Garden For Kids | The garden as a children’s playground: tips and ideas

The garden is a place where children get to know a piece of the world. If you take a few safety aspects into account when planning your garden, you can design a real children’s playground for romping and playing.

In their own garden, children experience how nature works, how plants grow, bloom, bear fruit and perish. Children who get their own bed and are allowed to take care of “their” plants, herbs and flowers themselves do so with great seriousness. The amazement and the joy are great when something edible or flowering has really grown from a tiny seed or a small plant. Only plants that are easy to care for, are well adapted to the climate and do not need any fertilizer other than compost should be placed in the children’s bed.

Fascinating garden in toddlers

Even small children are full of thirst for knowledge. From the age of three, everything that feels exciting or smells great is fascinating. A scented floor covering made from Roman chamomile and carpet mint, for example, is recommended for this – both ground covers are hard-wearing and a great substitute for lawn. Plants for handicrafts are also popular: with the blossoms of ball thistle, straw flower and fragrant lavender, small works of art can be glued – pictures, a mobile or decorated postcards for grandma. There are also options on the balcony: those who collect chestnuts will soon have their own tree in a flowerpot. Nasturtium also germinates quickly and decorates salads with delicious flowers.

Enthusiasm in the garden of four to six year olds
Four- to six-year-olds are also keen to help out in the garden. The first sowing works well with large grains such as peas and beans. Red firebeans soon put a tipi out of bamboo stalks, which makes a great hiding place. Organic manure is used as fertilizer, but nettles are collected – but only with long gloves. If you have blue chaste tree or aromatic butterfly lilac in the garden, you can find dozens of colorful butterflies on the flowers on summer days. Perfect for starting a backyard safari with the right equipment.

Construction projects with dad are also exciting: How about, for example, an insect hotel made of drilled wood, reeds and perforated bricks for harmless wild bees and ladybugs? Or a brick hedgehog castle? They are piled up in four layers, covered with a sidewalk slab and camouflaged with brushwood. It serves as a winter sanctuary and nesting place for the barbed animals – which like to eat slugs. Multiplying plants is fun with the moss trick: To do this, wire is twisted very tightly around a branch of forsythia in June, then wrapped in damp moss and aluminum foil. After two months, roots have formed, the branch can be cut off and planted.

Eight to ten year olds as budding young gardeners

Your own discovery is in the foreground with increasing age. At eight or ten years old, children can finally have their own bed in the garden. Here you can plant and enjoy what tastes best: strawberries, currants and prickly blackberries are part of the basic equipment. The little ones will love the garden expedition. Especially if you lure them into urban nature with delicious specialties, for example with a cola scented geranium for homemade ice cream or a banana mint for soda. At the latest when your young gardeners proudly present their first cocktail tomatoes, you know that the “green thumb” campaign has been a success.

A herb garden for children

Fennel: edible seeds; Tea for stomach ache
Lovage: green leaves of the fragrant “maggot herb” are edible
Marigolds: colorful, edible flowers

Pillow primrose: flowers first in spring;
the pretty yellow flowers are happy,
are edible and smell fine when dried

Chamomile: chamomile tea
Mint: for nibbling and flaking
Angelica: helps with nausea
Sweet umbels: edible green seeds
Violets: intensely fragrant violet flowers
Mullein: the golden flowers exude a honey-like fragrance
and pull bees into the garden

Catnip: edible leaves; dried and filled in fabric bags,
it encourages cats to play;
attracts bees and keeps the herb garden from
Rats and fleas away

Daisies: for wreaths, edible flowers
Lavender: smells strong, can be placed under the pillow when dried
Houseleek: heals cuts and stings
Sunflowers: edible seeds
Parsley: for little cooks
Thyme: fragrant and indestructible
Lemon balm: the leaves were allowed and are edible
Purslane: edible leaves for a snack

Protection against danger: You should pay attention to these 10 points!

Curiosity and the urge to test can put children in life-threatening situations. Most accidents happen between two and six years. At this age they are completely carefree and cannot assess dangers.

1.Do not plant plants with poisonous leaves, needles, flowers, fruits in young children. Show your child early on what they can touch and put in their mouths and what not.

2. Do not create a pond in small children. An unattended moment is enough to drown. If the children are out of the sandpit age and swim safely, the sandpit can be converted into a pond.

3. Cover rain barrels and other water containers with a lid. Curiosity has already led to drowning.

4. Always equip sockets in the garden with a child lock.

5.Only set up play equipment that is labeled with the “tested safety” and “TÜV” test badges. Under the play equipment there should be a soft fall protection layer (bark, sand, fall protection plates); Concrete foundations of devices at least 30 centimeters below the fall protection layer.

6.Never let garden ladders stand around. They tempt you to climb spontaneously. The ascent is easy, the descent is the problem.

7. Columns with bowls and statues that are not anchored to prevent them from tipping over are dangerous. Check your steadfastness every spring.

Fence tips of garden fences pose a high risk of injury. Press the cork on the tips to defuse it.

9. Fertilizers and pesticides must never be filled into drinking bottles and must always be kept in a locked cupboard.

10.Only set up stable and stable garden furniture. You must not tip over while gymnastics.

Quiet areas in the garden with garden shed, arbor or pavilion
Find peace in the middle of the garden, enjoy nature and the scent of flowers and yet be protected for yourself – you can do all of this in a covered arbor.

