DIY Barefoot Sensory Path

After we finished our patio makeover, we decided to start working on Sophie’s play area. This was how the top of our garden looked in April. A dangerous mess! So we have spent the last few months transforming this into a play area for Sophie. This has taken a while as we tried to do most of the work while she napped but we did manage to get some done while she was awake by keeping her entertained with some outdoor activities.

We had the trees cut down, removed LOTS of concrete and built a deck. We set up her mud kitchen but we couldn’t work out how what to do with the empty, uneven ground that was left in front of the deck.

We were given lots of paving blocks, which we had already used to make a road for her cars and a path around our garden, so I decided to use the rest of them to create a barefoot sensory path. It took lots of nap times and some evenings to complete but I am really pleased with how it turned out. Here’s how we made it:

I spent a long time digging the mud to make the ground even. Then I dug out a curved ditch and positioned the paving blocks into it to create the border.

We cemented these in so they would be secure enough for Sophie to walk on, especially as the path slopes up towards the deck.

We filled one of the sections with compost and planted some chamomile lawn. I wanted to use this as it gives off a scent when you tread on it and, unlike grass, it does not need mowing.

We bought six plants and spaced them out. They have already grown lots and have nearly filled the entire section.

Although we had put gravel down next to the path, I decided to fill one of the sections with loose pebbles, because they were a lot smoother than the gravel. I didn’t cement them in because I wanted them to move when Sophie stands on them.

We filled another section with logs. I bought some half log sleepers from the garden centre as they are flat on the bottom so I thought they would sit better in the path. We filled the section with sand first to help them to bed in.

It was a bit tricky to fill this section as the path curves but we just left small gaps at one end of the logs. We ended up having to move the two bricks inside the path as we didn’t measure the logs before we cemented bricks down.

I filled another section with offcuts of logs and branches from the trees that we had cut down. I put sand down first and sunk the pieces into the sand.

Next, I put some small pebbles in the gaps to make the logs and sticks fit tightly to stop them from moving.

Then I filled the gaps with soil. I am not sure how long this section will last. The wood might rot quite quickly but it is easy enough to replace so I will see how it goes.

We decided to cement some smooth pebbles into the final section so they would stay still when walked on, unlike the smaller pebbles. First, we lined the section with gravel then poured cement on top.

I had to work quickly as the cement was a quick setting one. I had no time to design a pattern so I just placed the pebbles as I went.

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And here is the finished path. I am really pleased with how it turned out. It really defines the area and leads up to the decking. You can also see our dinosaur small world tyre near the flamingos in this photo.

Sophie walks along the path in her shoes but she also likes to kick her wellies off and walk barefooted.

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If you ask her which is her favourite section she always goes to the loose pebbles.

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If you enjoyed this outdoor activity, take a look at our outdoor easel and our magnetic water wall.