Most people when they are preparing to welcome a child into their family prioritize making changes to their homes. They take their time to make sure there’s a beautiful nursery for their baby, and to make sure their home is safe and welcoming for a new addition to the family. The garden can usually wait.
A new baby won’t be spending time in the garden for a while, and even as they start to grow, they will have constant supervision, and won’t be able to move around on their own for a few months yet. However, at some point, the time comes to take a closer look at your garden. You’ll want your child to be able to enjoy your outdoor space, to have fun in your garden, to explore, to be creative, and to burn off some energy. Most importantly, you’ll want them to be safe. Here’s a look at some of the top priorities when creating a family-friendly garden.
Safety from the Outside World
When your children are very young, you’ll be in the garden with them. But, as they get older, you’ll want them to have more freedom, to be able to play outdoors alone and to enjoy their space. For them to be safe in the garden, and for your peace of mind, you’ll want to make sure your garden is enclosed so that no one else can get in, and your children can’t wander out. High fences and gates with locks or high catches can be very effective.
Removal of Toxins and Chemicals
As adults, we rarely think of how safe our gardens are. We know not to touch certain plants, to be careful with tools, and to wash our hands when we go indoors. You might not realize how dangerous your garden is until you find yourself chasing a child around telling them not to touch things, keeping them away from certain areas, and moving things quickly out of reach.
Walk around your garden, looking at everything. Are there any toxic or harmful plants or thorny bushes? Are chemicals, paints, cleaning materials, and tools locked away in the shed? Then, get into good habits, cleaning as you go and locking anything dangerous away.
Durable and Soft Flooring
Wooden decking and stone paving are very popular, but both can create hazards for younger children who might still be a little wobbly on their feet, and even older children that enjoy playing outdoors.
Grass is a great choice for a garden with children, but if you want a harder area, perhaps for an outdoor dining area, recycled rubber pavers can be an excellent choice. Rubber pavers are affordable, hardwearing, and softer than wood or stone, making them ideal for little feet and knees.
Making a few basic changes is great, but common sense is often the most important thing. Start thinking carefully about what you add to your garden and where you keep things. Then, as your children get older, be sure to teach them basic safety when they are outdoors. Getting them involved in gardening can be an excellent way to teach them more about outdoor life, and ways to take care of themselves.