In this millenial day and age it’s a challenge to get children of all ages off their tablets and into the great outdoors. Children that spend plenty of time outside become more active, fit and healthy; the fresh air is also proven to improve their school work with a growing amount of evidence linking physical activity to academic success.
If you’re encouraging your children to get outside, it is important to make the garden as child-friendly as possible. Protecting your child from harm is your number one priority so you need to ensure that your garden is safe as well as fun.
Here are 8 tips for getting your little ones outside and making your garden safe, fun and child-friendly:
Often gardens are unsafe and parents need to constantly supervise their little ones. Avoid this by creating a safe environment without hazards such as ponds and water features. Also, be sure that your garden is well fenced in, that gates are locked and walls are secure. Knowing that your children can wander where they wish too in safety will take away a big burden of worry.
If you have plants and shrubs that you would like to protect from potential damage, you may find it beneficial to create a designated play area within your garden. If you’d like, this play area can be cordoned off from the rest of the garden by installing a small picket fence.
If your children enjoy trips to the local park, why not bring some of your child’s favourite elements into your own garden? Perhaps the idea of bright coloured playground equipment doesn’t sound aesthetically pleasing. What about a more natural looking solution, like a rope swing? So easy to construct and cost effective, all you need is a little wood and some cheap rope! Wooden swings are timeless and provide hours of fun – no matter your age! Your garden won’t be complete without one.
Since the dawn of time children have been drawn to mud puddles and dirt as a part of their play. Mixing soil, water, and other natural materials seem to provide children with endless possibilities for learning and fun. Many of us have fond memories of creating mud pies, digging for worms, or making streams and valleys in the mud; so why include a mud kitchen in your child friendly garden?
Even children can be green fingered. Gardening is a healthy, fun activity for children. Why not let them start their own vegetable patch to help them learn about science, nature and food? Your children will love the activities that gardening brings such as planting, mulching, weeding and eventually cooking.
Whether it’s big, small, plain or colourful a wendy house really can be a fantastic addition to your garden and could just be one of the best garden investments you make this year. Children of all ages love to role play, to think up extravagant new worlds or invite friends over for tea, a play house is a child’s special place and could even help their development.
Have an ‘adults only’ area! It is after all your garden! Now that the kids have plenty to do, you can sit back, relax and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Making your garden child-friendly doesn’t mean it has to be full of plastic and unpleasant for parents to enjoy too.
Take on board these tips and you won’t need to persuade your little ones to get outside, they won’t want to come back in!