Gardening is a wonderful way to introduce children to the natural world, to foster their curiosity and love for living things and science, and to inspire their creativity. However, gardening can also pose many risks to children and their health, especially if proper precautions are not taken. In this blog post, we will discuss the most important steps you can take to create a safe and enjoyable garden space for children of all ages.
- Choose the right plants:
Not all plants are safe for children. Some may be toxic, thorny, or prickly, and can cause serious harm if ingested or touched. Before you select plants for your garden, do some research and ensure that they are safe and non-toxic. Some great options for a children's garden include sunflowers, cherry tomatoes, sweet peas, and strawberries.
- Teach safety rules:
As you introduce your children to the joys of gardening, it's crucial to teach them some basic safety rules to help them avoid accidents. Some things to keep in mind include wearing gloves and long sleeves when handling thorny or prickly plants, not touching or eating plants unless an adult gives permission and staying away from potentially dangerous gardening tools.
- Provide proper supervision:
Children should never be left alone in a garden, especially if they are very young or unfamiliar with the space. Make sure that you or another trusted adult is always on hand to supervise their activities, answer questions, and provide guidance. This will help ensure that they stay safe and avoid any dangerous situations.
- Create a comfortable seating area:
To encourage your children to enjoy spending time in the garden, it's a great idea to create a dedicated seating area where they can sit and read, draw, or play with their toys. This area should be comfortable and safe, with adequate seating and a sturdy table or other surface. You can even decorate the area with colorful garden-themed décor, such as painted rocks or small ceramic animals. You can create a special space for them on a very tight budget, Ikea has great option for kids’ outdoor furniture. We also love to find items in garage sales and refurbish them.
- Make it fun and engaging:
Finally, the most important step in creating a safe and enjoyable garden space for children is to make it as fun and engaging as possible. This might involve setting up a scavenger hunt, planting special "surprise" plants that will bloom in the summer, or simply encouraging your children to explore and discover the wonders of the natural world around them.
By following these simple steps, you can create a safe, fun, and engaging garden space that will inspire your children to develop a lifelong love of gardening and the natural world. Whether your garden is big or small, whether you have just one child or a whole group of them, there are countless opportunities to teach, inspire, delight and strengthen their motor skills. So go ahead and get your hands dirty – and watch as your tiny green thumbs grow and flourish!