Creating a child-friendly backyard is a great way to get kids off their screens and into the great outdoors. Playing outside provides kids with so many benefits including aerobic exercise, increased attention spans, stronger immune systems, and a growing appreciation of nature and the world around them. Here is how to make your backyard kid-friendly, and it can be achieved in 5 easy steps.
1. Keep It Natural
Making your backyard kid-friendly need not involve buying a bunch of specific items for children to play with. You can easily create simple play areas out of natural materials. Using items such as tree stumps, large rocks, sand, and sticks, children can have a special spot to dig, build obstacle courses, or play pretend. Placing stepping stones across a lawn, can create a fun activity for children, especially if you have them help you paint and decorate them.
When you are pruning in the garden, don’t discard materials right away. Leave your clippings in a pile for your children to use to create fairy homes, crowns, or other fun imaginative games.
2. Lay Some Lawn Turf
Having an area of your lawn designated for outdoor play can be a great way to make your backyard kid-friendly. Laying some lawn turf specifically for this purpose will provide a safe, cushioned spot for landing cartwheels and handstands, a place to play tag or catch, or to catch fireflies . You can surround this area with flower borders. It is wise to choose low-maintenance plants and shrubs that can withstand things like trampling and stray soccer balls.
3. Create a Kid-Friendly Sensory Garden
Involve your children in gardening fun by creating a sensory garden for them to enjoy. For sight, you can grow bright flowers, such as sunflowers, nasturtiums, marigolds, and daylilies. For their sense of smell, you can grow herbs such as mint and lemon balm. Strong-scented roses, the curry plant, and chocolate cosmos are other ideas of plants your child will enjoy smelling. For their sense of taste, herbs or strawberries can be planted in your sensory garden. To stimulate their sense of hearing, you can include things that create contrasting sounds. Examples include rustling grasses, bamboo stems, plants that attract birds, a gravel path, or a water feature like a fountain. All of these can contribute to the unique sounds your child will delight in while playing in your kid-friendly backyard.
4. Hang an Outdoor Chalkboard
A large chalkboard can be hung on a fence or exterior wall to give kids a creative outlet in your backyard. If they prefer paint, you can actually hang Plexiglas instead, and let kids paint on it with washable paint or shaving cream. An easy way to keep this area mess-free is by rinsing it off with a hose after use. Either of these ideas will provide hours of entertainment for the children playing in your kid-friendly backyard.
5. Plant a Butterfly Garden
Most kids love butterflies. It is relatively easy to plant a butterfly garden that will enchant and delight children of all ages. Simply plant butterfly-attracting plants such as milkweed, aster, zinnia, or purple coneflower, and voilà, you have a butterfly sanctuary in your own backyard. For more information about how to create a butterfly garden click this link!
Following these steps will turn your backyard into an oasis the kids in your life will love. Providing children with their own unique spaces in the yard will not only help keep your backyard organized and safe, but it will become a truly special place for children to build memories. Contact us at Jack’s Lawn Care & Landscaping to see how we can assist you in making your backyard kid-friendly, along with any other landscape design needs you may have.