It is amazing to involve kids in gardening activities or to just hang out together with them in the garden. But have you considered how to make your garden child friendly? Their safety must be a top priority if you will enjoy gardening without having to worry about threats and hazards.
Creating a child friendly garden therefore starts right from the design, to your choice of plants, through creating protective barriers and so on. Below are 10 useful guidelines to help you create a child friendly outdoor garden.
1. Choose the Right Location
When choosing a gardening spot, keep in mind the need to keep an eye on the kids when they are alone in the garden. It is advisable to choose a location that is visible from your house. You can therefore allow them out there alone and occasionally glance to the garden to check that everything is okay. Actually, most parents prefer a location that is near the house.
2. Erect a High-Quality Fence
First erect a high quality fence around your garden. With a fence and a gate, you can allow children into the garden when you want to only. Just ensure the gate to the garden is locked. In addition, if your garden is close to a neighbor’s a fence will keep your children to your garden only.
Moreover, if you have adequate space in the garden, you can fence some section off and set it aside as a playing area. When buying fencing materials think about the safety of the kids. Also consider the maintenance of the fence.
3. Grow Child Friendly Plants and Flowers
Choose plants and flowers that are safe and beautiful. Consider the growth characteristics of the plants or flowers before choosing. This will help you avoid plants or flowers that will be a health threat to your children.
Grow child friendly plants and flowers such as tomatoes, kales, spinach, lavenders, sunflowers, and daises among others. Plants such as cactus and thorny roses should be avoided when you have kids around. Also, if you are busy with children most of the time, consider easy to care plants.
4. Create a Shade
Your garden should have cool and shady spots for the kids to relax in or to play. You can plant a few trees in the garden to provide shade when the sun is unusually hot. Shade also blocks the sun’s UV rays providing extra protection to your children when they are in the garden. A good tree is also perfect for a rope, a swing or a tire.
5. Anti-Slip Decking
Another way to transform your garden into a child friendly environment is to have quality and anti-slip decking. This will protect your child against slipping when the weather is wet. Since decking makes a garden more beautiful, ensure it is not slippery so that the safety of children is not compromised.
6. Store Tools and Chemicals Well
It is important to have a secure storage area for tools and chemicals. Children will be tempted to use the tools and this can cause cuts and bruises or even major accidents. Whenever tools are not in use, lock them securely. Likewise, chemicals contain harmful substances which if consumed can harm your children.
Even when you are using chemicals and fertilizer in the garden, be on the lookout especially if you have toddlers around. This is because they have a knack for eating or drinking anything they lay their little hands on. Empty chemical bottles and other containers must also be disposed well.
7. Build a Secure Pond
A pond makes a garden stand out. But you must keep the safety of your children in mind when introducing a pond in your outdoor garden. Some of the ways to achieve safety include installing grids, or fencing it off and have a gate for access.
Also, do not allow children who are younger than five years to stay in the garden alone if you have a pond. Those who are older know a few facts about water safety and may be allowed in the garden alone.
8. Attract Birds, Insects and Other Wildlife
Your garden will be more child friendly if you can attract a few birds, insects and other wildlife. This depends on your garden design as well as the choice of plants you grow. This in a way mimics the natural ecosystem and your children will love it very much.
In addition, the birds, insects and the other wildlife may be beneficial to your plants as well. This is because some can promote pollination while others can deter or consume plant pests.
9. Set Aside Child Specific Spaces
Another way to create a child friendly garden is to design some areas for the kids. This part of the garden will keep them entertained and occupied when they are in the garden. The children will be responsible for the maintenance of that part of the garden. They will therefore learn weeding, watering and pruning among other gardening activities.
Let them choose how to design the little spaces as well as the plants to grow. Setting aside such a gardening space for them will make them love gardening even more and they will learn valuable life lessons in the process.
10. Gardening Outfits
Children learn a lot by observing adults and their immediate environment. Therefore, instil in them the importance of gardening outfits by using them yourself. Also, get them their own outfits as well.
Let them know that when they come to the garden, there are specific clothes and other attire to put on. This helps them participate in the garden without worrying of the dirt or dangers such as scratches when they do not have their gloves on.
It is wonderful to have children in the garden. But their safety must not be compromised. Also, to make gardening more appealing, you must design and plan your garden with your kids in mind.
Moreover, the plants, you grow whether vegetables, flowers or herbs should be safe to your children. With the proper planning therefore, it is possible to establish a garden that both you and the kids delight in.