If you love your garden, it’s only natural that you’ll want your children to love it too. The garden is a great place to spend time as a family. The children will love the extra space to play and you can feel good knowing they’re getting some fresh air and exercise. The garden can have some built-in risks though, so it’s important to make sure your garden is safe as well as fun for the kids.
Children’s play can be tough on a garden, so think about choosing sturdy materials and plants will help it to look good and last for longer. This could mean choosing something like IRO timber for a deck that will stand up to having lots of little feet running across it all the time, or choosing tough plants that won’t be crushed by having a football land amongst them.
Be Careful With Water
Water sources can look beautiful and be very useful in a garden, but they can be an overlooked danger, especially for very young children. A child can drown in a very small amount of water, so don’t take the risk. If you have a pond in the garden, either cover it with a fine grill that a child can’t get through, or block it off with railings and a locked gate. Make sure the water butt has a secure lid that a child can’t lift. If you have a paddling pool or a sandpit, make sure it is not left out and open when not in use, so water can’t gather in it.
Offer Play Space
A dedicated space for play can let you make the rest of the garden more adult-friendly. Choose a space in the shade so the children aren’t out in the sun all the time. You could put out play equipment here, or build a wendy-house for the kids to play in and store their outdoor doors. A tent is a fun alternative and offers shade, somewhere to play and space for kids to relax. A space to store outdoor toys and things like bikes will keep the rest of your garden looking tidy too, instead of having things scattered everywhere.
Give Them Growing Space
If you’re green-fingered and would like your children to be too, you can give them their own space to grow things. Mark out a small patch just for them, and help them choose something to grow there. Sturdy plants that don’t need much looking after work best for children. Bright colours will appeal to them, or perhaps you could choose something edible, like strawberries, so they can quite literally enjoy the fruits of their labour. Growing their own plants is a great way for kids to learn about nature and develop an appreciation for where plants come from. Growing food can be a good way to encourage children to think about trying new and healthier foods. Gardening is also a lovely way to spend time together, in the outdoors.
Look Out For Hazards
There can be a number of hazards in a garden that we might not even realise are hazards until we have children in the garden. There can be certain plants and shrubs that can be hazardous. Take something as simple as some vegetables that you are growing; rhubarb leaves can be a hazard, and if little ones are wandering around the garden, then they could easily touch them or try to eat them. From garden ponds to broken fences and compost bins, there are a range of hazards. In fact, if you have a sewerage treatment box in the garden, as an example, then that could be potentially another hazard. A sewage treatment plant is something that can be an investment, though, so you need to weigh up your options, as well as asking yourself are sewage treatment plants noisy, if you are thinking of getting one. So look at your garden with some new eyes, so to speak, and you may see that there are some new hazards that you might not have thought of before.