Kids love to play outside, and it is healthy for them to do so. They are also quite curious about their surroundings and like to touch, smell, and often taste things. It is very important to have a yard that is landscaped with non-toxic plants, soft grass, and fun play stations. Let’s look at a few ways to create a yard that your kids will be excited to play in.
Non-Toxic Plants That Kids Love
Kids love bright, intriguing things, and that includes vivid flowers, berries, and plants with colorful leaves. They love smelling and touching plants with soft leaves or fuzzy flowers. A good choice for a kid-friendly yard is a chenille plant—also known as a red-hot cattail—due to its long fuzzy red flowers. Consider planting allium for tall stalks and bright purple tops. Feather grasses are fun to stroke, and common mullein has fuzzy leaves that feel like puppy ears. Colorful flowers like snapdragons and sunflowers will delight your children’s senses.
Plants to Avoid
Because children love to touch, smell, and taste, it is important to avoid plants that could harm them. Certainly, avoid purchasing plants that have pokey objects, such as cactus, thistle plants, and roses. While roses entice kids with their alluring scent, they have nasty thorns that could hurt your little one. Steer clear of plants that have thorns and berries, like holly and scarlet firethorn.
Some plants are quite poisonous and toxic and should never be planted in the garden. Never plant poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. The oils on their stems and leaves can leave a serious rash on the body. Some flowers are toxic as well, including lantanas and lily of the valley. Avoid shrubs and trees that drop heavy items, like pinecones, horse chestnuts, and acorns.
Go Chemical Free
Stay away from using fertilizers with chemicals in them. Learn how to concoct a nutrient-packed compost pile so you can make compost tea to feed your plants. This tea is good for feeding soft grass lawns, such as those with buffalograss and fine fescue. Another great source of natural fertilizers come from worm castings. The soil from a worm bed is rich in nutrients that will make your plants thrive. Plus, the kids will love playing with the worms.
Make the Yard Fun!
Children love to play in yards when there are entertaining things to do. You can create a secret hideaway hidden behind shrubs and flowers. Create a sandbox with shade overhead. Add a chalkboard wall so kids can explore their inner artist while drawing on the board. Put up some backyard tents and play some oversized board games on the lawn, like Twister or checkers. Build a splash pad so the kids can keep cool during the summer months.
Energy Efficient Landscaping and Lighting
It is very important to have a well-lit yard. Use energy-efficient lights such as LEDs. Decorative string lights look festive while using very little energy. When landscaping for energy efficiency, you can reduce your energy bills by adding shade trees to cool your home. Make sure to keep brush and debris away from your HVAC system so that it runs smoothly.
In addition to the above-mentioned tips, create your landscape design with your children’s tastes and personalities in mind. If you do so, your kids will love to play all day, and their tablets and videogames will be kept at bay.