School’s out for summer and what a summer we’re having. The weather is glorious, which means the kids can play outside and run riot in the garden.
Which seems idyllic until you see the havoc that a couple of small children can create in a garden in a short space of time. Now is the time to make some changes to ensure they play safely don’t ruin all your hard work.
Get them involved
There’s no better way to ensure children understand the work that goes into a beautiful garden than by getting them involved. Create a small space, or even a pot, that is all theirs. They can grow something edible, such as radishes or lettuce, to encourage them to eat their greens too. Otherwise, pick up some cheap bedding plants and help them to plant them out. Make it their responsibility to tend to their patch with watering and weeding.
The birds and the bees….
As well as getting your kids interested in gardening, they can also start to learn about the birds and the bees…..literal ones, not metaphorical ones. Have a little wildlife section in your garden. You can create a “bug hotel” out of old bits of wood and pine cones. Plant bee-friendly plants, such as lavender, so they can watch pollinators in action and have a bird feeder. If you keep the seeds where your children can reach, then they can take charge of keeping the bird feeders topped up over the summer. Activities such as this will get them interested in the great outdoors, without them taking over your entire garden.
A place for everything
Children can soon accumulate all sorts of outdoor toys and they are as good at not tidying them away as they are at getting them all out. Make sure they have an easy way to clear the decks at the end of the day. An outdoor storage chest is the easiest option and then they can divide their toys up to inside and outside ones. Otherwise, a space in the shed, or by the back door if you don’t have enough space outside.
Make the most of the fine weather by dining outside. If you don’t have outdoor furniture, or enough of it to fit the whole family, let the kids create a picnic spot, with a blanket and cushions. As long as it is in the shade they will be able to sit out and enjoy their food with the rest of the family.