If your kids spend a lot of time outdoors, it's a good idea to ensure that your garden is as safe and child-friendly as possible.
Summer is almost here and, in the summer, we love nothing more than spending time in the garden - regardless of the weather. Let’s be honest, there is no point in hanging around waiting for the sun to shine and in Ireland, if we know anything, we know that it is important to make the most of every good day we have.
Creating a child-friendly garden is a good way to ensure that you can leave the kids alone for a few minutes if you need to do other things inside, or if you simply want to lie down in the sun.
Treating your garden like the inside of the house is a good idea to analyse the issues that may cause problems for nippers in a garden.
Here are a few tips on creating a child-friendly garden:
Make it safe.
It is simple enough, and it depends on the size of your garden but if you are to have any kind of peace in the summer months, it is vital that your garden is safe. Check out the garden and make sure the shed is locked and that all garden tools are away from little hands.
If you have a water hose, make sure it is tightly closed and wrapped up so your child can’t untangle it. Make sure you have secure fences or side gates so your child can’t escape and if you have lots of plants or flowers, ensure your child understands they are not for playing with or eating.
Check out steps in the garden and figure out if they are safe for your kids and be careful of decking (that gets slippy) or if a patio tile is poking out. It is easy for kids to stumble and fall on things so reduce the amount of garden ornaments, and if there are steps or areas that aren’t fully safe, encourage your child to stay in their own safe area and access the other parts with supervision.
Give them their own space.
This works well as kids need to have their own space and just like you, they’d like to have their own chair and table, so invest in some garden furniture for your kiddies. Buy them a little house to play in, too and if you can’t get them a little house, get an umbrella so they can get some shelter from the sun.
If you are feeling creative and fancy some DIY, make a little fence to segregate their safe play area. Buy them some bouncy balls, bubbles or large jigsaws to play with too. Sandpits are great, especially the table type ones, so your kids don’t have to get into it but are able to stand and play.
Chalk is another winner and kids will enjoy drawing on the pavement and if you want you could get them to paint a little shed for them to play in. Of course, some of these things will need to be supervised, but there are endless opportunities. Don’t forget a rest area either with a tent, beanbags or cushions and if you haven’t got a tent, let them build a fort! Slides and swings are popular too.
Teach them to respect nature.
If you love your garden plants and flowers, your children need to know how to be mindful and not break little branches or stamp on flowers. Of course, accidentally is ok, but one way to teach them is by encouraging them to plant flowers and water them too.
Invest in their own little gardening kit and no matter what age your child is, they can learn about plants and flowers - or even grow their own veg! If you give them their own little area, they will love it. Watch out for tools that may hurt them and teach them to exercise caution and put everything away after use.