A backyard garden is a fantastic place for kids to learn, play and explore. It’s easy for you, as providing it’s enclosed (and they’re old enough) you can let them have some free time without having to supervise them. Here’s why kids should be getting outside into the fresh air more, and what you need to do to help them improve their skills!
How To Get Kids Outside And Playing
Making the garden safe
First things first, if your kids are going to be spending time outside then you’ll want to make sure it’s safe and secure. Have a fencing contractor put up sturdy, tall fences around the perimeter of your backyard. Fit a padlock to the back gate, so that no one is able to just walk in.
If you have any pools or ponds, these will need to be covered over or fenced off to avoid drowning. It might sound a little overprotective. Unfortunately, thousands of children around the world die from drowning in ponds and home pools every year. You’ll want to make sure things like tools and equipment are safely locked up in a shed.
Also make sure that there are no tripping hazards, sharp rocks or anything else that could pose a threat. Something to bear in mind when you’ll be having kids playing in the garden is that some plants can be highly poisonous. Do your research with any existing plants. Before putting anything new in the backyard, do a quick search. Kids don’t necessarily need to eat these things directly. Just picking them and then putting their hands in their mouth could be enough to cause a toxic reaction.
Teaching them new skills
There are plenty of skills that you can pick up from the garden, both from a homeschooling and just a general learning perspective. Purchase a greenhouse, and propagate seedlings together, nurturing them until they turn into full-sized plants and crops. You could go on a mini-beast hunt as a way to learn about wildlife, insects, and animals in the garden.
You could teach kids about fertilizing the lawn. And which chemicals are responsible for root or leaf growth. It can teach them everything from scientific concepts to patience to being organized. They can even play make believe and make up their own games, teaching creativity and teamwork.
Encouraging physical activity
Finally, getting kids outside in any capacity will mean they’re up and moving around. It’s a chance for them to run around and burn off steam, use up energy and keep their muscles strong. We’re in the midst of an obesity epidemic and kids aren’t immune. Making sure they get enough exercise can help to combat this.
On sunny days, it’s a chance to soak up some vitamin D too! You could put out some games, a football, skipping rope and frisbee to get them running around. Even play equipment like slides and seesaws all burn calories, and you can find pieces for all different sizes of gardens.
Do your kids enjoy playing in the back garden? What kinds of skills have you taught your kids from the backyard?