If, like us, you have young children in your family and want to make your Somers, NY backyard a more child-friendly area, then this article is for you. Here we’ve put together some ideas of how to better create a landscape with your child/children in mind, while still providing space for the grownups as well.
Soft rolling hills
Hard angles and sharp edges are definitely something you become acutely aware of when you become a parent. Why not reduce these in your landscape and provide the gentle flow and nurturing environment of low hills and valleys throughout your backyard. These fluid undulations can lead the eye, redirect foot traffic and stimulate the young imaginative minds of children while they play, run and roll around on the lawn. The soft curves of slopes are also less hazardous than the sharp drop-offs of retaining walls and hardscape elements. Although you need not remove all of your hardscaping, introducing meandering lines and organic swells will help you find a balance between accommodating play areas and aesthetic.
Enclosed play area
One way of attaining a distinction between play areas and the rest of the landscape is to enclose the play area entirely. Low walls or fencing are ideal here and can ensure that children are able to have fun in a controlled area. This area can include a full home playground, complete with slide, sandbox, monkey bars and trampoline. The addition of a boundary to a play area will also reduce the number of balls that are lost to the neighbors' dogs and keep your plants protected from runaway pushbikes.
Raised deck or patio for supervision
Part of the challenge of being a parent is finding a balance between supervision and interference, - letting them have fun without being overprotective while still ensuring safety. There’s also the balance of an adult social life to take into account when raising children. A place where children can play in full view of the grownups while they socialize can go a long way in ensuring this balance. A raised deck or patio can give a watchful parent the height advantage for a clear line of sight, while still staying out of the way. This will also provide children with easy access to the grownups’ attention when it’s needed.
There’s something about the vibrancy of flowing water that captures a child’s imagination. A shallow waterfall feature alone can provide hours of entertainment for a young child, serving the function of a watercourse for leafboat racing, a make-believe fishing stream, or simply a place to dip their hands. Granted, a young child should always be supervised around water features, but a waterfall feature remains an excellent backyard addition for an enquiring young mind.
What better way to teach your children about the joys of nature than by growing and sharing fruit harvested from the trees in your backyard. Fruit trees can be enclosed together in order to keep them protected from wildlife, or can be dispersed among the other plants in your yard. The important thing is that they’re there to provide the perfect teaching tools and nutritious snacks.