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Tag: outdoors

Reasons Why Women in Business Should Invest in a She Shed

Reasons Why Women in Business Should Invest in a She Shed

 

*This is a collaborative post. 

 

Ever since I began working for myself, I’ve dreamt of the ideal work space. Somewhere that I can go to build my dreams, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. As a mother of two young children, getting away from things all together isn’t always easy, which is why I choose to work from home. There are ways to get the space you need when working from home though, even if you don’t have that much space. The She Shed is the perfect way to create a work space, without having to leave the home or the family.

A Female only Haven –

The thing I love most about the She Shed idea is that is allows female entrepreneurs the free rein on creating their very own inspirational work space. I know from experience that sharing the dining room table to work sucks the flair out of what I’m trying to produce. Having a space to spread out and to let your ideas flow makes the world of difference when you have a project on the go.

If your job means you have a lot of equipment to store, a She Shed offers the ideal place to keep all of your things in one place. No more putting things away when your thoughts are mid flow and no more running out of drawer space in the house! Don’t worry about keeping your equipment safe either, you can get secure sheds from GBC group that will give you peace of mind.

Escape Room –

She Sheds don’t just have to be used for work purposes. They are also a great to create an area of ideal for rest and relaxation. We all have moments where we feel like we need to escape and a so a this is the ideal way to get away from it all, without actually having to leave where you live. She Sheds can be decorated and furnished to individual tastes, it’s amazing what can be achieved with a lick of paint and a few cushions!

Having time out from work is essential to make sure that we work to our full potential. Whether you sit in your shed and read your favourite book, practice a little crafting or even taking the time to do nothing at all. This is valuable time that will allow your mind and body to relax, giving you the motivation and the energy to achieve more when you get back to work.

It might seem a little extravagant to invest in a She Shed, but it’s certainly an investment that you won’t regret making. Every women in business should have a She Shed of their own, to love and enjoy spending time in. It’s amazing what can be achieved from inside the garden shed!

 

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Life Hacks – The Camping with Kids Edition

Life Hacks – The Camping with Kids Edition

*This post was written in collaboration with SimplyHike.co.uk.

 

Over the past couple of weeks, Hubs and I have set ourselves up with the ultimate camping kit. I decided on a whim that taking the kids camping would be a brilliant idea and still think it will be. In my rush to head off out into the wild though, I failed to fully consider just what camping with kids would entail. I’m a woman of routine and I do like my home comforts. In my haste to get our kit together, it didn’t occur to me that I would need all the tips I could get to make camping with kids as fun as possible!

 

Getting the right family tent –

After a little research, we decided that to make the whole experience as comfortable as possible then we would need to invest in the right tent. It would need to be big enough to fit in everything but the kitchen sink! It would also need to have a high waterproof rating and be strong enough to stand up to bad weather if we needed it too. With all of this in mind, we opted for the Coleman Mosedale 5 family tent. It has a huge living area, as well as two blackout bedrooms and we’re sure it’s the ideal home for our travels!

Coleman is a make that has been around for some time too. I’m always checking reviews on items before I buy them and this was no different. The reviews for the Mosedale 5 are really great, so many people said they’d made some amazing family memories in this tent and we want to be a part of that too. The best thing about this tent is that it’s so reasonably priced, perfect for families who need to get the whole camping set up without breaking the bank.

 

 

Getting the right equipment –

As well as the right tent, to make camping as family friendly as possible, I think it’s so important to get the right equipment. I did a little research through Simply Hike and I was gob smacked by how much high-tech camping equipment there is out there. We’ve invested in stoves, lanterns and so much more to make our tent a home from home. My absolute favourite piece of kit though is our cooler. It’s the ideal companion for any camping trip, perfect for keeping food and milk fresh all the time we’re away. We’ve even taken it on road trips, it’s ideal to keep drinks cool when you’re out on hot days!

 

 

Life hacks –

As much as having the right equipment makes for the perfect trip, there are many more hacks that you need to know if you’re going camping with kids. So to make your lives easier, as well as my own, I put it to my fellow bloggers to come up with the ultimate list of life hacks, the camping with kids edition!

Here’s what they had to say;

Sarah from Boo, Roo and Tigger Too: ‘Get shoe covers or old shower caps to pop over shoes as they come in and out of the tent to save getting mud/wet everywhere. As taking shoes on and off can be a pain, especially if you are the one who has to help each time’.

