Gardening can be exciting for the whole family and it’s great to be able to enjoy some hobbies with your children. There are plenty of great child friendly garden ideas that will keep them interested.
Grown Edibles in Your Garden
By planting tasty treats that you can later pick and enjoy together, everyone can get excited about planning, planting and picking the fruits (and vegetables and herbs) of their labour. Plant things like strawberries, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and peas. Let your kids know what it is they are planting (if they help) to get them interested. You can even plant things like gourds and sunflowers, they may enjoy trying some new and interesting, fresh things out of the garden! Then, when harvest time comes around, get the family together for a picking session to show the kids the final product.
Plant Beautiful, Colourful Flowers
Planting flowers is not just a way to add beauty to the garden, but also a way to attract bees and other insects that can benefit your yard. Kids love to pick flowers and use them in arts and crafts. Plant some flowering plants and allow your kids to pick them to peak their interest in flowers and the garden. Letting your kids help pick the flowers and colours, and take them to the store and let them help pick the seeds!
And Speaking of Seeds…
It may seem like an unnecessary and time consuming process to start from seed, but starting the process inside and growing the seeds in a window can really help get the family involved in gardening. There is just something beautiful and magical about watching a plant sprout from seed in a window sill. Try this at least a few times with the children, you may even enjoy it more than you think! Letting your kids take part in the gardening experience can be fun for all of you and educational for them as well. It doesn’t matter if your plants aren’t in a perfect line because your kids helped plant the seeds, the plants don’t care and neither should you. Creating a family-friendly garden is all about creating it as a family!
Cat enjoying catnip
Grow Catnip for your Cats
Growing fresh catnip will not only excite your cats, but it will also give your kids something to look forward to when gardening. Before planting, start with some store-bought catnip to show them the effects the plant has on your cat and then tell them that it’s possible to grow their own. Let your kid’s help you plant the catnip and then let them help you harvest it. Give them some to give to the cat and let the fun begin!
Designing Your Family Garden
Particularly important in smaller gardens, the layout needs to be more create to accommodate everyone else’s differing needs. Before you start designing, bear in mind elements such as:
- Planting – Are plant selections and placements appropriate to withstand games of chasey, footy, pets and swordfights?
- Play equipment– Can you fit in a cubby house, slide, sandpit and/or swing? Otherwise, find play equipment that can be packed away when not in use.
- Colour–Introduce some colour by painting walls, fences, lattice work and even furniture & cushions. Imaginative planting though will ensure seasonal colour-changes that will engage the whole family.
- Easy-care seating– Can furniture be left uncovered and exposed to the elements? Built in seating of natural stone or wood material might work well, with cushions that can provide additional comfort. Consider also other weather friendly materials such as plastic, synthetic rattan, wood and lightweight metal – all good outdoor options.
- Wildlife & Creatures– Consider adding a pond with fish or frogs – children especially will find it fascinating. Birdfeeders will also be a big success – though perhaps not if you have a cat.