Tips for creating child friendly gardens in time for spring
25th January 2022
Having a garden attached to your property is a huge advantage when you have children. Child friendly gardens are a brilliant way for them to burn off energy and get fresh air, making it easier for them to stay fit and healthy no matter what time of year it is.
However, you do need to put a little thought into creating child friendly gardens so that your child will be safe and happy playing outside.
Here are some tips for creating child friendly gardens.
Fence it off
If your garden is detached in any way then it’s important to get secure fences and gates to make it child safe and stop them from wandering off up the road! A lock placed at shoulder height on a garden gate will stop even the most wily children from escaping while your back is turned.
Get a Wendy house
Add some adventure with their very own Wendy house. Child-sized plastic chairs and tables can make your child or grandchild feel like they have their very own house! You can get cheap plastic play houses, or purpose built wooden ones, depending on your budget.
Build a garden room
If you want something with a bit more longevity than a kid-sized Wendy house to put into a child friendly garden, a garden room can be utilised as an outdoor play room, a clubhouse or used to store toys. As they grow it can be put to use as a teenager den or as a games room, or you can claim it back and turn it into the summer house you always wanted.
Outdoor toys like water tables and sandpits are popular for keeping kids entertained and can be found in most child friendly gardens. Ride on toys are also great fun, particularly if you have a flat area like a patio. Remember to supervise children around water tables.
Think about what you plant
Some plants can be harmful or toxic if eaten, and should be avoided if you have small children accessing your outdoor space.
As well as anything spikey which they could potentially scratch themselves on, plants you should avoid include:
- Poison Ivy
- Lily of the Valley
Here is a long list of poisonous plants.
Conversely, planting fruit and veg, and bright flowers, can make a garden much more exciting for children especially if you involve them. Child-sized tools can get them hooked on gardening at a young age!
Children love birds and animals and inviting local nature into your garden is a great way to make it more child friendly. Gardens can become fascinating places if you have a bird table. Maybe create a bug hotel and plant bee-friendly flowers. Here are some tips from the wildlife trust for attracting native British wildlife into your garden.
Avoid deep ponds
Although nature is a great benefit of a garden for children, it’s important if you have small children that they can play safely, and therefore avoid ponds which could pose a risk of drowning. If there is already a deep pond in your garden and you do not want to fill it in, then it is vital to ensure that it made safe. This means fencing around the pond and placing mesh or grilling on top of it, and most importantly you should never leave a child unsupervised around it.
If you are keen to build a pond from scratch, consider waiting until your child is older. Alternatively a shallow nature pond is safer, but even so precautions should still be taken.