Sunday, June 3, 2018

Creating a Garden Paradise for Your Kids

Years ago we lived in a house with a yard, but we were really hesitant to invest in the yard at all, because we knew we could be moving at any time. We got some portable outside toys, like seesaws and small slides and built chicken coops and rabbit cages, but beyond that didn't invest in our yard. We then lived many years without a yard, and now that we finally have a yard again and own our place, we're trying to decide how to make our yards, small as they are, as friendly as possible for our kids. So far all we've done to make them nice for the kids is building pergolas and hanging hammocks, but we're still trying to figure out more things. Here's a post from a reader about how to make your backyard wonderful for your children.

Whether you have a tiny garden or a huge one, your kids will love it. For them being able to play outdoors all day is something that most kids love. Once they get the outdoor bug, you will struggle to get them to stay in, which is of course what you want. Being outdoors, instead of spending every waking moment inside in front of a screen, is good for their health and wellbeing. So, with this in mind, I thought that today, I would share a few tips to help you to make your garden, patio or balcony a more kid-friendly space.

Plant a couple of trees

If you have enough space to do so, plant a tree. Kids love them. Once it is big enough they can climb it, you can hang a swing from one or build a treehouse. You can find out the best trees for your state online or find another tree specialist that delivers to your area.

The best firms will advise you about which variety to buy for your soil and climate. When you speak or write to them, make it clear what your plans are for that tree. For example, if you are buying it to put a treehouse in say so. Some varieties like False Peppers are not strong enough for this purpose. You also need to buy a variety that grows fast enough for you to be able to install a tree house before your children are too old to use it. When buying any kind of large plant take advantage of the nurseries expertise, so you buy the right kind.

Create a dedicated play space

Ideally, you want your children to be able to play freely. You do not want them to have to be constantly worrying about damaging your plants or disturbing your neighbors.

In some cases that means screening off the bottom of the garden and leaving it as grass, so that they can kick a ball around down there. But, in other cases, a better approach is to create a garden room, with one side open. This approach provides a shady place in the summer and a dry place in the winter. Plus, the walls and roof will serve to contain most of the sound.

Quiet space

It is also a good idea to create a few quiet spots in a garden. Somewhere that is shady enough for them to be able to sit down to read a book or play a game. They do not have to be running around to be able to benefit from being outside. A bench under a tree is the ideal way to give your kids a chance to breathe in the lovely clean air the tree produces. Plus, while they are outside the micro-organisms they are exposed to serve to strengthen their immune system.

If you want more ways to make your garden more child-friendly you can find some here. I particularly like the idea of setting the trampoline up over a purpose-built pit. It looks good and should be a lot safer for your kids to use, although you still might need to add a catch fence. But, potentially it can be removable, so the trampoline need not mar the overall look of your garden when the kids are not using it.

See my disclaimer.