Warmer Spring weather brings to mind the long summer ahead. Restless kids who are out of school need an inviting place to work off some energy and keep parents sane. Children get much needed exercise, learn to appreciate nature, and develop social skills when they play outside. The Harvard Health Blog has 6 reasons children need to play outside listing even more benefits!

An inviting backyard with the right landscaping can provide a creative wonderland for your kids to explore. Careful planning will ensure that as your kids grow and change, your backyard can grow and change right along with them. Look beyond a designated play area and consider how you can maximize free play and creative expression without leaving home!

There is no need to have separate “adult” and “child” spaces if you get a bit creative. Loveyourlandscape.org has 13-Steps To A Kid-Friendly Garden Adults Will Love Too. Consider incorporating some of the features below:

  1. All Kinds of Paths

You do not have to have acres of space or be in a National Park to benefit from a nature walk. You can create paths through your backyard that will lead to hours of running, game-playing, and exploring. Consider a track that winds around a garden or leads to a play area. Use materials that stand up to feet, tires, and toys.

You can also built games right in to the path with mosaic tiles that are numbered or lettered to encourage learning. Consider installing “tunnels” over parts of the path or even some standing walls that can be art stations. Trellises along the path can turn in to mini-gardens that your children can help plant.

  • Inside Outside

Kids love hideouts! You can provide something as simple as a shaded corner of the yard or as elaborate as a treehouse. The possibilities are endless. Remember, a hideout does not have to look like one! Kids outgrow traditional playhouses and they often do not fit in with the rest of your landscaping. There are sophisticated alternatives that can remain a part of your backyard landscaping.

Open-slat walls with a roof and built-in benches can be anything from a playhouse to a shaded outdoor seating area with a simple change of accessories. A tee-pee can be a hide-away and a bean trellis. Shaded corners with semi-permanent walls can go from play area to party area with some strategic storage placement.

  • Sensory garden

Incorporate areas of landscaping that are hands-on. Encourage a love of gardening with a sensory garden that kids can help to plant, grow, and tend. Pick bright, low-maintenance plants for visual stimulation, different textured plants for touch, and easy growing herbs and vegetables for taste. Countryliving.com has the 15 Best Plants for Kids That Are Easy and Safe to Grow.

Make sure that one of those windy path leads to their little corner! Add benches, picnic tables, or even a gardening station that encourages them to spend time tending their own personal space. You also get the bonus of making healthy eating a habit.

  • Plan for Play Equipment

If part of your landscape redesign includes hardscaping, you can incorporate fun right in to the design. Step construction can incorporate a slide. Sandboxes can be included that can later be replaced with soil and plants. Climbing walls can be used for water features or trellises later on. You eliminate the need to buy, and then tear down, expensive play equipment.

You really can have the best of both worlds with the right landscaping! Your backyard can be a child’s adventure and an adult’s escape, making the whole family happy!  The Patera Landscaping team is ready to plan your family’s backyard adventure!

Contact us today!