Garden houses, pavilions, pergolas and arbors provide shade, structure the garden and allow adults to withdraw from the hustle and bustle of family life. A simple and quick way to build such an arbor is provided by trellis walls, which you can buy ready-made in the hardware store or made yourself from squared timber and strips.

This place gives security especially when it has turned into a blooming oasis after years. Honeysuckle, climbing roses and pipe winds surround him like Sleeping Beauty. Pots with herbs or seasonal favorite flowers, grouped around the garden chair, create a magical atmosphere beforehand.

Children’s playground with play scaffolding and willow wigwam

Swings, slide, viewing platform and climbing net – children of different ages can romp, play and do gymnastics here. A double swing can later be replaced with a hammock for the older ones.

The most suitable material is a boiler pressure-impregnated wood, which is specially approved for play equipment and is available from specialist retailers or hardware stores. If you regularly protect it with an oil-based glaze, it will still look beautiful after years.

How to build a simple “wigwam”
A house built from living willows creates a protected play area for children: to read stories, to hide secret things, to play Indians or “Ronja Robbery Stoves”.

1.Cut about ten biennial rods as vertical rods. For a wigwam with a diameter of one meter, they should be at least two meters long.

2. Use a stick that is tied to a pole with a string to mark the radius on the meadow. Then the cord is extended by a spade width and a second mark is drawn. The turf is now removed between the two marks. The later entrance is left out.

3. At a distance of about 15 to 10 centimeters, the willow branches are planted about 30 centimeters deep in the trench. If necessary, drill planting holes beforehand.

4. The rods are then tied together at the top with a thin hemp cord. Then cut off all the top to stimulate growth at the bottom.

5.Insert ten thinner, one-year-old rods at an angle between the thick ones. You can attach these rods to the top of the thick rods with string.

6.A year later the “wigwam” will be overgrown. Most new shoots can be found close to the top. Braid these new shoots into the wicker for reinforcement and trim the shoots at the top.

Planning examples for the children’s playground in the garden

Well-coordinated and planned, your own garden fulfills the wishes of young and old. Here we show two examples from the professional hand of the association “Gardener of Eden”.

The terrace is located directly on the playground and sandpit – so parents always have an eye on their children. In addition to the terrace and play area, plenty of space for flower beds has been planned.

The sailboat in the sand play area is a special highlight. Here children can play or adults can sit comfortably and read a book.

In this garden, several play corners were created, which are easily visible to the parents from the terrace.

The sand area is to the left of the slide. Here is balanced, built and dredged – with its own water connection in the large tree trunk.

What is the most important thing when planning a family garden?

When planning, it is essential that all family members who want to use the garden sit down at a table and speak openly about their opinions, wishes and needs. Every wish should be taken seriously. In most cases, not everything can be implemented, but everyone should find their wishes in the garden afterwards so that a balanced mix is achieved, for example with play areas for the children and relaxation areas for the adults.

How do I divide the garden sensibly?

Slope properties can be structured well by different levels and thus separate the individual garden areas. In the case of flat plots, this function is carried out by privacy screens or hedge segments. The routing can also separate areas.

How much lawn do you need to play and run around?

Does the child matter, do they want to play football or do they prefer a tree house? Some need a lot of space for movement, others prefer a retreat to read or hide. It’s best to talk to the children.

What needs to be considered when choosing plants?

Many families are happy about crops from which they can harvest or snack, but can also help the children with care. This can be both fruit trees and berry bushes. Also beautiful are spring bloomers or plants that can be used for decorative purposes in the annual cycle, for example, deliver branches for the Easter shrub, and can be decoratively decorated with fairy lights in winter. Also of interest are plants that attract animals to the garden, such as butterflies or birds that harvest the ripe fruit. It is a spectacle that always fascinates children. Opinions differ on the subject of poisonous plants. I don’t think that poisonous plants can be left in the family garden. Rather, I find it important to teach the children which plants are in the garden and which are not allowed to eat. But if families want to play it safe, you can of course advise them so that there are no incompatible plants in the garden.

And what is important for the play equipment?

These have to be serviced regularly so that the wood is not rotten or the rope of the swing suddenly breaks. Also great are climbing opportunities on dead wood or mud opportunities for children. A sand play area, perhaps with an integrated cattle trough as a water supplier, can also be beautifully bordered with boulders, which can then be included in the game and climbed. We always try to work with natural materials if possible so that the play equipment doesn’t look like foreign objects in the garden. If it is a trampoline, you can choose a floor-level variant for reasons of appearance. Play equipment can also be planted, for example, willows can be tied together to form a teepee or a tunnel.

How does my garden become childproof?

It is very important to protect children from water, i.e. to fence the garden pond, to install a pond water motion detector and to provide bars for rainwater barrels. The water is still the greatest danger. In addition, a garden should be fenced so that children cannot run away. If you have walls and stairs in the garden, you should install a fall protection device and, as already mentioned on the subject of plants, educate children about possible dangers from this side.

Are there any tricks I can use to create children’s areas so that I can later easily use them for an adult garden?

Of course, we always lay out the gardens in such a way that play opportunities can be reused, for example, a fire pit or a pond can later emerge from the sand play area.

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