Designing a garden for kids presents a unique challenge because these are different from many adult gardens. Children need a space that allows for play as well as work. Gardening is a rewarding and educational experience for children. They will learn firsthand how plants grow, and learn the importance of regular care and attention in their pursuits.
Brainstorm ideas for your outdoor space. Listen to all of the children’s ideas and look for ways to incorporate them. While some suggestions might be more grandiose than is practical, you might still be able to find ways to use them on a smaller scale. If your child wants an elaborate water feature that your space cannot accommodate, consider various fountains that you might be able to work in instead.
Draw a diagram of your garden space to scale on grid paper with each square of the grid representing 1 square foot of space. Designate areas for plants, paths and decorations. Keep in mind that your paths will need to be closer together for children than for adults because kids have a shorter reach.
Create whimsical spaces to foster imaginative play. A cove surrounded by tall sunflowers or an arbor covered with vines can form a creative fort for outdoor play within the garden space.
Assign a plot of land to each child in a multichild family to give each one his or her own personal space in which to work. Use picketed signs with the kids’ names to mark their areas.
Select flowers and vegetables for the garden. Focus on varieties that can be used for various crafts and other projects. Gourds are ideal for birdhouses and pumpkins are a favorite for jack-o'-lanterns. Berry bushes are great for kids because kids can pick and snack on the juicy berries. Tasty vegetables can be incorporated into lunch and dinner dishes, demonstrating some of the greatest benefits of caring for a garden. Many flowers will attract beautiful birds and butterflies to the garden as well.