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I’m sure many of you have children and grandchildren that you want to teach gardening to. I know my nieces love helping my parents in their garden. Keep these tips in mind in this collaborative post about designing and enjoying a garden with kids.
Many of us have children in our lives. They may be our own, grandchildren or even family friends. Teaching them to enjoy gardening is a powerful legacy that it can be a joy to pass on.
When you think of creating a child-friendly garden, it doesn’t have to mean a bare expanse of lawn and lots of plastic everywhere. It doesn’t have to cost to fortune. A few simple checks and changes will make your garden a safe place that the children in your life will enjoy spending time with you.
Zone The Space
Introducing zones to your garden can instantly make it more suitable for children to enjoy. So consider your space in terms of a series of concentric circles radiating out from the house. The circle nearest to the house is ideal for play equipment and keeping an eye on little ones.
If you can, consider introducing some fencing to keep this area secure and concentrate on hardy plants and bushes for foliage that won’t be destroyed easily by errant trampling feet.
Further out, have a sheltered spot for group entertainment like a gazebo or shaded patio area. This allows adults and children to come together or you to be close by while they play in the first zone.
Introduce color and shading with beautiful border plants and climbers such as passionflower and wisteria to add a sensory dimension. The third zone is where you can locate fruit bushes such as strawberries in pots, vegetable beds, and larger bushes such as a camellia.
Get The Safety Basics Right
Keeping kids safe in the garden is the key to getting them to love the environment, so make sure you cover off the safety basics. Firstly, if you have pond or a body of water, consider covering it over with metal safety mesh– this will also keep any ornamental fish safe from predators.
Check for irritant or toxic plants and any dangerous pests that need to be taken care of such as snake removal. If you plan to introduce a kids zone, ensure it’s turfed so that the impact from falls is reduced.
Save on Play Equipment
If you plan to add some activities for the kids, you don’t have to spend lots. Toy playhouses and trampolines can be picked up very cheaply second-hand on listings sites.
Or if the kids are a bit older, why not start a project to build your own fort? Wooden palettes can generally be had for free and can be sanded smooth and built into all kinds of structures or painted bright colors. You could also create a mud kitchen!
A trip to any second hand shop or yard sale will fit you out with a wooden dresser and some old pots and pans – then let them ‘cook’ up all kinds of creations! Children outgrow things quickly, so there’s no point spending a fortune on play equipment.
If you do want to buy anything new, make it sports stuff that has a longer lifespan such as bats and balls that suit a wide age range, and you can all play with together.
Enjoying a Garden with Kids
Designing and enjoying a garden with kids can be lots of fun. What do you have in your garden to make it more kid friendly? Let me know in the comments below.