It is a wonderful thing to imagine and create a garden that will stimulate the mind of a child and encourage outdoor activity and enjoyment for them. It doesn’t take a large space to do this, and in fact a hidden or overlooked corner of the backyard is sometimes the best space for children.
What are the elements to include in their personal playground? A child-sized structure that will be by turns be a fortress, a dollhouse, a hideaway, or a location for a tea party and a clubhouse. Remember to make it small enough that the kids know it was made just for them, as you don’t really fit through the doorway! Add some sand or pea gravel just made for digging and making a track for teeny tiny cars and trucks to travel along. A blackboard and chalk for drawing can form part of a fence or screen. A slide if you have room, a couple of rocks to climb on if you don’t.
Plant some shrubs or flowers that are enjoyable for kids to taste, touch and smell; such as strawberries or thornless blackberries that they can pick and eat. Fuzzy leaved lambs ears, and rhubarb with leaves than can be hats or plates, and stems that will make their mouths pucker up when they eat them. Plant a cherry tomato plant, a couple of potatoes to be dug up in the fall, carrots and radishes, and some lettuce, and they will learn about growing food as well.
Give them a pint sized table and chairs to add to their little corner. Give them buckets, so they can add water to play with and cool off on a warm summer day. Find some cheery and fun elements like metal butterflies on sticks, gaily coloured flags and perhaps a fairy or frog sculpture for hiding under a shrub; and you have the perfect recipe for a place for the children to use their imagination to create endless adventures and fun times all summer long.