It is every parent’s dream to create a garden that is comfortable and safe for both the kids and the adults. This means that the garden should offer good relaxing grounds for the adults and a secure playground for your kids.
You, therefore, have to invest a lot in the design of the garden to suit both your needs. There are numerous ways of modifying your garden to make it child-friendly. Below are some Garden ideas for kids that you can use to childproof your garden.
Children are a curious lot with a short attention span. This means that they may wander off at any time in pursuit of anything that fascinates them. For toddlers, taking your eyes off them for a minute is all it takes for them to crawl their way out of the garden.
It is therefore vital that you install a fence around the garden to control their movement, and to make it easier for you to monitor the kids, hence avoid unnecessary accidents. The fence should also be high enough to ensure they cannot jump over.
Fencing keeps away wild animals, stray animals, trespassers and intruders, thus ensuring the safety of your kids from external threats. It also ensures that other neighbours are not disturbed by the noises the kids make as they play.
However, ensure that your fencing doesn’t pose any threat to the kids and toddlers. In case you put up a wooden fence, ensure there are no protruding nails or sharp edges that may hurt the kids.
It should also be temporary and easily mobile to allow you to expand the garden once the kids become older, and should complement the aesthetics of the garden. Beautiful gardens attract the kids and are also more pleasant for adults to relax in.
Water features such as fountains and ponds can significantly change the aesthetics of your home. However, they also pose a significant threat to small children and toddlers who do not understand the necessary safety measures around these features.
Children love playing in the water, and thus, it will not be a surprise finding the kids trying to swim in the pond. This may easily result in them drowning.
The water features are also an attraction site for many insects and birds, and thus it will attract mosquitoes, frogs and small birds to your compound. This will distract your kids.
The kids are also more likely to contract water-borne diseases since the ponds harbour many germs and bacteria.
If you need the water feature, then ensure that you fence it well, install safety grids over it, and have it maintained regularly to keep off the pests.
Falling is inevitable for kids when they are playing. It is, therefore, your duty to ensure that they have a soft flooring to land on, to avoid injuries.
Artificial grass has proven to provide a very effective cushion to the kids as they fall, and thus reduced the number of accidents in the playground.
The grass is also available throughout the year irrespective of the season, hence allows the kids to enjoy playing in the child-friendly garden throughout.
It also doesn’t get muddy when in contact with water, ensuring that you don’t have to worry about the kids getting dirty, or walking their muddy shoes into the house.
With a minimal need for maintenance, artificial grass also reduces the risks of the kids tripping and falling as it is evenly laid.
Laying turf is also a good alternative, as it offers a soft landing, and is ideal when the kids are playing ball games, as its underlying turf cushions when the kids impact with the ground.
Your garden design for children will not be complete if your kids don’t get plants and bushes to explore and learn from. You should, however, be keen to ensure that each of the plants is safe and that the toxic plants are weeded out.
Toxic plants are those plants that may poison your kids, pets or even yourself. This may happen in the form of skin reactions, allergies or even thorn piercings.
Despite toxic plants being rare, it is essential for you to inspect every plant that you want to introduce to your garden.
You should also educate your kids on the features of toxic plants and what to do when they come across one. This will help reduce a few of the poisoning cases.
Be sure to lock away any of your herbicides and pesticides away from the garden as the kids may harm themselves while trying to kill some toxic plants.
A sensory garden is a garden environment designed to stimulate the senses of kids. This is done by engaging the kids’ five senses of hearing, touch, taste, sight and smell using the plants available in the garden. Some of the ideas you can implement include:
To stimulate sight, plant brightly coloured flowers in the garden. The plants should be of different shapes, sizes and colours. This will force the kids to use their sense of sight and also increase their curiosity in knowing their environment.
It will also create a beautiful environment for your home and pathways. Plants such as the Calendula and Sunflower should do the magic.
Besides ensuring you have strikingly beautiful plants; you should also ensure that any additional developments to the garden complements the colours and strikes a balance in the tone of the garden.
Any water features, fences, gravel or even gates should allow the kids to appreciate the beauty of their environment.
Your garden plants should not only be brightly coloured but should also be aromatic with the right blend of scented flowers. For small kids, consider getting a combination of different scents from the subtle ones to the more intense as they provide a variety of pants to be explored.
Plants such as the lavender and the chocolate cosmos are a great choice as a garden idea for the kids as they stimulate their sense of smell.
