So many people take incredible care over their gardens these days. They spend our cutting the grass so that the vertical stripes bring about an added dimension. They prune the trees and hedges and spend entire days at the garden center getting flowers in the exact shade they require to make their verges sparkle. They spend thousands on water features and statues until it looks just the way they want it to look. But then when you go out to enjoy it with the kids they freak out. It is insane.
Gardens aren’t just for displays, to look at from the living room with a wry smile and a cup of coffee. They should be enjoyed, and played with and made into adventurous wonderlands for our children to get mucky in and explore. Of course, they should be safe outside, but you can be safe and still have a wild time too. It is just a matter of making the right improvements and knowing how to make them. What’s more, these little sanctuary’s of joy come with a bunch of other benefits too, not least bringing extra value to your home.
Let’s Get Some Interaction Going
Perfection should not be the aim of the game. Perfection takes obsession and that just isn’t practical with kids. Kids want to get stuck into things. They want to explore and go wow and touch and feel and grab and smell. They want to enjoy the great outdoors, and that pretty much requires getting messy. But this is a good thing. Sure, it means more washing, but it also means they grow as children. It means they learn more and understand things, and what is better than that. One of these lessons should be about caring for nature, for plants. So why not give them a small corner of the garden to express themselves and learn. Have a little space where they can plant some plants, care for them and watch them grow. Take them to the nursery and let them pick something wild and visual, like huge sunflowers and walk them through the whole process. We learn by doing so let them do.
Get All Up In Their Senses
We touched on it above but go for their senses – touch, sight, taste, smells, all of it. So when it comes to planting flowers and plants in your garden go with a wide array of stuff that will peak their interest and explore their minds. Different colors and heights and textures and smells. And why not grow some stuff that they can eat. These don’t have to be complex things, just a small veg patch that has snap peas and tomatoes and potatoes and mint. As for the touchy-feely stuff, why not Lamb’s Ears, you know the ones, with the furry leaves. Cosmos is another great plants because they attract so much wildlife, especially butterflies and stuff, so why not get some of these planted in their and make your backyard a habitat.
Make It A Place Parents Want To Hang Out
This may seem like an odd thing to chuck in, but if you make it somewhere that other parents like hanging out that then you are going to be able to watch over your children and not just hope they are okay at someone else’s home. So invest in some incredible outdoor furniture, and make sure it is both comfortable, luxurious and on trend. If you don’t know what’s on trend, look it up; look at what trendsetters like www.Bridgman.co.uk are doing. Don’t stop there either. Why not get a couple of hammocks out there and a fire pit, or a new barbecue grill; have everything anyone could ever possibly need to enjoy the outdoors. The more comfort and attraction you give the adults, the more they’ll be obliged to come to you. That’s a win.
Make Your Garden A Kid’s Playground
Kids have an incredible imagination, and an incredible ability to make games out of nothing, so it doesn’t take much of a spark to create some mega-magic. Build a tree-house, or transform a garden shed into a little parlor where they can run wild. Build up a bank at the far end and incorporate little additions into it, something they can climb up and slide down. Hide a few little things around the place that they can discover or hide in, like tunnels or wicker nests. Why not get some old railway sleepers and construct a little mini-beach area. Put in a short zipline, some teepees or hanging chairs, maybe even a classic tyre-swing. Use the fence paneling as the perfect opportunity to create a music wall. You can use old kitchen utensils to do this, like pots and pans and grills and old xylophones that have been rotting away at the bottom of the toy basket. If they’re a bit older then go with table tennis table or little crazy golf course. Perhaps you can get a zorb ball and some skittles or just a huge game of outdoor twister on the go or something. The more fun you offer your kids the more they will want to stay at home and play instead of going elsewhere to play. As a parent, we often worry about our kids, and question other people’s parenting skills, so give them a reason to invite their friends to yours.
Get Some Water Involved
We’re not talking bird bath or carp pond. We’re talking water walls, fountains, splash pads. Maybe get yourself some tarpaulin, foam noodles, and some fairy liquid and construct a slip n slide the length of your garden. Or hand up a load of water balloons on the fence and then hold a bow and arrow competition; have them dress up like Robin Hood or Katniss Everdeen. Get imaginative. Run with their ideas and enhance them. Kids deserve to have a childhood and your garden provides that.