Whether you already have children or you plan on having one or more in the future, you will want to ensure that your landscape design takes into account safety and fun for your kids. Because if you think about it, you will be spending a lot of time as a family outdoors. Of course, you, your spouse, and your guests will also utilize your outdoor space quite often, so you also want it to function well for adults. A kid-friendly landscape design ensures that your kids will enjoy your backyard from the time they are toddlers through their teens. And when your kids grow up and leave the nest, you are left with a landscape that you and the other adults in your life can enjoy.
Safety Is A Priority
Every parent knows just how important it is to have a safe home, inside and outside. There are plenty of additions that will help make your landscape safer, including a fence around any water features you might have. While it is evident that you would want to keep children from getting near a pool, water features, even small ones, pose a threat for toddlers and need to be secure.
A kid-friendly landscape includes plants that are not poisonous and do not have sharp thorns. This means that you should avoid such plants as foxglove and lilies. And if you do want to grow roses in your garden, find a species that doesn’t have huge thorns. If you must have thorny or other dangerous plants, make sure that children cannot access them by fencing them in.
It’s a given that your kids will want to go outside and play, so you need to consider safe play surfaces. Grass is an excellent play surface; it’s soft, not slippery when dry, and relatively easy to maintain. But there are other options, including playground mulch, artificial turf, and pea gravel. And while concrete and other hard surfaces are great for skateboarding and roller skating, you don’t really want these hard surfaces under playground equipment or swing sets.
Design An Inviting Outdoor Living Space
Shade is Important
Living in Northern Colorado, you know just how hot it can get outside in the summer months. And while we see very few days of triple-digit temperatures, any prolonged exposure to the heat can be very unhealthy and dangerous, especially for kids. For this reason, your outdoor space must have at least a couple of sources of shade.
Shady areas are easy enough to incorporate into your yard. For example, you can have trees planted in your outdoor space. But there are other options as well. Shade can also be accomplished with a pergola, pavilion, or other landscape structure. Even a large umbrella on your patio will offer shade for your children.
If you have kids or are planning on having them at some point, it’s a good idea to incorporate a couple of play areas into your landscape. A kid-friendly backyard will include places where kids can play, eat, or just hang out. You will find that when you go outside to grill or hang out, your kids will often tag along and enjoy the fresh air. And while you are flipping burgers or reading your book, your kids can be enjoying their activities in areas designated for them. These play areas can include play structures, like a swing set or monkey bars, or that can include a picnic table or other outdoor furniture where your kids can sit.
If you are serious about having a kid-friendly yard, you might even consider having a treehouse or playhouse built. Unless you are very handy with tools, it is probably best to have a professional build this structure. Either way, a treehouse or playhouse is a feature that kids of all ages will thoroughly enjoy.
Storage is a Consideration
There are any number of items that you could stow away in an outdoor storage structure. Sure, it’s a great place to store your lawnmower and other gardening tools, but it is also an excellent place to store the toys and other objects your kids play with and otherwise utilize while outside. And while you can certainly go to your home improvement center and buy a shed, there are better ways to incorporate storage in your outdoor space. A professionally built shed can be made to match other parts of your landscape.
Have a discussion with your landscape designer about ways in which your landscape can be kid-friendly. Working with a landscape designer that thinks ahead will ensure a kid-friendly landscape that both children and adults will enjoy. Don’t hesitate to contact us today and see what we can do for you.