It’s a tale as old as time – families up their sticks and move to houses with bigger gardens as their children grow. Parents understandably want as much space as possible for their children to thrive and explore, all while keeping them safe. Your garden is one of the best places to do this. Outdoor activities encourage fitness, allow your child to spend time in nature with the fresh air, and teach them more about the new world they find themselves in. Growing plants, finding animals and having the space to run around are all great ways of making memories with your kids. Of course, some gardens are better than others at providing this kind of environment for a developing young child. Here are some helpful tips on how to ensure that your garden gives your children the best space to play, learn and grow.
One: Make it Educational
Children’s brains are like sponges. From the day they are born, they absorb so much information and rapidly develop into thinking, conscious beings with preferences and opinions. This is why it is so vital that your children are exposed to as much mental stimuli as possible during their formative years.
Your garden can become an excellent arena for learning and discovery, especially if it is filled with stimulating and challenging opportunities for your child. Encourage your children to enjoy the outdoors and teach them about nature, safety, and other life forms. Insects that are attracted to particular plants can be fascinating for a young mind, as can playing in the soil. Being comfortable in the natural environment teaches your child to treat it well. If you can, grow plants with your children so they can watch the development of different species. If you need to create the right climate for your favorite plants, look for some quality greenhouse kits to start your gardening journey. By doing so, you can explain why certain flowers and plants flourish in specific climates, while others perish.
Greenhouses are exciting places for kids to watch as a seed becomes a sprout and eventually a fully-grown plant. Opt for fruit and vegetables to really catch their interest, demonstrating to them how food is made. There’s nothing quite like eating a home-cooked meal made from the produce in your very own garden. Your children will learn so much about many unexpected topics as you let them explore the great outdoors.
Two: Make it Safe
As a parent, your number one priority is the safety of your children. Gardens can be dangerous places for kids since there are a number of uncontrollable elements. Poisonous plants can be ingested by children and cause illness or even death. Insect bites can cause infection if untreated. Protect your garden and your children by researching what types of plants to avoid. While humans by nature are intrigued by what could kill us, children should be kept away from these dangers at all times.
It isn’t just plants and insects that can pose a threat to your children, though. Poorly positioned slabs and unstable walls or garden ornaments can be hazardous for children who enjoy running around and climbing. Try to avoid turning your yard into a stylish yet deadly obstacle course and instead create a wide, open space with grass or wood chips for a soft landing should they fall over. Cover any water features with netting to prevent your child from falling in. Even small cuts and scrapes can be dangerous as they create an opening for soil and other unhygienic particles to enter your child’s body. Tetanus bacteria live in soil, so make sure your child has had their vaccines. Long grass can be the home of ticks that carry infections such as Lyme disease. Keep an eye on your child at all times while playing in the garden.
Three: Make it Fun
Children are creatures that require constant entertainment, so why shouldn’t your garden be the place to provide that? Toy stores have huge sections dedicated to outdoor play equipment and games, such as climbing frames, trampolines, jump ropes, balls, pools, water pistols and so much more. Trampolines and climbing frames can use up so much of your child’s energy that they sleep perfectly all night long, all while keeping them fit and healthy. Pools for paddling and water pistols are especially fun during warmer months because you can cool down while being splashed by your kids. Gardens are perfect for letting your children be messy and free without worrying about getting into trouble or making the house untidy. Let them enjoy this freedom and perhaps even indulge your inner child too.