Nisbah from Five Adventurers: ‘Always set up the tent first at home before you go for the actual first camp! I have seen lots of families struggle with this. Always have loads of treats for camp fires.’

Janet from Falcondale Life: ‘We always buy a packet of glow sticks and use them as nightlights. We hang the big chunky ones inside the bedrooms. Outside we stick some garden solar lights in the ground so that there is no tripping over on the way to the loo in the dark.’

Louise from Pink Pear Bear: ‘Pack outfits rolled together (including pants and socks) so you can just grab an outfit for each child without having to rummage through the whole case. So much easier to just grab a roll and pass it to them to get themselves dressed knowing everything they need is there!’

Jennifer from My Mummy’s Pennies: ‘Take plenty of bin bags! They are super useful! Use them for muddy clothes or to put wellies on in the tent, even for sitting on wet grass.’

Claire from Wild Mama and Her Tribe: ‘Try a practice camp in the garden or locally to get used to the ‘its cold’ it’s dark’ ‘there’s a spider in my sleeping bag’ ‘it’s too lumpy’ ‘why are there no light switches’ – it’s a sanity saver.’

Fiona from A Mum Track Mind: ‘Camping with babies and toddlers can be hard work but what babies and toddlers are hard work full stop. They are also free-spirited, wild at heart and fascinated by the world around them, which are qualities that sadly we often lose as we get older. It’s best to switch your thinking from over-anxious parenting to a slightly more care-free style of parenting and let it go a bit. Rules, bedtimes and nagging can resume when you get home.’

 

A huge thankyou to all who made this post possible!

 

 

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Transform Your Garden with Decorative Gravel

Transform Your Garden with Decorative Gravel

It can be so difficult to keep up with gardening when you’re a parent; sometimes our garden tends to get overlooked when we’re busy with the girls and keeping the house organised. However, the garden can be such a lovely space for the whole family to enjoy, so it’s great to get things sorted before the summer months come along. Luckily, in many ways gravel and other aggregates can really jazz up the garden and make it easier to maintain too!

Whether you’re looking for understated Cotswold gravel or gorgeous plum slate chippings, Gravel4You is a huge decorative aggregates supplier with a range of bulk bags on offer. I’ve teamed up with them to give you some great ideas on what you can achieve with gravel in your garden:

Using Decorative Aggregates in Your Garden

Gravel isn’t just for mulching (though it is useful for this and many other practical applications!) There are plenty of ways you can use decorative aggregates to transform your garden space. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Pathways

Decorative aggregates can help you update your garden with magical winding paths, making your outdoor space great for a stroll or for enticing children’s imaginations to run wild as they run around. Using a mixture of gravel and stepping stones creates a lovely path for children to play on. Good decorative aggregates for paths include pea gravel and golden flint gravel (anything smaller than 10mm may get stuck underfoot!)

Gravel Gardens

Looking for relaxation in your garden? Creating a gravel garden with a variety of chippings and stones can provide even the smallest gardens with a peaceful space to maintain and enjoy, as well as the perfect environment for low-maintenance, hardy Mediterranean plants.

Cosy Fire Pits

Another great way to use gravel in the garden is for creating a fire pit where you can relax by the fire on long evenings. You’ll need plenty of gravel to surround the pit and for drainage in the pit – plonk some chairs around the pit and you’re set for cosy outdoor relaxation! Of course, this will require supervision when the kids are about.

Getting the Kids into the Garden

In the age of screen entertainment, sometimes it can be a struggle to get kids outside to play and enjoy the fresh air – this goes for adults too! I love anything that encourages my girls to get outside and exploring. Gravel4You have that covered too – their play-safe range of bark chippings and play pit sand are great additions to the garden for children’s areas.

 

 

*This is a collaborative post.

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Child-Friendly Lawn Care and Garden Tips For Your Home

Child-Friendly Lawn Care and Garden Tips For Your Home

When it comes to thinking of things to do that are cheap and accessible with the children, playing and planting in the garden is a great choice. Even though we don’t have the biggest outdoor space in the world, it is enough for us to get some fresh air, teach the kids about nature and seasons and for both us adults and children to relax. I like to spend a little time each year planning out my lawn care and gardening ideas, to make sure that we get everything out of our garden that we can! I’ve put together some ideas to create a lovely and safe garden (no matter what your space limits!) that will suit both kids and grown-ups. 

