A child-friendly garden isn’t just about the aesthetic and having the right sorts of equipment, it’s also about making sure it’s a safe space for children, too.
Firstly, beware of water! Even some water features can be a hazard for young children. Ponds, barrels, and even places where water can organically accumulate should be avoided.
It’s always worth checking how safe your garden boundaries are. Check how easy it is to open your gate to the wider world. Would it be prudent to add a lock, or improve the one in situ? How high is your gate and could a child climb over it? Also check for broken panels or slats that a curious child could get through.
Check for gaps behind bushes and for any drops between different sections of the garden. Don’t forget to check any decking, or any stone step descents.
Check out our previous blog for how to involve children with the gardening.
If you have a reasonably large garden you could look to create “zones” within it. This means you can prioritise making the area closest to the house the most child-friendly so that you have a smaller area in which to supervise.
More distant parts of the garden could possibly even be cordoned off to allow for adult-only areas. Items such as chimineas, hot tubs and water features are areas you could consider isolating from young family members. If it’s not possible or practical to do this, some education on garden safety would be prudent. You could even add some signage to remind children to be aware of dangers in the garden.
Creating a dedicated kid’s zone would be a great way of giving the children ownership of their part of the garden. To make it an extra child-friendly garden, they could have their own flower beds or pots in which to plant their favourite flowers. Populate the area with their own toys, and outdoor furniture to make it feel like theirs. This has the added benefit of keeping children’s garden items contained to help prevent loss or their items overspilling into adult zones.
Parents and grandparents are busy people. If you can’t always supervise, you could invest in some additional shrubs, railings or a gate to divide your space and help keep the little ones safe. Railings are particularly useful in this respect as you can enclose an area and yet still see through.
We looked at how to engage your children in the garden in a previous post.
To create a child-friendly garden why not invest in one or two key items such as a trampoline (with safety netting) if you have space, or possibly a wendy house, which can also be used as storage.
A paddling pool is always handy as it can be packed away, but be mindful that you need to upkeep it, otherwise you’ll need to buy new every year.
A tree house is always a winner with kids. A little house of their own that they can retreat to with friends and play games. If you are handy with tools you could build your own, or alternatively, you can buy tree-house-esque structures online and situate them lower to the ground for safety.
Consider investing in a ColourFence. It will save you so much time and money over the years. It’s a really secure option when you have children with little risk of a blown-down panel enabling easy exit from the garden! They are also more difficult to climb than wooden fences and require no painting or treating, meaning no little handprints around the garden, either.
So there we have it: our tips for creating a child-friendly garden.
Good luck and have fun!
Moira & Jo
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Jo is our Social Media & Content Manager here at ColourFence. She is a published author in a number of realms including poetry, short stories and articles. She even once wrote a novel just to see if she could! Jo particularly loves to write home and garden articles and fancies herself as an amateur interior designer! When not writing, Jo can usually be found in the company of animals and fosters for an animal charity.
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