As the days grow longer, and the temperature rises, children love to be able to play outside. Yet it can be hard keeping an eye on young children roaming around the garden, while you try and do tasks inside the house. Many gardens incorporate water features and small ponds and these can be very dangerous for young children.

Installing a decking area adjacent to the house is a perfect answer. Decking areas can be installed quickly and will blend into any garden and house design. Best of all, you can add some railings and a little gate so that children cannot stray too far. This solves the problem posed by water features. Children can play happily outdoors in safety.

Decking provides a flat surface on which children can drive pedal cars, and run around in safety. Properly installed by a contractor, decking offers a safe and secure surface. Wood is quite forgiving if little children fall on it, so there will be no nasty accidents or tears.

Consider building in a little sandpit. Children love playing with sand and if you place a cover over it, after use, it keeps the sand clean and fresh. Once the children have grown up, you can always turn the pit into a small water feature by installing a pre-formed pond base or covering the pit with a special liner.

It is worth considering adding a covered section within the decking area as this will allow all year round use. After rain or periods of ice and snow, decking can become a little slippy. This is easily dealt with by using an anti strip treatment such as painting with boat paint. Talk to your installer about the best anti slip treatment to suit the wood you have chosen. It may be possible to build in anti-slip strips which can give just that little bit of extra grip.

Best of all maintenance is simple and easy. All you need to do is brush daily and regularly wash down the surface. This will keep the surface clean and hygienic. A regular check should be carried out to identify any boards that might be working loose. This rarely happens, but is possible and with children around, it is important to be very safe. Once a year, use a timber treatment to keep the wood in good condition.

Hardwood decking will stay looking good for many years making this a wonderful way to improve your home and garden.