Side Street Style: Tips On Creating A Child-Friendly Garden

Side Street Style

Family travel and lifestyle blog

18/10/2020

Tips On Creating A Child-Friendly Garden

outdoor kids

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If you have a garden space outside of your home, don't let it go to waste. It can be used for all kinds of purposes for your children, both fun and educational and help to create space for connecting with nature. Your garden is also the incentive your children need to stay off their screens, as if it has been adapted with them in mind, they will have more cause to play and explore outside.  So, what can you do to make your garden child-friendly? Well, we have some useful tips in this article. Have a read, and then do what you can with your garden space at home.


1 Firstly make your garden safe

Health and safety is a big concern for all parents and while we want them to get outdoors, get muddy and enjoy the fresh air we also want them to be safe and reduce any unnecessary risks.

But what kind of dangers are out there? Well, there are plants and flowers for starters. As lovely as you want your garden to look, not every plant or flower is safe for your little ones, until I had children I wasn't aware that Foxglove was poisonous and ingestion of any parts of the plant can cause serious issues. Check out this guide to poisonous plants to learn more. If any of them are growing in your garden, consider removing them. Alternatively, create a no-go area for your kids, perhaps by creating boundaries around any areas where you don't want them to wander. 

Then there's your fencing to consider. If there are any holes at the bottom of your panels, your younger children could wander off into the street and if your fencing is wooden, it could leave your children susceptible to an injury if the panels are broken and splintered, in fact I've had this issue a few times myself. So, fix your fence if need be, or look into buying a replacement. You might also want to consider outdoor play area fencing, as this can be used within your garden as a means to safeguard very small children.

Other things to be aware of is any insect infestation such as bees and other stinging insects which could become problematic especially if there are nests nearby. If this is the case it's something that cannot be left and you need to get in touch with a professional bee removal services (or an equivalent) to alleviate any issues. 


Foxglove
Foxglove - pretty but poisonous



2. Create a family-focused space

While you don't want to clutter up your garden with toys and plastic, you do want to make it appealing for the younger family members and naturally encourage them to get outdoors. Creating a space for children to do some gardening, perhaps grow their own sunflowers and try their hand of growing some vegetables is both fun and educational.  Sticking with traditional and wooden based outdoor equipment, such as swings or climbing frames fit well into a garden while also giving hours of fun, if worried you can also consider the possibility of rubber play mats, as they will protect your children if they take a sudden tumble.

If your looking for more rounded family-focused games for all ages you could consider some giant lawn games such as Jenga, snakes and ladders and chess, put up a den or tent or if you have space you could fit in a basketball net - I loved having a basketball net when I was a child. These are just a few examples but consider your own children and what they like to play with, and then buy or create those things that will give them the incentive to spend more time outdoors.


outdoor den



3 Create a wildlife area

Your children can learn a lot from the local wildlife in your area, and they can be encouraged to protect the various bugs and beasties that come into your garden too. So, finding ways to let them interact with nature is a must. The first thing you need to do is designate a spot in your garden for your wildlife area. Make sure there is space to give your children the opportunity to dig and plant wildlife-attracting flowers, alongside a space for them to sit and watch the action unfold.


Then encourage your children to put their personal stamp on the garden. They could hand-decorate a birdhouse for example, or paint stepping stones that lead to various areas of their garden space. You can also add those items that will attract wildlife, such as bird feeders for our winged friends, and plates of water to attract hedgehogs and other local mammals. With your children, you might want to make a terrarium for bugs and beasties, or a wormery for...well, you can probably guess. These are just a few examples, but talk to your children about the wildlife they enjoy looking at, and then research ways to accommodate them into the wildlife area.


When everything is in place, provide your children with a magnifying glass to watch your garden inhabitants up close, or a pair of binoculars to watch the creatures that might scare away easily. And give them a notepad too, as they will then be able to draw the wildlife they see or make notes on the various creatures that they encounter in their special area of the garden. Of course, remind your children to be careful in their wildlife garden. There are some creatures that they shouldn't touch, so let them know what is and isn't acceptable.


bug hotel



Finally

If your children love to spend time outdoors, do what you can with your garden area to give them play and exploration opportunities. And do so even if your children are a little too addicted to their screens, because if they have the incentive to go outside, they might spend less time glued to whatever screen they regularly use. So, I hope this article was useful, but if you have your own garden ideas, let us know in the comments section below!

6 comments:

  1. I love the idea of a wildlife area. Somewhere for nature and for the kids to learn a little too!

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  2. Eliza has a fairy garden and the boys have a wildlife area with a sunken bowl in it. We now have two toads and a newt living in it

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  3. We've added a place for wildlife in our garden this year, as well as a space just for our daughter.

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  4. A wildlife area for the kids is a great idea and it's really good fun making bug or bee houses

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  5. Some lovely ideas for outside space. This has to be more important now more than ever.

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  6. We have a big shared garden and it can be tricky to navigate. We have around ten children who regularly use the garden, and one of the elderly ladies who has lived there for years planted some foxgloves...

    ReplyDelete

Lovely comments

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