One of children’s favourite games is to run ahead and hide behind various objects, jumping out to surprise friends and relatives at the last minute. It’s a game that young children play endlessly that provides a fun way for them to get exercise and confidence in venturing off alone.
How to build
- Create places on a trail where young children can hide safely just at the trail edge. A simple timber wall or fence structure in the silhouette of a woodland creature might be created beside a path. Peep holes at (child) eye level will allow children to watch families approach in secret. Ensure peep holes are within the recognised dimensions (greater than 25 mm, but less than 89 mm) and that splinters are removed from rough edges.
- Ensure that trip hazards are removed and there are no sharp ended sticks poking out at eye level in hiding places.
- Initially a temporary sign might be needed to suggest this play opportunity to the accompanying adult.
- Alternatives might include a willow wall or hazel hurdle. Clearing some vegetation, or removing some lower branches of a dense young conifer tree, creating a small path to the base of a large girthed tree or holding down some branches of a ‘weeping’ tree could create an enclosed space for hiding.