brand new pants you bought shouldn't be used for outside play.
3. Check the environment. Okay so you have a great fenced in back yard what could possible be so dangerous? Well you would be surprised at the weird and awful things I have found in my suburban back yard. A swarm of bees that developed under our deck in two days, a raccoon hiding under our shed and (this one is a little gross) a poor bunny who met its demise all over our yard from a neighbor's cat. A simple walk through to make sure all is safe will only take a minute and it could save your child from any potentially dangerous situations.
4. Set up for Safety: Outdoor play should be fun and loosely structured. Children should be able to have fun and play freely but be safe. Some things to consider before outside play are hazardous plants and shrubs with poisonous leaves, make sure all gardening and tolls are stored away in a safe place, and set up equipment on a soft area such as wood chips, or sand. Never construct on a hard surface. Injuries from falls are the number one killer of young children in the back yard.
5. Always supervise. You know that saying "Never Leave your child unattended"? It is for a good reason proper supervision of children especially under the age of eight will prevent many injuries including fatal ones. Children can play with a variety of materials outside it is always best to supervise and guide them into proper play. You can even help them build a fort or create sand castles in the sand box.
Setting up the environment, proper supervision, and weather precautions will result in an enjoyable outside play time. Here are some ways children can learn and grow outside:
- Improve Perceptual Skills
- Practice Climbing and descending
- Plant and Tend a Child Size Garden
- Exercise Perceptions of Space and Distance
- Build Gross Motor Skills such a running, hopping, throwing and swinging
- Develop Fine Motor Skills such as pouring and scooping, picking flowers, and sorting small objects
- Most Importantly Enhance their Love of Nature