 

 

Safety First!

My number one priority is keeping the garden a safe space for my children to explore in. It’s so important to be able to let them run around without that worry that they’ll hurt themselves. A fence is a great first step in child-proofing your garden, to make sure they don’t escape whilst you aren’t looking! If you’re considering a pond, I would probably advise against it. Not only are ponds costly and require a lot of maintenance, they are a risk to smaller children and older, unsupervised kids. A great alternative is a solar-panelled water feature, which will give you that water element and most children find them really entertaining to look at! High steps also present a potential danger, so if you can, try and level them out or reduce the height of any steps. 

Grow Their Minds

Gardens are a fantastic place to teach your kids the amazing things that happen in nature. In our garden, we have a small planted area for them to experiment with. You can plant tulip bulbs from early October, so that they flower in the Spring, or get veggies on the go (pro-tip: Autumn is great for planting rhubarb!) This will teach children the responsibility of caring for plants and it will give all the family fresh vegetables and flowers to enjoy! 

A sensory area is another great stimulation for growing minds. Why not build in wooden boxes filled with pebbles, sand, bark chips or other materials for them to get their hands in. 

Lawn Care and Plant Tips

The lawn is the centrepiece of any garden, and for a family it’s great to have a flat, healthy and open lawn. I find it best to avoid any large trees or bushes in the centre of the lawn, as that can block your view of the children playing in the garden. Having a lush, green lawn is something for us grown-ups to enjoy and makes a beautiful setting for BBQs or entertaining friends. When it comes to lawn care, choosing fertilisers and a care plan can be complicated and costly. Hiring professionals to look after your lawn care can save you time and money. Greensleeves’ treatments are child-friendly, so you can rest assured that your kiddies aren’t picking up any nasty chemicals!

Welcome Nature

Your garden can also help you do your bit for the environment. You can find loads of easy guides online to make home-made bird feeders, which will keep those little hands busy and your garden birds happy. I know my children get really excited when they see birds snacking on the feeders that we’ve made together. I’ve also noticed a few guides on building hedgehog houses and planting wild flowers that attract bugs and wildlife, but we might not quite be at that craft level just yet! 

 

 

*This is a collaborative post.

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Tips for Taking a Baby Outside on a Windy Day

Tips for Taking a Baby Outside on a Windy Day

Autumn is only just around the corner now, meaning that the temperatures are going to drop soon and we are likely to encounter some very blustery days. When it comes to taking your newborn baby outside in these conditions, it’s important that you dress them up right so that they are comfortable for the entire trip. Here’s some aspects to consider:

Don’t believe that the wind causes ear infections

Let’s first get a common myth out of the way — having a baby out in the wind will not result in them getting an ear infection.

This is because the location of an ear infection is found behind the ear drum and way back in the inner ear. Therefore, external exposure like wind or even water will not affect this area.

Instead, the risk factors to bear in mind is their age (ear infections are prominent in children aged between six months and two years old), family history, exposure to smoke and to a small effect, the use of a dummy.

Remember that if you’re cold, your baby will be colder

Now that we have that myth out of the way, it’s time to cover some facts. First of all, it’s totally fine to head outside with your baby right away if you’d like to. However, many paediatricians advise that you keep newborns away from crowded places due to germs being prevalent in such locations. It’s best to delay that trip to a shopping centre, supermarket or a restaurant with your baby by a few months then!

Furthermore, Ed Glasser, M.D., F.A.A.P., clinical associate professor of paediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver, has pointed out to Fit Pregnancy And Baby: “Infants lose about 50 per cent of their heat from their heads.”

Add to this the fact that babies will cool down a lot quicker than adults, as well as the point that it is more difficult for them to generate heat once they have lost it, and the need to protect them when it’s cold outside becomes very important.

Some general rules of thumb to bear in mind is to dress your baby in one more layer than you’re going to be wearing when venturing outside, ensure they are wearing both thermal and waterproof layers to protect them from the weather elements, and checking that their fingers, toes, ears, nose and chin are all covered but that they can still breathe easily.

