The outdoors is the best driver of your child’s inspiration. Medical researchers found kids who get outdoors are calmer and have better cognitive function. Artists know it, too. Impressionist painter Claude Monet once said, “The richness I achieve comes from nature, the source of my inspiration.”
Getting your kids to play in the backyard may not turn them into master artists, but it will help improve their moods and their minds. And with that in mind, here are some of the best backyard playscapes for kids.
Best Bang For Your Buck
You can end up spending thousands of dollars on a fancy, tricked-out playscape, but the best one for your wallet will cost you far less than that.
Bob Vila’s pick for best budget playscape? The Swing-N-Slide PB 8360 Ranger Wooden Swing Set with Swings. It should run you under $300 and give your kids plenty of inspiration to get off the tablets and gaming systems and go outside. It can easily be worked into your yard. So if you’re a gardener who likes to plant flowers, or you're just out doing regular lawn maintenance, you can keep an eye on the kids.
Best Playscape For Babies
Your little one may not be ready for a big, wooden playscape with big-kid swings and a spiral slide. Babies and toddlers need outdoor playscapes that are both safe and stimulating.
The Step2 Panda Climber is a safe, popular product for kids who are still learning how to climb and take turns. It will run you about $125, and its listed age range is 18 months to 5 years old.
Best Playscape For Big Kids
If you have the money, you might invest a little in a playscape for your big kids, because they will use it for years. A good playscape for preschoolers and up might run you in the thousand-dollar range, but you should be getting some bells and whistles with that price tag.
Think perhaps multiple swings to accommodate your child’s siblings and friends. Other great additions? Big slides, monkey bars, or a playhouse in which your kids can let their imaginations flow. Picture birthday parties and family get-togethers in the backyard, where the kiddos have a place to play.
The Lifetime Monkey Bar Adventure Swing Set gets 4.8 stars out of 5 on Google and runs about $1,500. You get a couple of swings, a tube slide, and a playhouse with the Backyard Discovery Skyfort with Tube Slide, but it will run you a little more money.
Backyard Playscapes as a Safe Haven
Americans have been staying home more since March 2020 -- we all know why. As the summer of 2021 draws to a close, it looks like staying home remains the safest option. A backyard playscape is an excellent investment to help your kids bust the boredom and get off the electronic devices. It's also something they will enjoy after the pandemic is over.
And maybe -- just maybe -- that backyard playscape will spark your child’s imagination and artistic creativity. In that case, your backyard playscape will be Monet well spent.
Jodi Hunter is a freelance writer and photographer who enjoys traveling and fishing around the country with her children. Her Instagram and Facebook pages are filled with pictures of landmarks, waterfalls, wildflowers., and, oh yeah, kids and big fish.
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