In this month’s article, Go Wild Landscapes has put together some great advice on how to ensure your garden is a safe and stimulating environment for your child to enjoy!
Aim to have all areas of the garden easily visible from your house so you can keep track of where your child is whilst you’re doing your housework, and intervene quickly if they get into trouble.
When it comes to the older kids, a nature pond can be a great source of interest in a garden and can help attract wildlife, though it almost goes without saying it’s a risky choice for younger children. Perhaps try a smaller, shallower, raised water feature instead – such as a fountain, perhaps with rounded pebbles for water to trickle down.
Stepping Stones and Trellis Structures
Sturdy stepping stones can be made out of thinly sliced logs or large, rounded slate slabs – you could even write the letters of the alphabet on them! A trellis tunnel or a trellis playhouse with beans or summer squash branches running up the walls are another fantastic way to turn the garden into the perfect play environment for your child.
Go Wild Landscapes are also experts at building treehouses that will be the envy of all your children’s friends.
When it comes to small children, it’s probably best to avoid gravel which may find its way into small mouths. Remember to keep any garden chemicals locked away and it could also be a good idea to have a sandpit below climbing-frames, swings and other play equipment to minimize the chance of nasty bumps after a fall!
Its also important to check whether your garden contains any plants which could be toxic if consumed. There is a wealth of information on the RHS website detailing which plants could be particularly harmful, what to do if you suspect your child has eaten something and also many useful tips on how to teach your kids to garden safely.
Pebble painting – Painting pebbles with acrylic paint can be a great way to spend an afternoon with the whole family and once dry they can brighten up the garden.
Coloured Chalks – Let their imaginations run free and simply wipe clean afterwards, or wait for the rain to do the job for you.
Pine cone animals – Clean some pine cones and cleanly cut sticks. Once dry, the sticks can then be pushed into the cones to make long legged animals.
Homemade Seed Ball Bird-feeders – When the days start to draw in and local food sources become scarce, why not try some of the fantastic bird-feeder ideas on rockabyebutterfly.com!
Fruit and vegetable patch – It’s essential to choose some fast-growing plants with bright colours to keep your children interested. Radishes are a popular choice, as are peas, which are deliciously sweet when fresh out of the pod.