Do you have to bribe your children to go outside when they’d much rather give their thumbs a workout playing their favourite video games? In an attempt to have more children running around enjoying the outdoors this summer, our team thought we’d share some tips for creating the garden your kids will never want to leave.
- As much as Fairfield residents are known to love backyard cricket and barbecues, don’t forget that a backyard that is all lawn with no plants gives children limited scope to hide, investigate and let their imaginations run wild. There’s no need to create an elaborate tree-house or cubby (unless you want to); simply including shrubs and plants for exploration and hide-and-seek will appeal to their sense of creative fun.
- Make sure you have plenty of toys and sporting equipment at the ready for a fun day outdoors. Keeping them in an outdoor storage container or a particular section of the garden shed will ensure the kids have easy access, without your garden constantly looking like a toy shop.
- Encourage your children to look after a particular section of the garden, whether that’s a garden pot, garden bed or planter box. A vegetable garden generally works well because they can see the plants progressing, and enjoy consuming the fruits of their labour. Let them choose what they’d like to grow in their section and help them to maintain it. Children will love the sense of ownership, and it won’t take long before they’re supplying you with some delicious dinner ingredients.
- If you grew up with a fruit tree in your garden, you’ll no doubt have fond memories of wiping juice from your chin as you munched your way through branches of oranges, apricots, nectarines or peaches. Low hanging fruit trees can be great for children, and are an easy way to increase your child’s fruit intake as they’ll love picking their own bagful of fruit. There are now dwarf fruit varieties on the market, which are a great size for small children to pick from, and also a good alternative if you don’t have a lot of space.
These are just a few suggestions to help make your garden more child-friendly, and hopefully entice your kids away from the television during these warmer months. If you have a backyard pool, please be sure to also read our blog about planning a safe summer in the water, and always make sure your children are sun smart when outdoors.
Do you have any tips you can add for coaxing the children outdoors this summer? What are your children’s favourite outdoor activities? Have you bought extravagant play equipment only to find your children preferred making mud pies? Do you have tips for easy vegetables to grow? Please share your child-friendly garden ideas with us here.