Most of our garden areas are child friendly. We have a few vegetables planted in our front yard and Otto (3yrs) has his own little patch for digging and a pot for strawberries. Recently Otto planted a small herb garden and I could see how much he enjoyed tending to it.
Over the last couple of weeks, we decided to provide another gardening area for Otto that was child-centered and entirely his own. Previously his gardening tools were piled up in our garage and this space allows us to have all of his garden tools together and organised.
The thing about children's spaces is we want for the child to have ownership over the area. The child is more likely to have ownership over the area if they've had genuine input into its development. And why wouldn't we want the child to help? Creating the space is just as a worthy experience as using the space.
This is a small unattended space in our backyard that we can easily see and supervise. It's not fussy. I'm still thinking about putting down some pavers here but the mud and the child's direct contact with the earth are important to consider.
The side of the shed provides some protection and also a surface for some fun magnets and hooks for hanging tools.
The space works perfectly. We put in a new raised planter. Otto was keen to fill it. Shovelling and moving soil is an activity that requires a lot of concentration and strength!
A place for everything.
There are opportunities for planting and later harvesting. The colours and textures of the plants in the planter are lovely, we have planted sorrel and rainbow silverbeet.
A space for nurturing.
A child accessible water source. We don't have a tap or a hose down this end of our garden so a large container works well. We used a similar container any years ago on our balcony in Brisbane and the kids find it much easier than running inside and filling their watering cans or buckets.
The wheelbarrow gets used much more in this area. Before it was in our garage collecting dust. Otto loves using it when there is dirt or rocks to move or branches to pick up. This is a reminder for me of how empowering real child-size tools can be.
I hope you've enjoyed this little tour!
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