Guest Post: Designing a Child-Friendly Garden

Your garden is an important part of any child’s life. It’s likely the first bit of the outdoors that your child will really experience, and will continue to experience as they grow up. It’s where you’ll spend time together as a family, where they’ll spend time with friends playing in make believe worlds and hanging out with mates when they get older.

However, your chic concrete modern garden doesn’t really marry with small children with soft heads running around having fun. You have to resign yourself to the fact that your garden will have to change if you want your children to enjoy it. But don’t worry; your garden can change as they do.

Toddlers

-          Make shade in your garden, so you and your toddler can stay in the garden even if the sun does decide to show its face.

-          Try to ensure that all areas of the garden are visible from the house. If you have a particularly large garden, then try fencing certain sections off, so you know where your child can’t get out of a particular area.

-          Hard landscaping like a path that goes around the garden is much more fun for cycling on than an area like a patio or a straight path.

-          Storage is a must have. All those toys, trikes and cushions have to go somewhere. A stylish garden shed, like these ones from Sheds and Things, works well if you have the space, but if not, try under the decking.

-          Avoid gravel, as small stones don’t bode well with inquisitive hands (and mouths) and soft feet.

-          Cover up ponds or any water, as this can be very dangerous.

Older Children

-          Encourage lots of wildlife into your garden with bat boxes, bee hotels and a pond. Use the opportunity to teach your children about the wonders of nature and the powers of conservation.

-          Wide open, grassy spaces, if you have enough room are great for lawn games.

-          Planting with grasses, flowering shrubs and plants with attractive foliage will ensure a low maintenance garden that has the potential to withstand ball damage.

-          A vegetable patch is great for all the family. Easy to grow vegetables include strawberries, courgettes, runner beans and salad leaves. Give your children their own plot to grow in and hand over the responsibility of dinner! Check out kiddiegardens.com for tips on growing vegetables with kids.

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Our garden

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