The South West London Gardener

How to Create a Child-Friendly Garden

child in garden

For many of us, our homes get changed drastically when we welcome a new child.

Things get placed out of reach, and we found ourselves walking through stairgates and stepping over toys as we travel through the property.

As your house changes, so should your garden.

Gardens are great places for children to get outside and embrace nature and allowing them to enjoy being outside as they grow is sure to make them appreciate it more when they get older.

But creating a garden that is perfect for children of all ages is tricky.

Here at The Southwest London Gardener, we want everyone to enjoy their outside space, no matter what age they are, and that’s why we’ve created this guide on how best to create a child-friendly garden.

Let’s take a look.

small child smelling flower

Why Child Friendly Gardens are Important

There are many reasons having a child-friendly garden is vital for new parents, including:

  • It makes it safe – The priority for any child is that they are safe, and by incorporating child-friendly elements into your garden, you can ensure that they aren’t likely to come to any harm while playing outside.
  • It is stimulating – Gardens offer an amazing sensory experience for children of all ages. As they wander through your outside space, there is a whole world of smells and colours awaiting them, which is ideal for boosting cognitive development and entertainment.
  • It provides a great place to learn – There is a lot in a garden that can help as a child moves along their educational journey. With so many plants, animals, ecosystems, and the overall environment to help them learn, you can never run short of lesson ideas.
  • It can boost their imagination – In a garden you have a lot of open space combined with natural elements which makes it the perfect place for a child to let their imagination run wild. It’s great seeing a child build different scenarios and worlds in their head as they enjoy playing outside, and it’s good for them too.
  • It instils a connection to nature – Having a garden where your child is free to play is perfect for adding a connection to nature that is sure to grow with them into adulthood. Who knows? You may have a future member of the Southwest London Gardener team on your hands.
small child sweeping garden

7 Tips for Creating a Kid-Friendly Garden

Safety First

As mentioned earlier, safety is the number one priority when it comes to creating a child friendly garden.

This should always be at the forefront of your mind as you plan the layout and features of your garden, and you should try to avoid things that could cause harm such as sharp edges and thorny bushes.

Another thing to look out for are poisonous plants, as children are known to put things in their mouths that they shouldn’t.

It’s always a good idea to have a wander around your garden and look for any potential hazards such as loose pavers or tree roots which could be a tripping hazard.

Set Boundaries

A great way to build a child-friendly garden without losing all of the space for yourself is to create boundaries.

This can be done with fences, gates, and hedges, and is ideal for closing off an area of the garden where the children can play in safety, and still have a spot that you can enjoy as an adult.

Having a safe and enclosed space gives you peace of mind there are no hazards for children, as well as allowing you to always know where they are when outside playing.

Soften Your Surfaces

Children fall over.

As they grow, it becomes less frequent, but it still happens on a regular basis, so you must make sure when trips do happen that the surface they are falling onto is as soft as can be.

Lots of materials are incorporated into traditional gardens, such as stone and concrete, and these are tough on a child if they fall. If you can swap these for things like soft grass, rubber mulch, or woodchips then it is much more child friendly and will lead to fewer injuries when accidents do happen.

Pick the Perfect Plants

Choosing the right plants for your garden is important when making it child friendly.

Some things you need to avoid are prickly and thorny plants, as well as poisonous ones.

Your children will love to get out and explore, and this will include touching and playing with the nature incorporated into your garden.

Some great plants to use are daisies (who doesn’t love making a daisy chain when they’re young) as well as sunflowers and lavender which are great for letting the children have a good smell.

Plants are one of the things that can be amazing for a child to see, so make sure the plants you’re choosing are just right and won’t cause them any harm as they get up close and personal.

small child digging up mud

Create an Edible Garden

While it isn’t the best idea to encourage your child to pick up and eat every plant they see, it can be a great experience for them to have some edible plants that they can enjoy picking and tasting.

This is a great way to teach your child about food and how it is grown, and also a nice method of getting them to enjoy the taste of various fruits and vegetables.

This is a hands-on experience that can really get your child involved in the garden and the many elements of it and involving them in the planting, harvesting, and nurturing process can make for a very rewarding treat at the end.

A good way to do this is by creating a dedicated vegetable patch where you know everything is edible, and advising your child to only eat from this area, so they don’t put anything in their mouth they shouldn’t.

Add a Safe Space for Them to Enjoy

Children love to get out and play. With bundles of energy that they have to get rid of, adding structures like climbing frames and swings is always great for allowing them to have a bit of fun.

Once playtime is over, having somewhere they can sit and relax while still being outside is also a nice touch. If you can add areas of your garden that can provide this, you are sure to be able to keep them busy for many hours.

Once you have your playing and seating areas, make sure they are safe. For example, if you have swings or climbing frames, make sure the ground is soft underneath.

Another great addition that kids are sure to love is a bug house, where they can construct a dwelling for all kinds of creepy and crawlies and marvel at the little critters who turn up.

Get Them Involved

A great way to get your child educated on a garden and connected with nature is to involve them in the many tasks that gardening creates.

It’s always a nice touch to provide smaller equipment that they can hold and use as they help you plant flowers and work on your soil.

A little watering can makes a great way for them to help out watering the plants as well.

By allowing your children to participate in gardening activities, you can really kickstart them on the journey to becoming a garden enthusiast when they’re older.

child reading book in garden with bear

Child-Friendly Gardens from The Southwest London Gardener

If you’re looking to transform your outside space and need somewhere that is child friendly and entertaining, then why not get a quote from The Southwest London Gardener?

Our team can work with you to provide advice and help in designing and building the perfect child-friendly garden for you.

Want to know more? Then get in touch with our team today.