Many of us have fond memories of being children and being lucky enough to have access to a garden in which we could play. Combining the open space and varied flora of a well thought out garden with a child’s limitless imagination opens up entirely new worlds of possibilities for them. With our kids spending more and more of their lives, like us, with their heads buried in screens, anything we can do to encourage them to spend more time outside and in nature is to be encouraged.
No matter how big or small your garden is, with a few relatively simple touches, you can turn it into a versatile space that your kids will love. Here are some of the most effective things you can do to make your garden more child-friendly.
Let Yourself Relax
The first thing you need to do is to take a deep breath and come to terms with the fact that your own standards are probably going to have to drop. You may have had some grand ideas of using floral displays, water features, and statues to create your dream garden. If you want this to be a space where kids can play freely, though, you are going to need to bite the bullet and accept that plants and statues are likely to be damaged.
Maintain a Safe Perimeter
You will want to ensure that young children aren’t going to wander out of your garden and towards a busy road. This can be done by installing fencing around your garden, which you can order from a website like Fencestore. They stock cheap fence panels, but they are still sturdy and will form an effective barrier without spoiling the look of your garden.
Be Water Aware
This is especially important if you have younger children and toddlers in your house. Water features, including fish ponds and fountains, can look really beautiful. However, as any parent knows, very young children should never be left unsupervised around water. Even a bucket of water is a potential drowning hazard. If your garden already contains a pond, it’s important to make sure your kids understand the dangers, and that you place barriers around it.
If you have enough space in your garden, you may well want to dedicate some areas for your children’s use and leave some room free for the adults. Clearly delineating these zones means that you can give yourself a nice, quiet spot to do your reading and relaxing, while still being able to supervise the kids. Try and keep your kids’ play area near to the house so you can easily observe them while they play.
Choose Equipment Carefully
The equipment you choose for your garden, if any, will depend on your children. Obviously, their age and capabilities will play a role in determining what is and isn’t suitable. But you should also consider their tastes and personalities. Not all eight-year-old girls want to do the same things; some will want to play on a swing, others a slide and the really adventurous ones might just want to go bug hunting.
Keep Costs Down With DIY
There are all kinds of DIY projects you can do to enhance your garden for your kids. For example, building them their own tepee gives them a sheltered space in which they can read a book, play on a tablet, or even just get away from the grown-ups for a bit!
Stay One Step Ahead of Their Development
Parents get used to this idea quite quickly. Whether it’s shoes, school uniforms, reading books, or anything else in your child’s life, you always have to be prepared for the next step. Kids grow up faster than we realise. Before you know it, the toys that they were once inseparable from have been relegated to the shelf or the back of a cupboard. When you are looking at adding play equipment to your garden, you should consider how long it will be useful to them for. The longer something will last, the more it is worth spending on it. Don’t go overboard on buying an expensive swing that they won’t be able to use in a year.
Work With What You Have
Most of us don’t have huge gardens to work with, as much as we would love to. While there are a lot of things you can do to alter or enhance the space you do have, it is also important to understand the limitations of your setup and to work with them.
And there you have it! With these words of advice in mind, you are free to let your imagination, and your children’s, run wild. The more involved they can be in the actual design process, the more they are likely to enjoy the final garden you end up with. Remember, when a garden is designed with true care and love, it can provide an experience for your children quite unlike anything else.