The world is leaning more and more toward the technical side, which is why as a parent, you need to ensure that you are encouraging your children to get out of the house as much as possible. Interacting too heavily with tech at a young age can stunt development. Being outside in nature and getting enough fresh air is hugely beneficial both mentally and physically, especially for children. However, children are also notoriously curious and rambunctious, which means if there are any unsafe areas or elements of your garden which aren’t compatible with children, they will need dealing with. Keep reading to learn more about how to make your garden more child friendly.
The Planning Phase
Obviously, before you make any steps towards revamping the landscaping of your yard, you first need a plan. It makes sense to take a look at your yard as it is and what it is like currently versus where you want it to be. You can also think of it as a risk assessment. There might be a few features within your garden that could be classified as hazardous to children, like poisonous or toxic plants or decorative features with sharp points of pools of water. If you want your children to eventually be able to enjoy the garden unsupervised, then these issues should take precedence.
If you want your children to enjoy your outdoor space more, then it makes sense to ask them for their thoughts. It is all well and good designing your yard landscaping around your children, but without consulting them, it seems a little pointless. They might have some suggestions for you that make the landscaping feel like more of a collaborative effort between you and your kids. Getting them involved can help to guarantee that they will get something out of it.
The final element of the planning phase will be producing the different zones within the yard. Think about earmarking different areas of your yard for different purposes. For example, you could have an area for alfresco dining, playing, flowers, plants, or growing produce. It might help to draw your yard on a piece of paper, try to scale down the dimensions and get the shape right. It can be invaluable when it comes to creating a visual reference for your landscaping efforts.
Design Elements to Consider
Planning the yard design properly is key, and there are several elements that you might want to consider including. As mentioned above, zoning the space can help to ensure that you have all of the necessary areas. However, if you are going to zone your yard, then you might want to put some thought into creating boundaries. There will already be boundaries of some descript within the space to mark the outer boundaries and property lines, it might make sense to shore these up to make sure that your children can’t get out and nothing else can get in without your knowledge. The boundaries within your landscaping design are obviously more arbitrary; they can be constructed in any way you like, from pathways to small fences to flowerbeds.
Most people like to include plants of some descript in their landscaping, and in doing so, you can teach your children about nature and sustainability as well as how to care for something. Within the planning phase, you should have done your research into the plants already in your yard and whether or not they are safe. If they aren’t, you should obviously remove them; it is the easiest way to keep your children safe. Next, think about the plants that you want to replace them with. You might want to start your own vegetable garden with the children and teach them about growing their own produce. It can help to provide the framework for lessons and conversations around eating well and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Finally, landscaping your garden often leads to the installation of structures within the space. If you live in an area that frequently experiences adverse weather, you might want to think about how you can increase your use of the space. This is often done by the installation of structures; some people opt for small log cabins or prefabricated rooms. If their garden is big enough to house them, it can help to increase your living space. However, you still have to be able to access the space, which can be tricky if the weather isn’t great. For those with a smaller garden, an awning is a great option. They can help to increase your living space without interrupting the flow from the interior to the exterior. You can partner this with retractable screens, such as the ones available from Marygrove Awnings. Retractable solar screens provide excellent shade coverage for the patio space, as well as provide more privacy, all while looking sleek and modern.
All good landscaping designs include furniture of some kind. For most people, this will include a seating area of some kind. Setting up a seating area within your yard can help to provide the finishing touches for the landscaping design. It provides your family with an area within which to work, relax or eat in comfort, bringing the home comforts outside. Think about the pieces of furniture that will make the most sense for your family; this could be a traditional table and chairs or an outdoor sofa, or even a Homer Simpson-style hammock.
You will need a level surface area in order to set up your furniture. It can go on the grass, but this doesn’t make sense. It is far better to place it on a deck or paved area of some sort. If you want to ensure the longevity of the furniture, it is also worth thinking about getting some covers for the furniture or stain guarding if possible. Although the likelihood is that the kids will get them dirty so it might be worth choosing a color that is less likely to show the dirt, like a darker color rather than a lighter one.
The truth is that there is a growing dependence on technology, and it does make sense; it makes life easier for a lot of people. However, too much too young can impede development and have long-lasting effects on your child’s mental and physical health. This is why encouraging your children to get outdoors as much as possible matters. Playing outside can help your child to develop an imagination as well as get all the benefits associated from being out in nature.