Obviously, the backyard is the perfect playground for your kids. There’s so much to explore and so much to learn from being outside, surrounded by fresh air, sunlight, and nature.
And though you might not have considered it before, adding a dedicated play-shed into the mix can make things so much more fun and engaging for your little one. This can be a place to get a welcome rest from the sun, the best hiding place in a game of hide-and-seek, a way to get out of the house during rainy days, or even your own interactive learning center.
If you’ve been thinking about creative ways to use your shed, this is a great option. So, let’s talk about how to transform your shed into your child’s favorite part of the backyard.
First, some safety tips
As a parent, you know that no matter what, kids will always be curious. In your shed, it’s important to keep that fact in mind to keep your little ones safe.
One of the first things you should do is to consider the stability of your shed. When you’re installing your EasyShed, make sure that you follow all instructions, or ask our customer support team for help if you have questions. Take special care when installing a base that there are no exposed nails or cracks in the floor.
And, if you’ve had your shed for a while, be sure to go through and make certain that there’s been no damage to the base, walls, or roof. This is absolutely necessary before you start transitioning the space into a play area for kids.
Now, let’s talk about what’s inside the shed. The best case scenario is if you are able to dedicate your entire shed as a child’s play area. That way, you never have to worry about them getting into items that they shouldn’t. But, of course, we know that’s not always possible, so here are some special considerations.
Make sure that if you’re going to be sectioning off the shed for a play area and storage, that the items in storage are absolutely out of reach and secure. A loose stack of boxes can easily be knocked over and pose a risk for your kiddos. Likewise, tools of any kind should be securely locked away, and you should make sure that any garden materials like pesticide are completely inaccessible to your little ones.
Another considerations for safety is going to pest control. Rodents, small animals, and insects all see backyard sheds as a welcome refuge from Australia’s harsh weather. That means, you have to take extra precautions to protect your child’s play shed from pests. You can take a look at our recent article on pest control, here.
And of course, our final word on safety is that you supervise your children in the shed at all times. It’s the best way to avoid accidents and keep your kiddos safe and happy.
Now that we’ve covered safety, it’s time to move onto the fun stuff!
How to make the space multi-purpose
When you’re planning out how to use your shed as a play area for kids, you might have a million ideas in your mind. The stage can go here! The arts and crafts table can go over there! Do we have space for an indoor planetarium? With a little bit of planning, your backyard shed can have all of these elements and more.
Of course, however you want to decorate or set up your play area for your child is completely up to you. Here are just two ways to keep the space perpetually exciting for your little ones.
If you have a fairly large shed, you can section it off into different play areas. With the use of bookshelves or storage boxes, you can clearly demarcate areas in the shed with different purposes. It’s also helpful to put down a different color area rug to further visualize the separate spaces. This is going to make the shed more engaging and exciting for your little ones. By taking just a few steps, they’ll feel like they’ve been transported to a whole new world.
Here are some ideas for the different areas:
- An arts and crafts area with a table and chairs
- A music area, complete with a dance floor and instruments
- A dress up zone with costumes and a stage
- A science center with magnifying glasses, science books and maybe even a star projector
If, on the other hand, you’re working with a slightly smaller shed, organization is going to open up doors for you. The trick is to have a main play area that is neutral. Then, in clearly marked storage bins, you can store specific play themes. One box, for instance, might be Transportation, in which you have toy cars, a train set, model airplanes, dress up outfits for train conductors or pilots, and a dedicated music playlist. Another box might be Arts & Crafts, in which you store all the materials you may need such as crayons, paper, coloring books, and clipboards.
These themes can be neatly stored when not in use so that your small space doesn’t become cluttered.
Keeping things organized
Alright, obviously, it’s great to have an organized plan for your child’s play shed, but you know that in the long run, things are going to get messy.
One of the best ways to keep this space organized is by involving your child in the process. Cleaning up can be made into a game, and you should make sure to provide plenty of positive encouragement and praise when you see your kiddos helping.
And, unlike other areas of the house, the shed can be used as an incentive, as well. For instance, you might say to your child, “If we can put all of the toys back in the bin before we leave the shed, we can come back and play later.” For incentives to work, you must be firm on the consequences when your kiddos don’t follow the directions. A good follow up if they didn’t clean earlier might sound like, “Remember, we agreed that we can’t play in the shed again until we’ve cleaned up. Are you ready to try again?”
For more ideas on how to involve your child in the cleaning process, take a look at some advice from parenting expert and clinical psychologist, Dr. Eileen Kennedy-Moore on involving children in household chores.
Most importantly, have fun with it!
You’ll quickly realize that although you transformed your backyard shed into a play area for your kids, you’ll love it just as much as they do! So enjoy the playtime and let your creativity run wild!