In this blog post, we answer the following question: How to child proof a garden? We speak about garden maintenance and choosing the right flowers so that your children can play safely outdoors. Finally, we give you 5 games that you can play in the garden with your child.
How to child proof a garden?
If you want to child proof a garden you have to establish clear rules. We believe that the first step you should take is to talk to the child and establish rules, as long as the child’s age allows it. Determine the things he can and cannot do in the garden, as well as the areas that he should not avoid frequenting.
Protect garden items and materials from a child’s reach. Rakes, shovels, pruning shears, fertilizers … Any item that could be dangerous for them should be kept in a safe place, preferably under lock and key.
Also, it is best to clear the garden of decorative items. Clear or at least relocate them in places that are not an obstacle. Allow the child to run and move freely through space without the risk of breaking something or hurting himself.
It is extremely important to ensure good garden maintenance. Clearing and securing the space by controlling tree branches, pruning, cleaning, checking drains, using biological products, etc., will allow us to avoid more than one fall and accident.
Pay attention to the plants with which you decorate your garden. Many can pose a danger to your health, just because of their contact.
We want to alert you and have a special impact on the last point. And it is that poisonings produced by plants are more common than we think. Many varieties, and many of them common in many homes, can cause allergies, burns, gastroenteritis, hives and other negative effects on the health of children. Their attractiveness makes them most appetizing and curious to the eyes, and the mouths, of children.
A garden opens up a whole universe of possibilities for us. Breathing fresh air, enjoying the sun, the vegetation, relaxing… But for children, even more so. Growing up enjoying a green and outdoor environment in our own home is a privilege.
They love to play, explore and discover. And parents love that they do. Doing it in a garden, in direct contact with nature, is a learning process that brings with it values as important as respect for other living beings and that is so important to instil at a young age.
Discovering colours, aromas, textures, experiencing new touches, being able to run or play are fundamental and enriching actions and, therefore, a garden can become something important in the life of any child. But what happens on many occasions? That we do not foresee some of the dangers that a child may encounter in a garden. It is important, therefore, that we pay special attention to the child’s safety.
Choosing flowers for the garden
Hydrangeas, for example, are beautiful flowers that add the perfect touch of colour to many gardens. However, they contain very toxic substances. Taking just a small dose could cause diarrhoea, vomiting and severe pain in the stomach.
The English ivy is another variety with high toxicity. The simple contact of the skin with the hair of your shaft could produce reactions and their intake, excitement and nerves. The laurel in flower, for its beauty, is common to use as an ornament for the garden. It gives off a sweet smell reminiscent of vanilla and is most appetizing, but the truth is that all of it is toxic. Its ingestion could cause tachycardias and, in the worst cases, arrhythmias or cardiac arrest.
The same happens with the Floripondio or Angel’s Trumpet, a funny and beautiful flower that children tend to pluck and savour as if they were sweets. However, its compounds are highly toxic and affect the central nervous system.
But do not spread panic. The variety of plants is infinite, and many are perfectly suitable for coexistence with children. Jade, for example, is a beautiful plant, hardy and, most importantly, harmless to children.
Like the spider plant and ferns, which, in addition to not requiring special care, are safe and recurring in garden design. The Christmas Cactus will be the perfect solution if you are passionate about these species. They are harmless to children to the point that they do not have thorns, they are easy to care for and their flowers are beautiful.
Taking into account a few details and paying a little attention, your garden will be prepared for the enjoyment of all the members of the household. And the little ones in the house will appreciate being able to have this escape and adventure space at any time.
How to prepare a garden for children
When you see the images of the American gardens, you are stunned. But the reality is that in this country the gardens do not usually have that extension. Having a garden, no matter how small, is already a gift. So when it comes to brainstorming ideas, you have to take into account the space to adapt.
Anyway, no matter how small space is, it can always be prepared so that children can also enjoy the outdoors. Any “reform” of a small garden will revolve around 3 axes:
Take advantage of the vertical space
It should be a priority not to overload the space so that children can no longer move in it, run, jump, etc. So a great idea is to take advantage of the vertical space, especially the contour that delimits the garden so that the centre is free for activities and movement games.
The mobility of the elements
Another guide to preparing our garden is to think about how we can put and use structures that are not fixed so that they can be removed or dismantled when the occasion requires it.
The age and interests of the child
The home garden is not a public park or the schoolyard. It does not have to respond to the needs and interests of a large group of children, of various ages.
