Child Friendly Garden
My friend thinks this post was written just for me.
The Back Story:
My son is happily doing a Ninja Zone class with one of his best buddies and so his Mom and I are catching up on our work in the Kids Gym Ninja Bean Cafe. She laughed when I mentioned the Keyword for this post: Child-Friendly Garden and said, “You’d better read that post!” Haha. She may have a point, but with our garden about to become a building site, now is not the time to rectify that.
Bear in mind, this contributed post is written by someone in the Northern Hemisphere where it’s still Winter, while we’re in High Summer here. Nevertheless, I believe this advice is evergreen (hehe).
Making Your Backgarden as Child-Friendly as Possible
The spring is fast approaching, and as the weather improves, your little ones are going to want to spend more time outdoors. Visits to the park or other public outdoor spaces can prove time-consuming and even costly if you have to travel a distance to get there.
Instead, why not put a little time and effort into improving your garden to provide the kids with a green, outdoor space to play in that is literally on their doorstep.
While kids should be supervised when playing at all times, it’s much easier and more convenient for you to do this from the comfort of your own home. Here are just a few ways that you can create a child-friendly garden that they will want to spend hours at a time playing in!
Getting Things Back in Shape
Seeing as we’re only in February, there’s a good chance that your back garden has experienced, well, a rough winter since you last set foot in it.
Kids generally aren’t interested in playing outdoors when it’s cold, and the weather is grim, and we can’t blame parents who avoid the chill of gardening through the harsher months.
But as spring is around the corner, it’s time to start venturing out back and taking a look at the wear and tear that this hiatus from gardening may have resulted in. Strong winds may have broken fencing or causing small splits and holes in the panels. These will need to be patched up or replaced.
As we are all well aware, kids often run and fall a lot, and you don’t want them to catch their skin on splintered or broken woodwork. If you’re unsure of how to do this yourself, it’s generally best to call a professional in. They will be able to put up panels or repair panels in such a way that the job won’t have to be revisited in the near future.
Next, you should scour the lawn before cutting the grass. You don’t want to damage your mower or hurt yourself by going over large pieces of debris that could have fallen from trees or blown in. Now is a good time to also check for animal faeces.
Even if you don’t have pets of your own, other animals such as neighbouring cats, foxes, hedgehogs, rats, or other wildlife are likely to have spent time in your long grass and might have left a mess behind.
You don’t want this flying everywhere when you go over it with the mower or a strimmer, so it’s best to use rubber gloves to pick it up and dispose of it safely.
The following tasks will be relatively familiar: cutting the grass, strimming around the edges, pulling weeds, and generally straightening the place up.
As your kids are likely to spend a whole lot more time outdoors in the following months, you’re probably going to want your garden to be as safe yet low maintenance as possible.
The grass can hide a whole lot from you if you’re watching the little ones from indoors. It can disguise all sorts of potential hazards, such as animal mess, branches, sticks, and jagged rocks. A good alternative is to take a look at patio designs and have an extensive patio laid.
Potential dangers become much more easily visible, meaning that you can remove them as quickly as possible. Patio also has the benefit of reducing the number of creepy crawlies making their way across your garden, so is perfect for those who want to spend time out in the garden with their little ones but aren’t quite at one with nature.
Make Things Bright and Beautiful
Once the above steps have been completed, you can focus on making your garden as attractive a place as possible for your little ones to revel in. The addition of flowers is an easy way to make the garden bright, colourful, and fragrant.
You can even involve your little ones in this part of the gardening process, encouraging them to help you dig flower beds, pot plants, and design the space.
Even if you don’t have much room, there’s going to be some way to do this. Consider climbing plants that scale the side of your property or window boxes that sit beneath your home’s windows. Remember to always check that the plants you choose are child and pet-friendly.
Certain flowers or leaves can prove toxic if ingested and you never know what your little one might decide looks like a potentially tasty snack. So choose non-toxic plants at all times. You should also avoid blooms that have sharp leaves or thorns, as you never know when your little ones might tumble into the greenery or attempt to pick a flower for themselves.
Once your garden is neat, tidy, safe, and beautiful, you can focus on more fun aspects of its design. Fill the space with as many toys and activities possible to give your little ones plenty to engage with.
If you have a spacious garden, consider play equipment such as swings, see-saws, slides, climbing frames, Wendy houses, and sandpits (just ensure that sandpits can be closed at night, as cats will take any opportunity to use them as a giant litter tray).
If items come flat packed, have them put up professionally to ensure that they are safe and sturdy. Many items will be plastic, so ensure to wipe them down with disinfectant regularly.
You should also ensure that your little ones are always supervised when playing on any of the equipment. You will be able to stop any dangerous behaviour in its tracks and treat minor injuries as quickly as possible.
As you can see, the perfect child-friendly garden will take a little time and effort on your part. It’s not going to just appear at the snap of your fingers. But the results are more than worth it!
By spring, you will have crafted the perfect space for your little ones to frolic and play in.
What have you done to ensure your garden is child-friendly?