It’s best to only plan on being outside for short periods of time with your baby when it’s cold and windy, as well as heading inside as soon as your newborn looks uncomfortable and you’re unable to shield them from the blustery conditions.

The effects of windy weather on a baby’s skin

Cold and dry air can cause issues to your baby’s tender skin, as the conditions run the risk of sapping precious moisture and leaving their rosy cheeks feeling leathery and wind-burned.

Hands and feet are particularly prime target areas when there’s a chill in the air, so protect their fingers with a snug pair of mittens and ensure their feet are nice and snug by enhancing your buggy, pram or pushchair with some Cosytoes.

A couple of top tips to consider is to change your infant’s mittens or socks if they get wet, with a fresh pair to avoid skin becoming irritated and applying some baby moisturising cream as soon as you spot any of your baby’s skin which looks or feels dry.

 

*This is a collaborative post.

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Make Your Garden More Private with These Top Tips!

Make Your Garden More Private with These Top Tips!

Are you getting tired of the neighbors looking into your garden whenever you are enjoying a bit of relaxation in the afternoon? Perhaps you don’t have the problem of nosey neighbors, but your garden is located in such a place that makes it feel like you don’t have any privacy at all? If this sounds familiar, don’t fret, as we have some top tips to help you bring some privacy to your outdoor area.

Put a fence up – Let’s start with the most obvious tip of them all, putting a fence up. A fence can give your garden a more polished appearance while also enabling you to benefit from more privacy. There are many different styles of fences on the market, and if there is only one part of your garden that makes you feel exposed, you may want to consider a chain link fence in the yard. This is a good option because it is a transparent fence, ensuring the sun still comes through. You can simply plant climbing plants up the fence at the part you want to be covered, adding beauty and giving you the privacy you need without making your garden feel dark and too enclosed.

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Put up a pergola – Create your very own outdoor living room with a pergola. This is an investment that is definitely worth making. You can create your very own private destination within the garden for those sparkly summer evenings. This is a great way to add the wow factor to your garden while also creating a space for barbecues and entertaining friends.

Hang drapes – This is an elegant garden addition that will also give you the privacy you are aiming for. By strategically placing swaths of fabric over your outdoor area you can create a breezy coastal vibe and lots more privacy. This is also a budget friendly solution, especially if you already have an arbor or patio.

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Grow a hedge – If you are looking for a natural solution to your privacy problems, why not plant a hedge? This may take a little bit more effort, but it will be worth it in the end. When choosing the right type of plant for your garden, make sure you consider the important factors, i.e. how often it needs to be pruned and watered, what type of light it requires, and how high it will grow. Classic choices for hedges include the likes or privet and boxwood. However, flowering bushes like laurel and rhododendron are beautiful and they can grow up to eight-feet tall.

Make a potted screen – A final suggestion for adding more privacy to your garden is to create a potted screen. Almost every type of plant can be grown in a pot, and this is a much more flexible solution than some of the options mentioned above, making it an excellent solution for rental accommodation. For maximum privacy, plant varieties of fruit trees, tall grasses, and bamboo.

If you use one of the five suggestions that have been mentioned above, you can make sure your garden looks beautiful while also benefitting from the added privacy you need.  

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What Makes A Garden Worth Spending Family Time In?

What Makes A Garden Worth Spending Family Time In?

The sun is shining outside and many are lamenting the fact that they don’t have any private outdoor space of their own to enjoy the weather in. However, you don’t have to suffer like them. If you have the space you could create a garden that the whole family can enjoy. Not just for the summer, but for the whole year. So, what makes a garden space that works for the whole family?

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A Garden that’s Tended to

First of all, you have to be comfortable with actually being out in the garden. A garden that is crawling with weeds and growing outside of its boundaries is not fit to be a family garden. Even if you’re not going all-out with landscaping and creating beautiful flower displays, you should have a schedule that allows you to take care of the garden and keep it from being an eyesore without too much effort. Privacy is another major factor of a garden you can be comfortable with. Tall fences or bushes don’t only let you and the family enjoy the garden without peering eyes. They can be good for offering shaded areas too.

