Encouraging children off the tech and into the garden is hard work, but if your garden is child friendly, they’ll enjoy their time outside.
Here’s how to make your garden a play haven for kids.
How to Create a Kids Play Area in Your Garden
Choose your spot carefully. It needs to be warm enough to feel pleasant but shade is necessary during the summer. It’s a good idea to site it away from your neighbour’s fence because constant noise will annoy them.
Once you’ve picked the perfect spot, tidy it up by clearing stones, weeds, and mowing the grass. A thick layer of play bark or coloured recycled rubber is next up. This creates a soft landing beneath climbing frames and differentiates the garden from their play area.
Install a wendy house or a shed painted in a bright colour. If that’s not practical a tepee or a pop-up tent will work too. Kids like to feel hidden from their parents!
Older children might like a screened-off area for some privacy. This is easily achieved with pots of bamboo, a trellis with a climbing plant, or a pop-up tent.
A sand-pit with lid, a swing, a slide, a chalkboard, a mud kitchen, rope ladder – there are endless options. A storage box or two to place outdoor toys in so it doesn’t look too messy is always welcome.
Add some extras like fairy lights so kids can play as dusk approaches, and maybe add a car racetrack by splitting a pool noodle or painting a dividing line down the centre of some bricks to create a road.
Consider a Gazebo For Weather Protection
Our weather is temperamental and when it drizzles being outside isn’t such fun.
You can get around this by installing a pop-up gazebo by your back door. This encourages kids to get fresh air, perhaps doing their homework in the gazebo, but enables them to stay near the house if it gets chilly. Gazebos are great for shade in hot spells too.
Insect Houses Are a Great Education Feature
Make simple insect houses with your kids.
A plastic bottle filled with cones, a bundle of long dry grass, or a terracotta pot placed on its side and filled with dried leaves make great bug houses and keep kids fascinated by the outside world.
Learning to Grow Plants & Vegetables
Dig up a square of lawn or build a small raised bed that’s just for your children so they can plant seeds and enjoy growing their own vegetables.
Good plants include quick-growing sweetcorn and courgettes. Flowers like small trays of bright marigolds are a sure-fire winner and a variety of scented herbs like lavender, rosemary, thyme, and mint stimulate their senses. Be sure to grow all types of mint in a container or they’ll spread and cover the whole garden.
Don’t forget pinwheels, Buddy The Gnome, or any ornaments they love too. If you can stretch to a small watering can, gloves and a trowel that’ll boost their involvement and foster a love of healthy gardening.