With so many fun gadgets and devices, it can be quite hard to get your kids to play outdoors. One great way to help swap screen time for green time is to make your garden interesting for them to play in. You need to lure them in.
First of all, you need to understand what children want from their outdoor play time. With that in mind, you can start adapting your home garden in such a way so it provides your kids with both lots of fun activities to do and proper child safety.
There are lots of ways you can make your garden safe, yet fun place for your kids. Here are eight tips that might help you do exactly that.
Divide the zones
The best way to make your garden an interesting and fun place that your kids want to spend time in is definitely smart zoning. Defining specific areas of your garden can help you make it more appealing for your children and it will make it very functional.
Grouping activities in zones can be great for organising your garden. This way your garden works great with both adults and children. It’s easier to supervise kids during the play-time. This method also helps quite a lot when it comes to specific age differences between children, as younger ones tend to play closer to their parents, while older kids like to be further away.
Another thing to keep in mind when zoning the garden is to secure all the different areas in proper ways. With active games where there’s risk of falling, prepare a soft landing. Grass or tree bark and old leaves are great. In areas for gardening, watch for poisonous or thorny plants and remove them, or place them out of the children’s reach. Set barriers to define different zones, but you don’t need to build a wall. Some shrubbery, low hedges, and plastic fences are great protection for wandering toddlers.
Make a cubbyhouse or a tree-house
Great way to keep your children safe outdoors is to make them a hideaway; a refuge of sorts. Whether it’s a tree house or a fort, it’s a great way to make your children have some privacy.
If there’s a tree in your backyard, build a tree house. This could be something you do with your children, so it will be an educational and bonding process. Make sure that the structure is secure, and if it’s elevated from the ground, make sure to put soft landing spots under the access and exit points.
Making a secluded part of the garden where your kids can have their own hiding spot also helps develop your children’s imagination, while knowing that they are in a safe place, arranged just for them.
Start a garden with your kids
You can start growing an edible garden with different signposts for the plants; you can teach your kids the differences between growth processes in various vegetables; you can plant a lot of aromatic flowers, and make a really nice, decorated garden, in cooperation with your children. This engagement will make them appreciate the garden in a different way.
Also, adding a variety of plants to your garden enhances the natural life in it. This will help you educate your kids about the nature and the life cycles of various species, while exposure to such conditions enhances children’s immune systems.
Place some chalkboard walls
Making your garden interactive and a play-free area is great when you have a lot of space, but what to do when you are limited with a lot of vertical barriers? Well, start thinking vertically.
Placing chalkboards on vertical barriers or making a music fence can be an amazing way for kids to express their creativity and learn new things while being completely safe. These interventions are quite cost-effective, yet kids love such solutions. Climbing walls, water systems, and even hanging toys are also great ideas you might implement if your garden is boxed-in.
Make a sun-protected area
A great piece of advice comes from the landscape design Sydney experts. They emphasise how important the sun protection to you and your children is, and always suggest making a sunscreen, or otherwise sun-protected area.
A great way to do this is to make a sandbox, with appropriate cover. Kids love playing in the sand and this way you provide them with the “piece of the beach” just for themselves.
Look for simple solutions
When it comes to safety, it usually means some quite costly solutions. But this doesn’t have to be the rule. There are some smart and cheap ways to make sure your kids are safe in your garden.
Dry leaves, grass and tree bark are great for fall absorption, so if they are spread in the most active areas you increase your children’s safety for no cost at all. Removing large stones and gravel from your garden is also a smart thing to do. If there is an area for your children to play with wheels, cover it with flat stone or brick, but make sure your kids are wearing the protective equipment.
Aim for family fun
The goal of having a garden is to spend time with your family in it. You should always arrange the garden in such an order so that you can oversee your children while playing, or even get involved with them, but you should also have a place for adults and friends, for those garden barbeques.
Plan for the future
Your kids won’t be toddlers forever, so that sandbox will become boring at some point. You should plan ahead, and prepare the space and areas in the garden that can follow your child’s development. Equipment that can, later on, be converted and recycled is great. With enough portable and removable elements, adjusting your garden will be a-walk-in-a-park.
There are some great ways to make your garden safe, and we’ve selected these eight as a great example of how to approach the adaptation. When you plan it properly, you can overcome high expenses, while making a kid-friendly garden, where you and your family can spend quality time together.