A garden is not only a pretty yet practical addition to your yard, but it can be a place of learning for a child as well. Creating a garden that is child friendly is important, because it not only provides them a place that is safe to enjoy, but it can teach them about plant and wildlife as well. If you want your entire family to be able to enjoy your backyard garden, take a look at these 7 tips for creating a child friendly garden all can enjoy.
7 Tips for Creating a Child Friendly Garden
1. Choose appropriate fencing.
If you need to section off your garden with fencing (typically if animals are an issue) be sure it is child safe. Avoid any kind of netting or roping that children can get caught up in. Instead, choose durable wood fencing that is smooth and well kept. Or, if pests are not an issue you can avoid fencing altogether.
2. Choose durable plants.
Children are not always the most gentle creatures. Be sure you are choosing plants that are durable and can withstand a little rough handling. Tomatoes and cucumbers seem to fair well with children, as do flowering varieties such as marigolds, sunflowers, and varieties that vine. Asking children to “not touch” is often hard to do, so instead encourage the use of “gentle hands” when touching any of the plants in the garden.
3. Encourage a love of garden friendly bugs.
Preying mantis, lady bugs, and butterflies are welcome creatures in the garden. You can place out shallow dishes of water or sugar water to the attract them as well as ample amounts of ground cover plants. Encourage children to learn more about these bugs so they aren’t scared of them and are gentle and respectful instead. After all, they kill many garden pests that would destroy your crop.
4. Have child friendly tools on hand.
Chances are your children will love to help in the garden. Keep an assortment of small, safe, and easy to hold shovels, buckets, watering cans, and gloves. This way they can dig in and help out with the day to day tasks and care of the garden. You can even create a bucket with their name on it to hold all of their special tools.
5. Model all garden care tasks.
Don’t expect children to just know how to care for the garden. Model how we behave in the garden, how we water, weed, and care for the plants. Let them see what taking care of a garden the right way looks like so they can best mimic it.
6. Invite handmade color and whimsy.
Let the garden be a reflection of the children who love playing in it. Let them make concrete walking stones with their hand prints in them, let them craft wind chimes or hand painted garden rocks and plant markers. Let the space be a reflection of their creativity and it will really shine.
7. Choose produce they will love and enjoy.
Choose produce your child had a hand in choosing as well. Grow food items you know they will enjoy. Grow some of their favorite flowers. When you grow items they love, they will be more active in their care and harvesting. They will also feel more connected to the garden.
Creating a child friendly garden is really quite simple, and a great way to get your children in on the gardening process. Give these tips for creating a child friendly garden a try and see how involved your kids will want to be.