We hear all the time nowadays that children are spending too much time indoors and aren’t making the most of the backyards and the sunshine like adults did “back in the day”. With technology growing increasingly popular and sources of entertainment such as ipads, tvs and laptops becoming more readily available to babies never mind teens it seems that we may need to make our gardens more appealing than ever to convince our children to throw on their trainers and go for a run around. When I think back to being in primary school, I didn’t need much persuasion to get out on my bike and play with my friends, in fact my mum was always calling me in when it got too dark and I remember the concept of a huge field where we could run riot was literally the best thing ever! So with the “couch potato” kids becoming more and more popular how do we create a safe and fun garden that they will love spending time in?
1. Have an open space – this is where your kids will run around, burn off any extra energy (mums will be happy about this) and kick a football around, so don’t prevent this by building the garden up too much and making it hard to play in.
2. Attract wildlife – Kids love a garden that is buzzing with nature, so by adding bird baths, hanging seeds and planting plenty of flowers, you’re sure to find that animals will come rushing in.
3. Create hideouts – Everyone loves making dens, I still do it and I’m way past the “respectable age”, but one in the garden is even better! Plent of trees around the outskirts of the garden will make for the perfect hiding spots.
4. Hang a rope swing – It’s an old classic, but still just as fun as ever. All you need is a sturdy rope and a sturdy branch to hang it from. Tie a large knot in the end where kids can sit and attach using a bracket if necessary.
5. Bury a time capsule – Tell them that you are creating a time capsule that they or future children living in the house can dig up in 10 years time. The idea is that they collect a few of their favourite things and bury them in the ground to be found later in life, it’s a fun activity that will get them out in the open air and will make the garden a little more personal for them.
6. Have a camping night – My grandad used to do this with me when I was younger and it was great, we took snacks out, he told ghost stories and we camped out in the garden until the sun went down.
7. Build a tree house – If you have the space and money this is the ultimate way to get your kids outside into the garden! What kids can resist a miniature version of their parents house, where they can rule the roost and play by their own rules?
8. Spend time with the kids – Parents can make the garden more appealing by simply spending some quality time out there, barbecuing, star gazing and playing sport.
9. Add water – Anything from a mini fountain or paddling pool for the summer is bound to get the kids excited especially when its a sunny day.
10. Plant your own flowers – Get the kids involved by having them plant their own flowers which they can watch grow!
This guest post was contributed by Holly Powell on behalf of Corfe Stone garden pavings and supplies, everything you need for the foundations of a child friendly garden, to view site click here.