If you’re staying at home this summer, then you might be considering giving your home and garden a revamp. I’ve put together some garden ideas for kids, for those of you who are lucky enough to have some outdoor space to spend time in together. From garden surface ideas for family gardens, to the best outdoor toys for kids, here are our tips.
This is a collaborative post. Some pictures are copyright-free images from Pixabay.
Patio, decking or lawn? Garden surface ideas for family gardens
A larger garden gives you a choice of garden surface ideas that might suit your family staycation. A lawn is soft, so it’s a good option if your kids like to race around, with all the tumbles and scrapes that go with active play. If your lawn is big enough, you could even decide to camp in your back garden. Lawns do need to be maintained, though, with feeding, trimming and cutting. So if you’re short on time, a lawn might not be the best option for your family.
Artificial grass can give a natural look, without requiring all the work that goes into a real lawn. It can wear out over time, though, and isn’t as soft as real grass.
A good alternative if you want your garden to be a place for barbeques, hopscotch or chalk drawings, is a patio. If your garden space is large enough, a patio in the back garden can let the children practise their roller skating skills, or whizz around on Heelies. Non-slip decking is another option for a firmer garden surface, and it’s not quite as hard on little knees as patio, if there are any falls.
Choose child-friendly garden furniture
If you have a large family, then you can opt for crowd-pleasing garden furniture, like a large table that you can all sit around to eat in the sun. If your space is small, then a folding table and chair set can be stored out of the way once everyone’s eaten. That way, the children can career around without the fear of knocking into furniture.
Don’t forget to investigate some of the more exciting ranges of garden furniture for kids. When our two were small, they sat at a mini picnic bench. Once they’d eaten, the top of the wooden bench came off to reveal a sandpit underneath. They would literally spend hours sitting at their special bench, playing. There are lots of other fun items on sale – stools shaped like toadstools, animal-themed benches… you could really have fun picking great garden furniture for the kids.
I’ve written before about how to pick garden furniture that works well in a changeable climate. Do check out my feature if you want to find out more about the pros and cons of rattan, wooden or aluminium garden furniture. As well as deciding on the best material for garden furniture, it will help you factor in some other considerations, too. For instance, if you’re putting together a family dining area, you need to make sure there’s enough space around the table to let people move around, and sit comfortably. Dining chairs with arms, for instance, are better suited to larger spaces.
Pick the best outdoor toys and play equipment for kids
Your choice of outdoor toys and play equipment will depend on how much space you have available, and your choice of garden surface. Even if you have a small space – only enough for a table and chairs – then a simple painting or drawing session can turn into a fun event, just because it’s happening outside. SO you don’t necessarily need to buy special ‘outdoor’ toys to have fun as a family.
If you do have a bit more room in your family garden, here are some suggestions for outdoor toys or toy equipment:
- a treehouse, play house or den
- a sand table or sandpit
- swings, slides and climbing frames
- a trampoline
- ballpits and paddling pools
- a mini set of goalposts
Encourage the children to plant some vegetables or flowers
Children love growing plants, especially when you give them their own patch of ground, or containers. You can find some lovely planters for kids, which add a fun, colourful note to the garden.
Letting children grow their own flowers, fruit or vegetables is a great way to teach them about taking care of plants, and it can help with home schooling. Watching plants grow from seed or bulb really is nature in action, and you can study the fully grown plant as part of a biology lesson. We ended up dissecting a flower one afternoon!
Don’t forget to protect kids’ hands with suitable gloves. You could even buy mini utensils, like watering cans, trowels and forks, so that they can do their own watering and digging, under supervision.
What tips do you have for creating a family garden? Let me know you best garden ideas for kids in teh comments below!
If you want to hire the services of a professional gardening service to help clear up your garden ready for a staycation, we wrote a review of a gardening service that covers London and elsewhere here.