Save - spend life happy

spend life happy

SaveHome & Family How to Make Your Garden More Kid and Pet Friendly

How to Make Your Garden More Kid and Pet Friendly

Get your pets and children outdoors with these kid-friendly garden ideas. These tips will inspire the whole family, from playful spaces to edible gardens.

How to Make Your Garden More Kid and Pet Friendly

Imagination, fun nooks, and thought-out greenery will transform your outside space into a kid and pet-friendly zone. Here playtime will run as wild as a labrador after a tennis ball. Whether your child has told you they're bored for the 100th time or your Jack Russel bounces off the walls, these pet and kid-friendly garden ideas will inspire the whole family.

First, let's discuss a few ground rules:

  • It may look pretty, but your prized pink dahlias might have to take a back seat, or they'll end up being destroyed.
  • No area in your yard should be considered "out of bounds." Your children and furbabies will make sure to transgress those boundaries, so there should be complete freedom in this space. 
  • Manicured is over-rated, and perfection is unrealistic, so let your yard become a safe and inspiring space so that the two and four-legged wildlings can develop their sense of adventure. 
  • Put aside your serious, post-modern, minimalist proposals and let creativity and simple solutions get the golden star. 

Must-haves for the perfect garden for your kids (furry or otherwise):

Greenery for running, playing, and bouncing

Whether it's artificial and shaded or natural and sunny, grass in your yard is a must! Balls need space to bounce and roll, and if the outdoors encourage activity, your energetic hound and boundless offspring will spend more time enjoying the area. 

Artificial turf can get incredibly overheated in direct sunlight, but it is easy to maintain. If you would prefer to kick back on a Saturday, consider finding ways to add shading and enjoy that artificial lawn. Fake grass is also easy to spray down and clean when it's time to pick up your dog's landmines.

If you're happy to get behind the mower, soft grass is a beautiful asset to your pet and kid-friendly garden.

Fun spaces that spark imagination

Spaces to climb and levels to hide are a must in a kid-friendly backyard. Various levels break up a space, allowing your child or pet to venture up and down to their heart's content. Consider these options:

  • Treehouses are suitable for older kids who can hide, play and plot from their lookout. 
  • Slides can take them from a higher grassy area to a sensory garden below.
  • Swings, hammocks, or tree ropes encourage physical movement. Bedtime will be a breeze when they've rid themselves of energy.
  • Stepping stones or blackboard walls add an area for creativity. When the rain washes their art away, they can start over with fresh ideas.
  • A mud kitchen is terrific for little ones who like to make mud pies and floral, scented concoctions.
  • Climbing walls are great for older children and are easy to incorporate into any unused wall space or slope.
  • Tunnels are perfect for hide-and-seek and getting everyone down on all fours. 
  • Consider smaller interactive play items that you or your kids can move around from time to time. Playthings that can flow between the indoors and outdoors are practical and versatile. 
  • Various stacking steps or planks can transform a space or be used as boundary lines for forts. Or imagine your children balancing from one rock to the next, playing The Floor is Lava.

Plants - sensory, edible, and appealing!

Garden to plate is your philosophy here. Spend time planting all sorts of vegetables and herbs - even those your children don't usually eat. It's a beautiful, nurturing, and bonding opportunity for your family. A vegetable garden also allows you to incorporate daily chores, like watering the garden and pulling weeds. 

By creating an edible garden corner, your children can forage while they play - snacking on seasonal tomatoes or berries as they roam around the yard. Your edible garden can create a sensory adventure - it smells good, looks good, and tastes incredible.

When the time comes for the evening barbeque, equip your kids with a basket and let them pick herbs and salad greens. As they see these beautiful greens growing from seed, they might even be excited to eat them!

Some tips to keep your edible garden thriving:

  • Make sure the things you plant are safe for pets. Visit the Pet Poison Helpline to familiarize yourself with foods, pesticides, and plants that are toxic to animals. Familiar foods to avoid include garlic, onion, apricots, chives, and grapes. 
  • Keep fertilizers, poisons, and pesticides in a secure shed, out of reach of your children and furry friends. Opt for natural or pet-friendly alternatives where possible. 
  • Fence off the veggie patch to be safe from balls, tackling bodies, and wheels. 
  • Conder a shade cloth for sensitive plants to safeguard them from birds, pets, or hungry babes and beasts.
  • An "edible" defense curtain can create a beautiful divider between kid-turf and mom or dad's domain. A passion fruit creeper grows rapidly and can aesthetically separate the spaces.

Fun pathways or racetracks

Bikes and scooters can provide hours of fun. If you have a good amount of outdoor space, consider a simple single-flow bike-track around the perimeter of your kid-friendly yard. The track can include an uphill climb over a small ramp, a sharp turn around a tree, ducking under the treehouse, and past the kitchen window for drive-through refreshments.

Your bouncy pup can enjoy a perimeter walk and sniff and will love the pathway you've created for them. Keep the ground natural, allowing for a real trail-running or mountain-bike experience. Softer turf is better for inevitable falls rather than concrete paving. 

A backyard that sparks joy and life!

Keeping your yard as natural as possible with a little bit of planned chaos will encourage your children and pets to engage with and learn from nature. You can create a pet and kid-friendly backyard filled with laughter, exploration, and learning. But it can also be a place that can feed your family - both their stomachs and their inventiveness and development.

We encourage you to put away the ruler and T-square and have fun with your family. Create a pet and kid-friendly backyard that will make Dr. Seuss proud, one that grows their minds and transforms with the seasons.