You may even help them by teaching them how to distinguish flowers based on their smells and ensuring that the flowers are planted at their noses’ height.
Your garden should be a calm place for both the kids and you to relax and enjoy. You should, therefore, ensure that only soothing and relaxing sounds can be heard from the garden.
Introduce specific rustling grasses or even bamboo tree stems which produce a soothing whistle noise when blown by the wind.
You may also add some humanmade features such as water fountains and wind chimes to produce a calming sound in the garden.
Stimulating the taste buds of the child is very important; however, you have to be keen to ensure that they don’t ingest poisonous plants from your garden.
Growing or acquiring edible flowers, fruit trees and vegetables is a safe way of ensuring your kids engage with safe plants. You should, however, teach them to distinguish between the edible plants and those that aren’t.
You should also ensure that the plants and fruits are of different tastes to give the kids a variety of flavours and thus stir curiosity to taste other fruits.
With the existence of numerous plants with different textures, your garden should be equipped with plants of unique textures ranging from the plants with soft and silky leaves to those which are rough, sticky, woolly or feathery. This will enable the children to distinguish the plants by their sense of touch.
For many disabled children, the sensory gardens provide a calm environment where they can stimulate their senses. The garden also provides a serene haven for them to cool down and relax and eliminate their anxieties and fidgeting disorders.
It also offers a fun way to educate these kids about the different senses and also explore nature in a way they wouldn’t have in class.
Sensory gardens provide a very colourful environment that helps in regulating the kids’ emotions and allow them to relax. It also allows them to get ample fresh air and sunshine thus developing into active, healthy children.
The garden provides an easy way of allowing the children to develop their motor skills such as hand-eye coordination and also improve their cognitive skills like problem-solving, communication and interaction skills.
They also get to sharpen their memory as they sample through different plants’ tastes, smells, colours and textures.
The kids also enjoy sensory gardens as they can play in a quiet, serene and happy environment with all their senses aroused. This results in better management, physical fitness and social interactions.
When creating a child-friendly garden, allocating a small portion of the garden for the kids to grow their own plants will go a long way in building their self-esteem.
Children love to be encouraged and commended for their achievements and thus, involving them in all garden activities such as weeding and watering the crops will create a sense of satisfaction in the kids.
The children will also get to spend more time with you as you help them tend with the garden and thus improve the bonding in the family.
They will also get a chance to appreciate nature as they learn through their various senses and enjoy eating foods from their garden!
Your garden should be a sanctuary for you and your kids. As such, the Garden design for kids should create an environment where you can all bond while enjoying yourselves.
Equipment such as swings, slides and climbing frames should be installed in the garden. If you are limited in budget, you can always improvise by teaching the kids cool games such as hide and seek that can be fun in your garden.
The play area can also include a tree house, a netted trampoline and inflated ball pools which will attract the children outdoor.
It can also have some swimming benches where the parent can sit and watch the kids play. Sloane and Sons Garden Benches provide quality furniture, designed to suit your garden’s design.
You should, however, avoid investing too much in the play area since, as the kids are growing, they will end up outgrowing some of the games and equipment you installed.
Although you want your kids to get the best of everything, proper garden design for children should also designate a small portion of the garden for adults. In this area, you can grow some crops that would be destroyed by the kids as they play.
By restricting this area only for adults, you will teach your kids the value of respecting your quiet time and thus grant you a place to relax without their disturbance.
It will also show the kids that you value them, and you do not want to disturb when they play. They will thus be more careful when in this area.
Wild animals in your garden will not only beautify your garden but will also provide an excellent learning opportunity for your kids to learn about them.
Butterflies, bees and birds are delightful to watch as they feed in your garden. Their beauty will stimulate the sense of sight in the kids.
If you have a pond, the noise of frogs and other animals stimulates the sense of hearing and sight for the children and thus enable them to appreciate nature.
The children can also learn necessary skills such as harvesting honey if you have beehives in the garden. You should, however, be careful to ensure that you allow only animals that have proven to be harmless to the children.
Besides the ways above, there are numerous other ways of making a child-friendly garden including building a camp, painting a blackboard wall and even building a climbing wall for the children.
Anything can happen in the garden whether you are present or not and thus, instead of waiting for the worst to happen, make your garden child-friendly today!
For more information on how to make your garden child-friendly, please see the below resources:-
Anna is the marketing and office manager for Garden Benches – a premium supplier of high-quality wooden benches and other outdoor furniture.