Creating a Child-Friendly Garden

Child-friendly gardening

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Do you remember the fun of climbing trees? Playing ball games with family or friends? Catching lizards or watching birds make nests? Did you see fairies hiding under flowers or eating sweet tomatoes from the vine? Bake mud pies and plan adventures with mates in your secret hide-out aka the cubby house. These are all the things I loved to do and when given the chance kids still like to do today.

Functional areas

The first step to get your kids outside is to provide functional areas for play, such as somewhere to exercise, kick a ball on lawn or ride a bike on paving.

A mulched area is good for simple play equipment, swing sets, trampolines or just to get digging in. Sandpits are lots of fun for little ones, but be sure to cover them each night or they become the neighbourhood kitty litter box.

Quiet zones

Quiet zones are important as safe places where kids can use their imagination for creative play. These areas don’t need to be completely out of adults’ sight. Give them the opportunity to hide behind a rock or plant something they can play behind that you can still see through. A good example is clumping grass, bamboo or a vine-covered arbour. A small tree can provide shelter from the sun and be a great educational tool, teaching problem-solving skills once the child is allowed to climb.

Cubby houses are the best quiet refuge – plan one that can grow with your child, transforming from a hidey-hole for role-playing pre-schoolers to a teens’ hangout.

Create a vegetable garden

Vegetable garden
Give your child a plant to care for or a vege patch to tend. I have found kids will unwittingly become better eaters if given the task of growing a new fruit or veg. They are more likely to eat it after tending to it for a few weeks.

Child-friendly fruit and vegetables include tomatoes, radishes, carrots, sweet corn, peas, beans, pumpkins and berries.

Benefits of gardens

Gardens are healthy places for kids to learn so many important life lessons, observe life cycles and changes of seasons, and teach responsibility. Gardening teaches children to value what’s around them, and it makes them aware of their impact on the environment.

A very important element to child-friendly garden design is safety. Please eliminate any potential risks by avoiding water features that could become drowning hazards. Teach kids the real dangers of the venomous creatures we have throughout our bushy district. Try to make kids aware of dangers, but not afraid of their gardens.

Create a sanctuary and your children will make their own wonderful memories.

Garden safety

Precautionary protective gear is necessary and as simple as enclosed shoes, gloves, sun hats and sunglasses. Teach kids what they can and can’t eat as there are many toxic plants. Get rid of choking hazards around small children by not planting berry-laden plants or having pebbles in play areas. Avoid spiky plants in high-traffic areas.

Get in touch

For help designing or installing a child-friendly garden, contact us today.

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