Garden ideas for your child
Are you trying to find ways to keep your child occupied at home? Do you have a garden full of potential to keep your child occupied? You are in the right place. We are happy to share eight garden ideas your child will love.
Whether it’s the school holidays or a sunny weekend, you should encourage your children to go outside and play. As technology becomes more and more prevalent in our lives, we must remind ourselves of the fun childhood we had outdoors. In recent years, more children are being glued to their ipads and phones, meaning they spend less time outside. Do you remember running around until your feet hurt? Or playing hide and seek within the trees? At Wakefield Landscapes, we want that for the next generation. To encourage your children to play outside, we have compiled a list of 8 things to include in your garden design that your child will love.
Lay some turf
One of the fundamentals of a family garden is to lay some turf. Running around and playing on grass is significantly safer than playing on concrete or decking. Children will cartwheel and run around barefoot, unsupervised. Rather than flags, the grass is a soft surface where it will be hard to hurt yourself.
The question is, how much of your garden should you commit to a lawn? It depends on what your children are like and how active they are. Every child is unique, so what works for one family might not work for another. Playing football and practising handstands require a safe space; therefore, if this sounds like your child, then perhaps you should devote a significant amount of space to grass.
Create a sensory garden
A garden is a place for adults to relax and be social. However, to children, the outdoors is a place to explore. A well-designed garden should be a sensory experience for everyone. Children constantly learn from their environment, so why not create a sensory garden?
When creating a garden, a designer will consider all five senses. Of course, your outdoor space should be beautiful to look at, but you must not neglect the other senses. You have the potential to create a soundscape of wind chimes, wildlife and water features. Such sounds can soothe infants, so why don’t you make parenting that little bit easier? Also, consider adding various plants to your garden which create different scents.
One of the senses mostly forgotten about in garden design is touch. When children are curious, they will reach out and touch everything. For this reason, it’s essential that whatever you include in your design is safe for handling. Perhaps rose bushes might not be the best choice for a family garden. It is also worth considering the sensory activities you could incorporate into your garden design, such as a sand pit. Sandpits can entertain children for hours, and wouldn’t you prefer your child to explore a sandpit than whatever potential hazards exist in your garden?
Grow some vegetables
Gardening and growing vegetables generally have enormous benefits for your child’s development. Tending to a vegetable patch takes regular maintenance and upkeep. Encouraging your child to grow their vegetables teaches them responsibility and patience. It can also be extremely rewarding when your vegetables are ready to eat. As well as being a fun experience, studies have shown that growing your own vegetables encourages healthy eating. Children can learn exactly where their food comes from and then watch it be prepared and cooked in the kitchen.
Consider designating a small patch of your garden as a vegetable patch. Or, purchase a miniature greenhouse that is accessible to your children. By this, make sure you do not build your planter too high so that it will be difficult for your child to access. If gardening for the first time, consider easy-to-grow vegetables, such as carrots, potatoes or tomatoes. The last thing you need is for your child to be immediately disheartened because you chose a tricky vegetable to grow.
Build a hedgehog house
Naturally, children are curious, and they constantly learn from their surroundings. An excellent way to increase the bio-diversity in your garden and entertain your children is to build a hedgehog house. Hedgehogs are an endangered species. With more and more cars on the road, and wild areas being destroyed by humans, hedgehogs are running out of safe spaces to call home. Adding a hedgehog house in the corner of your garden and leaving some food for them allows them to thrive in a safe habitat. Although they are nocturnal creatures, you may catch them scattering about in the evenings.
There are many different places, such as garden centres, where you can purchase a hedgehog house; however, building your own is another fun activity for the kids. Using natural resources is the best way to make a home for a hedgehog. There are many examples online of how to do this. It is also important to place the house in a shady, quiet area of your garden as this is where they feel most comfortable.
Include a swing set/climbing frame
What do you remember most about being a child? Playing in the park is the most popular answer to this question. If you were fortunate to have a climbing frame or a swing set in your garden, you would know just how fun it was as a child. As a parent with responsibilities, you cannot take your child to the park every single day. Why not bring the park to you?
The cost of including swing sets and/or climbing frames in your garden design varies significantly. If you are on a budget, you can easily pick up a build-it-yourself swingset from Argos. However, if you’re looking for a big playground for your children, there are bigger companies that can design and create bespoke play areas.
Build a treehouse
If you are fortunate enough to have some old, big trees in your garden, consider building a treehouse for your children. When constructed correctly, treehouses can be an excellent way to give your child their own space where you can still keep an eye on them. Popular in American television shows, they are pretty rare in U.K. gardens for practical reasons. Often, people do not have the space spare for a treehouse.
However, a treehouse would be a brilliant addition to a children’s garden if you are lucky enough to have a large garden with some trees. However, if you are not fortunate to have a large garden, learn all about how to make the most out of a small garden in one of our articles.
Include a mud kitchen
Mud kitchens have existed for years; however, they have recently increased in popularity. A mud kitchen is an outdoor make-believe kitchen where children can pretend to prepare food using a combination of mud, sand and water.
Utilising a mud kitchen has many benefits for a child’s development. Playing with different textures is a brilliant sensory activity for young children. As they explore the different materials in your garden, they will role-play cooking in an actual kitchen. Mud kitchens stimulate creativity and imagination and can improve their numeracy skills as they weigh their ‘ingredients’. Mud kitchens benefit children up to the age of seven the most; however, older children can also find them entertaining.
Create a bird feeder
Consider creating a bird feeder if you’re looking for garden-themed arts and crafts. You will find many arts and craft activities online on building a bird feeder. Get creative with your child, and then reap the rewards in your garden!
Alternatively, you can purchase many bird feeders from your local garden centre. However, traditional bird feeders aren’t suitable for everyone, especially a busy family. Any bird feeder will work if you want to increase your garden’s biodiversity. However, catching a glance at your visitors is entirely coincidental, as birds will pop by at any time of the day. We recommend investing in a smart bird feeder to ensure you and your children see which birds visit your garden.
Smart bird feeders, such as Bird Buddy, have a sensor that alerts you anytime a feathered guest has a bite to eat. A notification will appear on the app, leading to video footage of said bird. On the app, you can create a collection of your videos, allowing you to keep track of all your encounters. The footage you gather is an opportunity to educate yourself and your child on all the different species of birds in your area. You can look back and smile at the footage with your children at the end of each day.
If you are still unsure of your garden design and would like to consult a garden designer to make sure your garden is suitable for your children, request a consultation today.