When you have children, often the back garden can become less of a relaxing haven and more of a play area. Trying to find the right balance to suit all the family’s needs can be a little tricky, but you don’t have to let your garden be overrun by children’s toys. Here are some great family friendly garden ideas to transform your outdoor space into a paradise for all the family.
You don’t often have to buy specific items for children to play with. Get creative and make simple play areas for them using natural materials. Tree stumps make a great seating area or fairy house, or place stepping stones across the grass and let children paint or decorate them.
Not only does it look good, but grass is the perfect area for playing on. As well as providing a soft landing for practising handstands and cartwheels, it makes a great football pitch or just a place for kids to sprawl on. If you want surrounding flower borders, then choose easy-maintenance plants, such as Alchemilla mollis and Choisya ternata, that will remain standing after trampling and ball games. If you don’t fancy real grass turf, then why not invest in some good quality artificial grass? It’s maintenance-free and long-lasting.
If you’re looking for family friendly garden ideas, then encourage your children to enjoy everything that the garden has to offer by stimulating their senses. Bright flowers, such as calendula, sunflowers and swiss chard, are good for stimulating sight. Rustling long grasses and seed heads are lovely to sit and listen to in those rare quiet moments and fun smells from plants and herbs, such as mint and chive, will stimulate the taste buds.
Having an area where the whole family can sit and relax or enjoy dining outside in the summer is a must-have for a family garden. Outdoor sofas or a rattan table and chair set are great options for families – they look better and last longer than plastic garden furniture and will provide year-round seating. For a more laid-back seating style, invest in some bean bags or large cushions so that children can sit down and lounge where they like.
If it has wheels, then kids usually love it. Including a hard surface in your garden, such as decking or paving, gives children a place that they can cycle, roller-blade or scoot. Whilst a standard patio is great, if you want to be more adventurous then consider a curved path. A path which winds and loops around the garden is much more fun than a straight path and can be the inspiration behind a lot of races and games.