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A Garden that has some Actual Usable Space

Sure, you might be just fine with spending some time lying on the grass or just sitting on the back step. If you want to socialise and enjoy the occasional meal outside however, you need space that’s liveable. Stone patios are more permanent and require a little less maintenance, but decking can be cheaper especially if you’re willing to do the DIY which isn’t hard. Good living space is about more than function, consider selections like rattan garden furniture from www.oakita.co.uk that can make the space comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. Treat the outdoor family space as another part of the house, with all the same focus on décor and comfort. If you do, you’ll be inclined to spend a lot more time in it.

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A Garden Fit for all Seasons

Of course, to spend time in your garden you have to be able to stick whatever the weather’s throwing at you. You might be outside to enjoy some sunshine, but when the weather is not so warm sitting outside can be uncomfortable. Outdoor heating from places like https://www.heat-outdoors.co.uk/ can help keep a garden pleasant and useable throughout Autumn and Winter. Otherwise, throughout the rest of the year the garden can be forgotten.

The garden has to be safe and comfortable and it has to have space that’s fit for  family use. Most importantly, it has to be useable the whole year around. The garden can be one of the most important ‘rooms’ of the house, if you get it right!

 

*This is a collaborative post.

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Make Your Garden a Perfect Place for Your Kids

Make Your Garden a Perfect Place for Your Kids

After a few months in hiding (during a season where it was supposed to be out in full view!), the sun is starting to really make its presence known. It’s about this time that parents start to turn more of their attention to the garden. Not just for their own pleasure, of course, but as an outdoor area for their kids to enjoy.

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We want to ensure our kids get out more often, right? Well, what better way to encourage this that to ensure they have a fun area to explore and play in just beyond the back door of their home? Making sure your yard is a child-friendly and fun as possible is definitely one of the best ways to get them running around, exercising both their muscles and their imaginations.

So how do we make a garden that’s perfect for kids? Here are some of the ways you can do it without breaking the bank in the process.

 

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Make it Neat and Safe

One of the key elements on any area in which children are going to be spending substantial amounts of time? Safety. If you want kids to be as safe as possible, then you need to ensure that the garden is devoid of as much danger as possible. Of course, it also has to be kept neat; after all, long, unkempt grass could be hiding a variety of dangers. You can make sure its kept mown, or even check out the ultimate guide to artificial grass if you think this would make things simpler. This could be a great solution if you don’t have much grass in the garden, as grass helps encourage play and keeps the ground cushioned!

As for safety measures, there are more than you might have thought. You should avoid water features, especially if your children are very young. The plants you have in your garden also matter, as some of them are dangerous. Speaking about plants…

 

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Get a vegetable garden going

One of the best ways to get your kids really invested in the garden is to grow vegetables together. (Sure, you could grow fruits instead, but they tend to take quite a bit longer!)

You may think that children wouldn’t be that much interested in exercising their green fingers. They may even balk at the idea if you present it to them! But why not bring them along as you get started and explain how much good this can do. Children will be more interested in growing things than you might think. Seeing the eventual reward on their dinner plate will definitely help them appreciate this area of the garden much more, and it may even teach them important life skills!

Add play facilities

When people think of play facilities in their garden, they may think of things that are very elaborate and expensive. But it really needn’t be! Instead of getting a swing set, consider building a swing from a branch available in the garden. (Even if you don’t have a branch, swing sets aren’t quite as expensive as people think!) Having soccer goals and basketball hoops in the garden also help promote exercise, though you’ll need to ensure balls don’t go into your neighbour’s gardens!

 

*This is a collaborative post.

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Camping with Kids: A How to Guide

Camping with Kids: A How to Guide

Since having children our holidays have changed dramatically. Long gone are the luxury hotels, city breaks and spa’s.  Welcomed are the outdoors, camping and four pairs of wellies! Now don’t get me wrong, I love camping. It’s the perfect holiday for our girls to get to know the outdoors and to explore. So this week I’ve partnered with Halfords, to bring you The Tale of Mummyhood guide to camping with littles!

Now I must admit, as a family we ‘re generally fair weather campers.  You won’t catch us  crashing in a tent mid-Winter. Having said that, there’s just something about being so close to nature, leaving the hustle and bustle of every day life behind and enjoying quality time as a family.  Our most recent trip saw us in the north of England.  It was the first time our girls had been on the beach, paddled in the sea and ate fish and chips from the paper!

