Spending time together as a family is good for children of all ages, from toddlers to teens. Family time can be spent playing board games, going on outings, or simply digging in the garden together. Landscaping with your children can be a lot of fun. Teach a valuable lesson about natural science through first-hand experience, and ensure that your children get a chance to play in the dirt despite their savvy with electronic devices. Of course, parents who are active in the garden may not be sure how to get kids involved in landscaping and yard work. Fortunately, there are tons of ways kids can help with landscaping and gardening if you know where to start. We’d love to suggest ten rewarding projects that will not only help your children gain a love of growing things; but also make your garden feel more like a special place for your children. A place they have made for themselves.
Here are our ten favorite ways for kids to help with family yard work and landscape design.
1. Paint a Bird House or Bird Feeder
Placing a handpainted birdhouse or bird feeder in your yard is a great way to get your children involved. Even very small children can paint a pre-built birdhouse, while older children may delight in building their own birdhouses from a kit. You can also find dozens of bird feeder designs that can be handmade by kids of all ages, ranging from strings of cheerios to lego towers full of seeds.
2. Planting New Flowers and Vegetables
Most children love to get their hand’s dirty planting seeds and watching them grow. You can start with egg carton seedlings and bean sprouts in baggies, showing how easy it is to begin to grow green things. You can then plant your seedlings in a flower bed or outdoor planter to soak up sunlight and enjoy a few sprinkles of water each week. Children also enjoy planting little blooming flowers from the plant nursery, and gardening with children is the perfect answer to any gifted little potted plants as well.
3. Raking and Weeding Together
Even little children can enjoy the simple effort of raking leaves – whether or not you jump in them afterward. Raking together and putting on gloves to weed together can be a fun activity done with the family or a way to spend special time with the parent who does the yard work. Raking is a routine task, and you can also teach your children to keep their grassy lawn clean and free of rocks or sticks for safer outdoor play, as well.
4. Painting Rocks to Line the Flower Beds
If you’re looking for a landscaping project that changes the yard that you can do together, get your kids involved in lining the flower beds. Invite them to arrange the decorative rocks at the bed’s border or even to bust out the paints and hand-paint your garden a beautiful mural one rock at a time. The rocks might tell a story, show a flowing pattern, or each one might be a unique art project that you do together every weekend.
5. Making a Mosaic Bench Together
A mosaic bench is a special project that children might work on for years and sit on with fond memories for years to come. Start with a flat-topped concrete bench and a bucket of differently colored tile chips. Every time you have a few hours, sit down with a bowl of a mortar and lay the tiles together. Teens may take on doing this kind of project on their own, while young children may enjoy doing it with a parent or as a group when their best friends come over.
6. Hang a Swing
There is nothing more joyful than a child with their own backyard swing. Not the spindly aluminum framed kind you can get at the home improvement store, but the simple kind with two ropes and a board hanging from your backyard tree’s sturdiest overhanging branch. It doesn’t even need to be a flat branch. With two different lengths of rope, you can create a flat seat from an angled branch. You can also hang other things like basket chairs, swinging benches, and hammocks depending on the trees or good sturdy posts in your backyard.
7. Digging a Dry Creek
Many children love to dig. Many are handed a shovel and told to go dig a hole just to spend time outside, and they can have a great time doing it. Instead of digging randomly, choose projects that require digging and get your children involved. Digging a dry creek (which often disguises a French drain) can be a great project to share with your kids. Not only does a dry creek help manage yard drainage, but it is also a beautiful addition to your landscaping and may easily inspire many imaginary adventures in the map made of your back garden.
8. Turf Your Backyard Soccer Pitch for Landscaping
If you are fully re-landscaping your backyard and want to get your kids involved, invite them to help you lay the turf. Turf, also known as sod or grass, quickly adds soft, broad-leafed grassy expanses to your yard, which is perfect for children at play. If your children want a space to play soccer, play fetch with dogs, or frolic in the sprinklers, have them help you unroll that grass.
9. Make a Home for Gnomes and Fairies
If your children are whimsical, invite them to join you in making little doors, tiny wheelbarrows, and miniature garden spaces for gnomes and fairies. While indoor fairy gardens can be kept in a bowl, garden gnomes prefer to “live” outdoors, and adding little fairy-world details to your landscaping can delight both your children and surprise future guests.
10. Dig a Pond or Fire Pit
If your children love to dig, you might add a new pit feature to your landscaping. Digging a fire pit is easy to do. Your children may have fun lining it and picking out near-fire seating when it’s done. Digging a pond, however, is a special project for your little marine biologist. A pond must be prepared to become an entire mini-ecosystem. This can be a dream come true for some children and a wonderful project to share.
Landscaping as a Family with Quality Accents LLC
Landscaping is not just outdoor decorating or chores that need doing. It can be a fun way to come together as a family. For more landscaping ideas or to work with pro landscapers who can help you create a welcoming family space outdoors, contact us today.