Playing in the garden is good for children’s development and learning
Many parents are worried that if their child will play in the garden they will get dirty or sick and make everything a mess.
As parents, we have to let the child explore, because if we are too worried about stain or hygiene … the little ones pick up on it and try to conform to our expectations.
Many children end up not wanting to touch the soil, plants or clay with their hands because they have perceived it as something negative. And that can have negative consequences, such as:
- Stiffness in the body, when they limit their movements for fear of getting dirty.
- Difficulties in learning, because before mental and cognitive learning there is a first approach with the body and the experience itself.
For all the above reasons it is so important that children have the freedom to get dirty. You have to assume that while children learn, discover, explore … they get dirty. Getting dirty is the reliable confirmation that children have been making the most of their time!
Let’s see it as something positive, as a sign that they have learned a lot, that it is good for their physical and emotional health… and if we still don’t see it clearly… let’s allow it just because it’s fun. Let’s not deprive them of the best part of learning.
Top 5 Garden Games for children
The outdoor activities below are for children of all ages, from preschoolers to children in elementary school, middle school and even high school. Most people love to play outdoors, but sometimes they need a helping hand with new play ideas and activities. And don’t forget dear parents: Exercise means health!
Suitable for girls or boys, hunting involves a lot of knowledge, but also fun.
Start by deciding in advance what insects you hope to find. The insects that you know for sure exist in that area will be the easiest to hunt. Then pay a visit to the library or bookstore and look for a book with scientific names of insects. Some bookstores also sell junior kits, profitable investment for some children.
Take a notebook/diary to write down the names of the insects you will find; Next to each name, children can try their artistic talent by drawing that insect. Ask them to describe the insects as they know best and write everything down on paper (at choice, the insects can be photographed, after which the children can give life to an interesting album).
Kids love magic soap balloons, especially on a hot summer day. Here are some magic balloon recipes:
– 2 tablespoons of liquid dish soap
– 235 ml of water
– 1 tablespoon glycerin
– 2 tablespoons liquid dish soap
– 255 ml of water
– 235 ml tempera paint
– 2 tablespoons liquid dish soap
– 1 tablespoon of liquid starch.
Bowling in the yard
1. Look for easily overturned household items (empty plastic bottles, empty kitchen and toilet rolls, toys, etc.), and line them up like bowls.
2. Then, using a smaller ball for the older children and a larger ball for the younger ones, teach them how to knock down the “bowling pins”, after which they will manage on their own.
3. Each demolished object brings a point to the player
4. The player who knocks down the maximum number of objects becomes the winner
Let your children sit outside later on a summer evening. When it is very dark, go with them in the yard and look at the stars.
The ideal place to look at them would be a mountain area, a place where there are not as many lights as in a city.
Bring a blanket, sit on your back and look at the constellations. If you enjoy, choose an astronomy book or a phone application, a flashlight and a snack.
Race with the back
Here is an outdoor children’s game that is a little more physically demanding. Align the children along the starting line with their backs to the finish line, which can be at a distance of 10-15 meters. Then tell them to sit on their knees and hands.
The race will take place in this position, going with the back to the finish line; those who do not try to look back and reach the finish line will be called winners.
Most children can’t resist the temptation to see how close they are to the end, and so they lose.
In this blog post, we answered the following question: How to child proof a garden? We spoke about garden maintenance and choosing the right flowers so that your children can play safely outdoors. Finally, we gave you 5 games that you can play in the garden with your child.
We believe that the first step you should take is to talk to the child and establish rules, as long as the child’s age allows it. Determine the things he can and cannot do in the garden, as well as the areas that he should not avoid frequenting.
If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!
FAQ on How to child proof a garden?
How do I keep my child safe outside?
To keep your child safe outside you should never leave them alone and unsupervised. Establish clear rules and teach children not to play near a street, not to jump into the water when there is no adult around. Explain to them that they must ask for help if the toys roll into the street. Also, make sure you give them a safe environment to play in.
Can baby gates be used outside?
Yes, baby gates can be used outside on the patriots, decks and in the garden. Safety gates are ideal to keep your baby safe both outdoors and inside.
When should I childproof?
You should start to childproof your house once the baby starts to crawl, which usually happens around 6 to 10 months.
How do you childproof a cabinet?
To childproof a cabinet, you first have to remove dangerous objects out of your child’s reach. You can use velcro or pull cord locks for the cabinet doors, or use cabinet latches that are available online.