Today the lovely Renee of Adventures at Home with Mum shows us one way to add a wonderful imaginative play space to an outdoor area – by creating a secret pirate’s den!
At our household outside play is very important. Kids have boundless energy and a natural curiosity to explore so playing outside in the backyard offers freedom, fresh air, plenty of space and the opportunity to explore safely. Outside play also encourages a healthy lifestyle, provides physical challenges that let children test their own abilities, and let’s face it, being outdoors is good for your soul.
Adventures at Home Dad and I are always looking for ways to expand the outdoor play area that we’ve made for Dimples. We aim to provide a fun, challenging, interesting and imaginative space that encourages active pretend play. We also want to give him endless play possibilities so that he won’t get bored. I’d love to see him utilise the area for many years to come.
We’ve already got a pretty awesome mud kitchen, some challenging balance stumps, a cool gnome garden and a pirate themed tree house. Next we set out to make a Pirate hideaway tent with a table and chair set tucked away so the little Pirate fan could return from a voyage, have some afternoon pirate grub and count his treasure in a secret shaded tent.
This was very simple and could be done in any yard by adjusting the size of the tent. All you need are two sheets of the size you wish, some tent pegs, some rope and something to secure it to.
I had two sheets painted in pirate flag designs that were from Dimple’s pirate theme 3rd Birthday party. You could paint pictures on sheets and have any colour or theme your child adores. We’ve still got the pirate theme going on throughout our yard so these old, tattered pirate sheets work well.
All you need to do is tie, knot or stitch one side of each sheet to your rope. Then tie your rope up between trees, to a fence or wherever you can. In Dimple’s Pirate Tree house he has a large net boat, and thick rope around trees so I tied the sheets up at the end of his net. To pitch your tent open the sheets apart and thump in some strong tent pegs and there you have it – a hideaway for lots of secret adventures and scrumptious tea parties.
What does your child’s favourite outdoor, imaginative play space look like?
Renee is an Australian stay at home Mum to Dimples and Miss Cherub, and author of the fun blog ‘Adventures at home with Mum.‘ She is a hands on Mum who loves sharing playful ways for children to learn during the early years and has a little bit of everything on her blog from messy sensory play and extreme paint to active and outdoor fun. Renee has a Psychology degree and various study attainments in childcare, personality development and effective parenting, she wishes to work with children in the future but for now she is enjoying watching her children grow and learn at home. You can also find Renee on Facebook or Pinterest.