How to plan the perfect kid-friendly backyard

·3-min read
In-use demonstration of the BIG W Toy Mania AR Experience.

There’s nothing better than hearing kids play in the backyard. Squeals of joy while jumping on the trampoline, and giggles of excitement while splashing on the slip ‘n’ slide are the things childhood memories are made of.

It might be cold outside at the moment, but now is the perfect time to stock up on outdoor toys for summer fun. With over 1000 toys on sale at up to 50% off, BIG W’s Toy Mania is the ideal way to bag a bargain, and know you’ll have items ready in time for when the sun comes out again.

But, buying big equipment, such as swings, and water play toys can be tricky; visualising how outdoor toys will look and fit in amongst your well-cared for plants can be hard when you’re looking at items in a shop. This year, Australia’s favourite toy sale, Toy Mania has taken the stress out of buying toys. Now, through augmented reality, you can see what items will look like in your yard – all without leaving your home.

By clicking on the BIG W site, the AR experience will pop up on your phone. Then you can ‘place’ objects and view them in your real-time location, exploring them in 360° in your space. It’s the perfect way to try before you buy – from the comfort of your lounge. If you like what you see, all you have to do is click to buy. It’s sale shopping made seriously easy.

Here’s what to consider when you’re positioning the kids’ new toys:

Who doesn’t love a cubby house? They’re perfect for children to have some private space, and can result in hours of imaginative play. In order to let little ones feel as though they’re not being watched over, position cubby houses at a slight angle in the yard. This lets them feel they’re playing without a grown-up - but allows you to keep an eye on them.

Swing sets are ideal backyard entertainment, whatever the weather. Expect bare patches of grass to appear underneath them, so place yours where you don’t mind some patchy turf. Make sure there’s around 2.5m space between the swing and walls, fences or other hard objects, so there’s no risk of swinging into anything.

Climbing frames and monkey bars are best put on grass, for a soft landing. Metal frames should be placed out of direct sunlight to avoid them getting too hot. Ensure they’re on a flat surface, and not under hanging branches, or too close to buildings.

There’s nothing better than inflatable waterplay as the weather heats up. Make sure that there’s easy access to a hosepipe, and avoid putting inflatables under trees where possible, so there’s less cleaning of leaves and petals to do. If you’re leaving the slide up all day, try and keep it north facing so the rubber doesn’t get too hot.

BIG W Toy Mania starts online 15th June 7am EST and instore 16th June, runs to July 14. To try toys before you buy, use the AR Experience on your smartphone here.

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