If you have children or nephews and nieces, it’s nice to be able to let them enjoy the garden without worrying what they’re up to every second. If your garden is harbouring hidden hazards, or you’d like to make it more appealing and enjoyable for kids, follow these simple steps.
- Carry out a risk assessment
Before you start making any wholesale changes to your garden, have a quick walk around and note down any problems or dangers. Write yourself a list of jobs and items to buy to make your garden safer for children. You may need to sand down rough edges, or buy some extra fence panels to section off part of the garden, for example. Once you know what you’ve got to do, you can get cracking.
- Think about boundaries
Do you have a broken fence? Do you share a garden path with next door? Have you got a field at the back? If you have young children, they can get around rapidly, and before you know it, they may have left the safety of your back garden. Try and create clear boundaries and secure your garden by repairing existing fences, or adding more barriers. If you have dogs, make sure the area they use to go to the toilet is not accessible to children.
- Think about planting and weeding
If you have nettles or inedible fruit in your garden, remove them and sow child-friendly seeds in their place. Make sure anything with thorny branches, such as rose bushes, is located in raised beds. Spray weed killer when your children and pets are safely inside.
You can get kids involved in gardening by helping them to grow vegetables, and enabling them to water the plants with you. Buy a children’s gardening set and encourage them to learn about the plants they are growing. Keep an eye on your produce, and let the kids help out with making dinner when they’re ready to harvest. Strawberries, tomatoes and courgettes are relatively easy to grow.
- Protect your property
If you have expensive rattan furniture or brand new floor cushions, the last thing you want is little fingers making marks. Use garden furniture covers to keep chairs and tables in tiptop condition. Always remember to take blankets, throws and bean bags inside, as the weather can be unpredictable. Keep your barbecue, toys and outdoor furniture in a shed or garage.
- Inject some fun
You can transform the most boring garden into an outdoor wonderland with a little imagination. Create a wobbly bridge, or a water play area. Put down some bark chippings and stepping stones. Make a cosy corner with coloured fencing, bean bags, and bunting. Lay down an outdoor track for push-along cars and bikes. Put some goals out, or turn an old shed into an ice cream parlour or a beach hut. Let your kids get involved and encourage them to share their ideas. You can also look online for inspiration.
The garden should be a place to relax, enjoy quality time together and have fun. Take these simple tips on board, and you can look forward to a summer to remember.