Children need to spend time outdoors. It allows them to develop essential physical, emotional, and social skills. But what if outdoor play could be even more immersive and educational?
Creating a garden space for children is an excellent way to cultivate their curiosity, creativity, and wonderment about the natural world. Vikki Gerrard La Crosse WI, shares some tips and ideas for creating a garden space you and your children will love.
1. Consider The Type Of Garden To Create
The first step is deciding what type of garden to create. Will you create a flower garden, vegetable garden, or a combination of both? The answer will depend on your children’s age and interests. Younger children enjoy planting colorful flowers, while older children may want to start a fruit or vegetable garden. Remember that combining flowers and vegetables could offer the best of both worlds.
In addition to deciding what type of garden to create, you’ll also need to consider the size and layout. Will it be a small patch of land near your backyard, or will it encompass an entire section of your property? It’s important to balance easy maintenance and adequate space for exploration.
2. Choose The Right Locational
Choose a location that gets plenty of sunshine and is easily accessible to you and your children. You may want to consider a corner of your backyard or dedicate a section of your front yard to the garden. Raised garden beds are a great option as they allow you to control the soil and drainage and minimize exposure to pests.
One way to create a special garden area is to designate a yard corner as a “garden sanctuary.” This could be the perfect spot for your children to relax in the shade and enjoy the beauty of nature.
3. Involve Children In The Planning Process
Children can learn valuable lessons about responsibility and decision-making by involving them in garden design and planning. Allow them to choose the plants, flowers, or vegetables they want to grow, and explain the importance of each choice.
Consider creating a garden journal that your children can fill out as you go to encourage the recording and reflect on the experience. For instance, your children can write down what they planted and track their progress over time.
4. Choose Low-Maintenance Plants
If you’re short on time or don’t want to commit to a long-term garden plan, choose low-maintenance plants as well as native species that are adapted to the weather in your region. These plants will thrive with minimal care and provide a great learning experience for children.
For example, Vikki Gerrard La Crosse WI, recommends getting succulents and herbs These plants require minimal maintenance and can be grown in containers on a patio or balcony.
5. Add Fun Elements To The Garden
Make the garden space an inviting and exciting place for children by adding colorful decorations, such as flags, ribbons, or wind chimes. You can also add outdoor playground equipment or install pathways to create a fun and interactive environment for your children.
Another way to add a creative touch is to use recycled materials. For instance, you can repurpose old tires as planters or create bird feeders from water bottles.
6. Incorporate Garden Tools
Work with your children to choose age-appropriate gardening tools such as shovels, rakes, and kids’ gardening gloves. They will feel proud and invested in the project while developing hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Garden tools can also encourage kids to get outside and help manage the garden.
For example, children can take on the task of watering the plants or weeding around them. Provide guidance and assistance if needed but allow your children to learn through trial and error.
7. Make It A Sensory Experience
Create a multi-sensory garden by incorporating various plants that appeal to the senses. Include aromatic herbs such as mint, basil, or lavender. Add texture by planting a mix of rough and smooth-leaved plants. Also, a water feature such as a birdbath or small pond draws birds and other wildlife into the garden and teaches children about ecosystems.
You can also make the garden more sensory is to creating sensory paths. This can be done by making pathways with materials such as pebbles, bark chips, or sand and adding tactile plants such as lambs ear to explore.
8. Emphasize Safety
- Choose non-toxic or entirely edible plants, such as flowering herbs or vegetables.
- Avoid using pesticides that could harm children or pets. Instead, use natural alternatives such as companion planting or insect-repelling plants.
- Create pathways and clear areas to avoid tripping hazards.
- Discuss potential garden hazards, such as thorns or bee stings, and teach children how to be safe around them.
Creating a garden space for your children is a rewarding experience that teaches them essential skills, fosters curiosity, and encourages outdoor playtime. Whether you create a vegetable or sensory flower garden, involving kids can create long-lasting memories and provide endless educational benefits.
Follow these tips and ideas to make the most of your garden project, and watch your children thrive in their own outdoor wonderland.