Parenting Expert Shares Five Tips For A Safe Yet Enjoyable Garden Space For Kids

With 240.7 million posts for the hashtag ‘garden ideas’ on TikTok, and a further 121.2 million views for the hashtag ‘family garden’*, it certainly seems as though people are keen to make the most of their outdoor space as the warmer months roll in.

As the weather continues to brighten up, Stone Superstore has partnered with parenting expert, Amanda Jenner, to reveal the careful considerations that should be made when looking to create a safe garden environment that is still enjoyable for kids.

Safety First:

Amanda discussed that before anything else, safety should be considered in various areas of the garden.

“Firstly, make sure the garden is safe with secure fencing, self-closing child proofed gates to prevent wandering little people.” Alongside the primary function of a fence providing a safety barrier, it also clearly defines the boundaries of the garden helping children understand the limits of where they can play and explore, helping them develop a sense of spatial awareness and property boundaries.

Additionally, Amanda emphasized the importance of having soft-landing spaces to create a safe outdoor environment where children can play and explore and where they can minimise potential risks of injury from hard surfaces. “Try to use grass, artificial grass, or rubber matting under any play equipment to avoid any injuries from them falling over.”

Create senso3ry areas:

Sensory areas can encourage children to explore their surroundings and to aid in their understanding of nature.

There are many ways that sensory activities can be incorporated into a garden environment. “Wind chimes, mirrors, shallow water tables and sandpits are great for play but also stimulate their senses”.

Additionally, Amanda spoke about how a vegetable plot could be a great sensory space for kids promoting touch, smell, taste, and sight. “Create a vegetable and herb garden, this will involve and teach the children about how we grow our vegetables which will also encourage them to want to eat them.”

 “Try and grow colourful fruits to add a variety of different smells and colour. Let them help choose what they would like to grow so they are involved and encouraged to help take care of it.”

Create shade spots:

Creating shade spots in the garden is essential for promoting sun safety and comfort. Amanda said “Have an area for when the sun arrives that children can be shaded away from too many harmful rays – umbrellas or hideaway teepees tents can be fun. Children need vitamin D but avoid peak times when the sun is at its strongest.”

Beyond sun protection, shaded areas can also be used as picnic areas or as an outdoor learning activity space. “Having a chalk wall in the corner or an easel so they can take part in outdoor art is great. This also means it will save your indoors from getting messy. Using their creativity outside is great to educate them and naturally, they’ll love to get messy.”

Encourage wildlife spaces:

Wildlife spaces provide habitat and resources for a wide variety of animals and insects and can also create opportunities for learning, allowing children to observe and interact with nature up close.

“Encourage small bird feeder nesting boxes, or if you’re feeling creative you could build an insect or bird hotel. This is a great way to teach our children the importance of wildlife and how we have to be responsible to help feed them. “

“It’s also an excellent way of inviting more wildlife for your children to see in our garden, which is also a treat.”

Avoid Toxic plants:

Whilst gardens can be a wonderful source of fresh vegetables and herbs, it’s important to teach children to not eat from the garden without supervision. Amanda said “ Educate your children never to eat anything from the garden and do remind them regularly about this as the littles ones can tend to forget. Never leave toxic bottles or insect repellents around the garden.”

“Avoid plants or flowers with sharp nettles and instead consider safe plants such as sunflowers, marigolds, daisies and strawberries.”

Amanda adds “It’s so important we encourage our children to have outdoor play and get some fresh air. Creating a garden area specifically for them will be fun and exciting as well as introducing them to a whole new living world which will educate them and help them grow.”

Molly Woodward-Moor adds “Choosing the right paving options when you have kids is more than just the aesthetics of the garden, but about creating a safe and enjoyable space. Porcelain paving is a low-maintenance, durable option that is easy to clean and upkeep – ideal for letting kids play freely, worry-free.”

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