June 30, 2017
Landscaping your backyard is a wonderful way to create an inviting and attractive outdoor area, but if you have small children, keep them in mind when designing your backyard. Kids love playing outdoors; make your backyard an area that is safe and fun for them, but still inviting for adults too. The following steps can help you create a kid-friendly landscape:
Keeping your children safe is a top priority for landscaping. Of course, scraped knees are a normal part of childhood, but taking steps to avoid injury is important. Ways to make your backyard safer for kids include:
- Fencing – A fence keeps young children within the boundaries of your yard.
- Water Features – If you have a pool, pond, or water fountain, then put a fence around it with a gate that latches to reduce the risk of drowning.
- Use non-slip surfaces – Decks, walkways, and patios are often slippery when wet, but pavers and other non-slip options are available to reduce the risk of slips and falls.
- Minimize flowers – Flowers are a beautiful addition to any yard, but avoid varieties known for attracting bees, being prickly or being toxic.
Have an area of open space
Kids need room to run around and play, so keeping an area of just grass is a good idea. This also provides a space for summer fun like a play pool or running through the sprinklers. Your kids can enjoy the water without damaging the plants.
Choose your plants with care, because many common plants are poisonous or toxic. This includes Daffodils, Irises, Calla Lilies, Holly, Azaleas, Oleander, and more. Always check with your local nursery or landscaping company before purchasing a new plant in order to make sure it is safe for children. Prickly plants like Cactus and Sago Palms are also wise to avoid. Children may touch the plants without realizing they are sharp or fall into them and get hurt.
Create a Secret Space
A secret garden, treehouse or any tucked away hideout is a wonderful way to inspire your child’s imagination. It doesn’t have to be impressive; a cozy space between hedges can be great! Just make sure it is safe and comfortable for your kids.
Get a Bat House
Bat houses are easy to make or purchase and can be installed in trees, by the house or in other areas around the yard. You and your kids can enjoy watching bats fly around the yard chasing insects in the evening. As an added bonus, the more bats you have, the fewer insects you will have.
Have a Children’s Garden
Tending a garden with your kids is a fun way to teach them about growing things and where food comes from. Choose vegetables that are easy to grow and that your children enjoy eating.
Creating a kid-friendly landscape requires a little bit of planning and creativity, but having a backyard where everyone can be safe and have fun is worth the effort.
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