How to Create a Family Friendly Garden

Kids are lively and messy so naturally, your living has to evolve in order to accommodate the needs and lifestyles of these busy little people. Striking a balance between how your kids like to live and how you like your home and garden to look can be a struggle, but it’s not impossible. This week, we take a look at how you can create a garden landscape that suits the whole family.

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Choose an open landscape that’s easy to supervise

Whilst it’s not always possible to be out in the yard with your children, being able to check on them every so often is important, and having an open plan garden makes this simple. Things like terracing and layering your garden so that the tallest plants or trees are along the back fence line make it easy for you to survey the entire garden from inside the house and keep an eye on your children as they play.

Mix hard and soft surfaces

Whilst most people assume a kid friendly backyard would be blanketed in soft lawn, this really limits their play options. Lawns aren’t made to withstand heavy foot traffic, let alone ball games, bikes, and regular games of tag, so a family friendly garden needs a mix of different surfaces. Hard surfaces like garden paths and paved patio areas are ideal for ball games, bikes, scooters, skateboards, which need a smooth, firm surface. Interspersing these areas with lawn not only adds depth to your garden, it also creates quieter spaces where children can read books or engage in imaginative play.

Consider concealable toys

Play equipment like sandpits are a great way to encourage creative play outdoors, but they’re also an eyesore and tend to imbue your yard with a distinctive ‘kiddy’ style. However, concealable sandpits which can be covered over once playtime is finished are easy to make, and ensure the yard remains looking neat and chic.

 

No water

A toddler can drown in less than 6 centimetres of water, so really the aesthetic merits of something like a fountain, birdbath or decorative pond are just not worth it given that 1,000 children die from drowning every year.

 

Research your plants

Kid friendly gardening can be tricky to get right, but it’s possible to have a colourful, varied garden that the whole family can enjoy. Make sure you do your research before buying to avoid toxic plants, known irritants, and species with spikey or thorny foliage, especially if you have young curious children. Hardy plants like native grasses and shrubs are great ornamental choices, but if you really want to get your kids involved in the garden, a veggie patch is the way to go.