We are so busy with our lives and careers, as well as social outings and events, that spending time together as a family falls by the wayside.
But did you know that the garden is the perfect space for your family to bond and enjoy each other’s company? And here’s how…
1. Create an al fresco dining space
Eating together is a great way of touching base with each other at the end of a busy day. And it’s a great way to start the day too. Creating an al fresco dining space needn’t be complicated or expensive;
- A good quality dining table on the lawn is a simple way of creating an outdoor dining area. Choose a flat area close to the kitchen so you don’t have to walk far with food.
- Building a patio or decking is a longer-term solution for creating an outdoor dining ‘room’. Add lighting and you can enjoy many an evening as a family enjoying great food.
2. Build an outdoor kitchen!
Outdoor kitchens are slowly becoming very popular in the UK and once you build yours, you’ll wonder how you ever coped without it.
Common in hot countries, the outdoor kitchens allows you to cook al fresco and therefore be social with your family rather than cut off in the kitchen but is also ideal for cooking food without heating the inside of your home in summer.
Top end outdoor kitchens also boast running water and a sink – not as hard and you think to incorporate – along with an amazing BBQ and pizza oven combo. Build it with pest-proof cupboards and a Perspex roof and you have a fantastic space for cooking and socialising.
3. A play area
Leaving the cooking and eating aside for the time being, the garden is a great place to play and when you have younger children, it is an important extra space for them to enjoy.
Of course, there are many ways of creating age-appropriate outdoor play areas;
- Adults can set back and relax on the comfy wooden benches in the garden whilst the kids play about in the ball pit, the sand pit or enjoy creating works of art with washable paints that won’t bother the grass and surrounding plants.
- Why not create a tree house or a den? A den in the trees is surely every child’s adventurous dream but if that’s a problem (that is, you have no trees!) create a den with a summer house or small shed instead.
- A swing set is great for kids but how about for the big kid in us? There are kits available that are sturdy enough for an adult to enjoy a little burst on the swing in the summer sunshine or even in the coldness of winter…
4. Add a pool or hot tub
Eating and cooking together is a great way for people to enjoy each other’s company, as is playing together.
Semi-permanent family swimming pools have seen a real upturn in popularity in recent years and for the family that want to enjoy the garden more, and each other’s company, investing in one is a no-brainer.
There are temporary structures such as inflated pools that are both deep and very sturdy. There are also semi-permanent structures that have a hard outer casing, usually a wooden ‘lollipop’ frame that remains in situ long after the inner has been removed for the winter.
Hot tubs offer a similar ‘family activity’, perfect for warming chilled bones during the winter.
When adding pools or tubs of water to the garden, make sure they are safe to use and children are supervised at all times.
5. Just relax
So far, spending time in the garden with your family has centred around an activity – preparing meals for the outdoor kitchen and eating together, along with playing in the garden or enjoying splashing around in the pool.
How about doing something so simple, you’ll wonder why you never thought about it before…
Just relax, Just sit together on the patio, lounging on the outdoor sofa, enjoying the conversation, half reading your book.
Or why not spend the evening together watching the sunset and flickering flames of the fire pit?