13 Feb How to Make your Garden More Child-Friendly
These days it’s hard to ensure children are spending enough time outside. However, you can do your bit to encourage them outside by making your garden more child-friendly. In fact, children of any age should be encouraged to spend more time in the garden and Dino Decking has a few great ideas for you below:
Create a Mud Kitchen
Granted, this may not have been the first idea you expected to see but bear with me on this! Children love to get their hands mucky and having access to a mud kitchen will allow them to do this. Build a mud kitchen in your garden by using recycled pallets or any recycled wood so they have a surface to ‘Work’ on. Buy some cheap kitchen utensils as well as a few pots and pans so children can make a mud pie.
Not only will creating a mud kitchen help children to spend time in the garden but it will also benefit them in other ways. Children need the chance to get dirty as it will help to boost their immune system. They also need to know they have the freedom to play and explore nature, even if exploring means they get covered in mud and dig up worms.
If you would like to encourage your children to grow plants why not give them their own veg plot? You don’t have to give them a lot of land, just sufficient so they can grow a few different types of vegetables and flowers.
Show your children how to plant seeds, explain how they grow and how they need to be looked after. Watching plants grow and digging them up will be very satisfying. It can give children a lot of satisfaction and a sense of achievement. Having their own beg plot will encourage a child’s interest in gardening to bloom (Pun intended!).
In addition to having a mud kitchen in your garden, you may also want to create a play area. If you have some plants that you do not want to be accidentally damaged create a play area. An area such as this will help to take any focus away from the rest of your garden and ensure your kids play in a designated area.
Use some raise sleepers or a small fence as a way to cordon off the play area. Fill the area with sand, perhaps a few toys and some bark or rubber mulch. This will encourage children to play outside in the sun rather than on a games console.
Install a Tyre Swing
Tyre swings are an ideal piece of play equipment. Attached to an old tree by a piece of rope a tyre swing can give your child hours of fun. Old tyres are relatively inexpensive as is a piece of rope. Make sure the rope is secured tightly, so much so that you should be able to swing on the tyre.
Underneath the tyre swing, you may wish to add some play bark or mulch so your child has something soft to fall on.
Use Safe Water Features
Rather than installing a pond in your garden, you may want to think about installing some safe water features. Kids love bubble fountains, paddling pools or anything that will get them wet in a safe way. Some children will get a lot of enjoyment out of being sprayed (Gently) with a hose. If you don’t want to or cannot install a water feature there is something else you can do. If you buy drinks that come in plastic bottles with sports caps on them fill the bottle with water. Let your kids squirt you and each other with the water, trust me, it’s a lot of fun.
Remove any Toxic Plants
Toddlers and babies explore the world through taste. They will put anything and everything in their mouth without realising that they could be toxic. Some plants are toxic which is why it’s important you ensure you remove any toxic plants. You should also make sure that your child washes their hands after they have finished playing in the garden.
Install a Climbing Frame
A climbing frame will call out to children, encouraging them to spend some time in the garden. Build a frame on a stable, flat base and ensure that it provides some shade and plenty of opportunities for your kids to climb, slide, and generally enjoy themselves.
It’s easy to make your garden more child-friendly, you just have to know how. Allowing children to play in your garden will encourage them to explore it and learn about plants. Let your kids get dirty, allow them to play in the mud and be daredevils. Encourage your children to spend time outside, they’ll thank you for it.