 


Whilst camping with the littles can be great fun, it can also be a real challenge. Staying in the great outdoors means that a lot of luxuries are left behind, being prepared is key to making your trip a success. With our holiday fresh in my mind I thought I’d share with you a few little life hacks, to make camping with children as easy as possible!

Find a site with the facilities you need –

We all know that camping is about getting back to basics, but sometimes we need a few little niceties to make our lives easier.  Not all sites have showers and toilets for example, so it’s always good to do your research before you book.

Write a list in advance –

My husband is a huge lover lists, he even has an app to keep them in order!  I must admit though, a list can be a game changer when holidaying with kids.  There’s so much you have to remember, from clothes to sterilisers and sleeping bags to toys. The last thing you need is to arrive at your destination, only to have to head back out for things you may have forgotten.  Save yourself, write a list and tick things off as you pack!

Have a tent test run –

Picture this: it’s late, you’ve been on the road for hours, the kids are hungry and tired and you still have to wrestle to get your accommodation up before night falls.  Sound like a nightmare?  In that case, a tent test run could be your saviour. Having a system in place means that you’ll be settled and enjoying your holiday in no time, rather than asking your fellow campers for an extra pair of hands!

Pack for every eventuality  –

Even if it’s given sunshine all week, pack for all weathers.  British weather is notorious for changing and there’s nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable whilst you’re trying to enjoy yourself.

Take in-car chargers for your devices –

Now I know we shouldn’t need devices in the great outdoors, but the fact is sometimes we just need to be connected.  Whether it be your mobile or the kids tablets, running out of juice is no fun!

Make sure you take enough entertainment for the kids –

Whether they like to ride their bike, play football, or play with their favourite toys. Make sure you have enough choice to keep them entertained. It’s nice for adults to have a little down time on holiday and making sure the kids are occupied may just give you five minutes peace.

Take a parasol –

Often tents are pitched in open space and if you are lucky enough to see the sunshine it can become too much for children.  Taking a parasol means that they can still enjoy playing outside, whilst staying safe from the sun’s rays.

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Here’s hoping that these tips and tricks make your holiday even better, organisation definitely makes for happy campers!

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Great Ideas For A Child Friendly Garden

Great Ideas For A Child Friendly Garden

With the Summer holidays on the way, your children will be away from school and looking for something to do in the warm weather. Getting out in the garden is a great time for playing and being at one with nature.  Your garden will need to be both safe and practical for your children, as well as fun!

Here are some useful ideas for making your garden a child friendly place.

A Place of Safety

If your children are old enough to play safely outside without you constantly looking over their shoulders, the area needs to be safe. You are probably going to have a few scuffed knees over the holiday season, so you don’t need to wrap your children up in cotton wool. However, there are simple ways you can make your garden a safe place to be.

 

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Secure the fence and gates. Especially if you have very young children, you don’t want them squeezing through gaps in the fence or getting out of an unlocked gate. Especially if you live in a well populated area.

Be aware of any water you have in your garden, from a trough to a pond. Children can drown in only a few inches of water, so if you do have a pond buy barriers to prevent them from falling in.
If your kids have play equipment outside, ensure you have soft landing mats beneath. Grass may be soft to touch, but is harder to land on after a fall.

Every garden needs a few plants scattered around, but some can be toxic to both touch and taste. When you buy new plants they are often labelled for safety, so take heed of any warnings. Not all berries are safe either, so remove any from bushes to avoid your children having a nibble.

A Place to Flourish

Being outdoors is educational for any child and while there are things you don’t want them to touch, there’s no harm in them exploring the wildlife and plant life within. They may get mucky but that’s all part of the fun for kids, so let them discover the wonders a garden can bring.

You can create great bonding opportunities with your children when you spend time in the garden together. You can teach them valuable lessons about nature and wildlife, whilst having fun doing it. For example, growing your own fruit and vegetables can be a wonderful shared experience. Whatever the size of your garden, make a plot, where you and your children can plant seeds and watch them grow together. Children are notoriously fussy eaters so it may make the greens on their plate more exciting to eat, if they’ve spent time growing them. If you have a small garden, 4×4 greenhouses are a great place to grow tropical fruits such as apricots, peaches, and nectarines.

You could set up a birdhouse with a water and feeding area. Encouraging your children to replenish the water and food every day, will teach them how to care about other living things

Whatever you do this summer, make it a memorable and fun time for all of you!

 

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