Child-friendly garden ideas: how to prepare your garden for a children's party

If kids are visiting your garden, don’t forget pond safety and other hazards. Here’s some advice.

Updated

child's party with balloons in the garden

Key steps

  • Make sure all the children stay in the garden at all times
  • Fence off ponds and dangerous plants
  • Make sure they’ll have a soft landing if they fall from anything climbable
  • No degree of preparation can make things completely safe, so always supervise

It’s great for kids to get out into the fresh air, and a birthday party is the perfect time for it – but taking on the safety of other parents’ children is a big responsibility. Here are some child-friendly garden ideas to make sure everything goes safely and smoothly.

If you have pets, check whether any guests have allergies or fears. Fear of dogs is common among children, so it might be best to keep Fido out of the garden.

Garden ideas for kids: general safety tips

  • If you’re looking for toddler garden ideas, the most crucial one is ‘keep the toddler in your garden’. Are your hedges or walls secure? If there’s a gate, can it be locked? You don’t want any kids to get out into the road.
  • You’ve probably told your own children which plants in your garden can be eaten and which can’t, but visiting children may not know, and the party could grind to a terrible halt if someone eats daphne berries or foxglove. Installing temporary mesh fencing around flower beds for the party can prevent kids from eating things they shouldn’t, and has the added bonus of protecting the plants if a stray ball comes their way.
  • Look out for tripping and choking hazards. It’s easy for a foot to catch on uneven paving, for example, and small children may try to eat gravel. Make sure there’s no gardening equipment lying around.
  • Children love to climb trees. If you have a tree in your garden, take look at it and consider whether children could hurt themselves if they fell from it. If there are any trees you don’t want kids to get into, lop off the lower branches. If a tree is climbable, remove any rocks underneath it and cut back branches that stretch out over ponds or hard surfaces.
  • Supervise at all times! No matter how prepared you are with garden ideas for kids, you can’t always predict what children will do. Keeping an eye on them will let you step in if things go awry. If you don’t have enough adults in your household to supervise the party, ask the parents of the visiting children whether any of them can volunteer to help.

Pond child safety

If you have a garden pond, safety is a big concern. Your own children may be able to swim, but there’s no guarantee that your guests will be able to, and even children who can swim can get into difficulty trying to help others.

  • Installing a fence around the pond will help to prevent children from falling in. Make sure the fence isn’t too climbable, and don’t install it at the very edge of the water. If a child does climb over and falls into a pool, it’ll be easier for them to get out if there’s a space of level ground.
  • Consider installing wire mesh over the top of a pond for child safety. If you’d prefer not to have visible mesh over the water, you can arrange to have a safety grid installed slightly below the surface.
  • Even with garden pond safety measures in place, make sure children don’t play unsupervised around the pond. Fences can be climbed, and some kids might try to see whether they can get under the mesh. No matter how well you prepare, children will always find unexpected way to break through your plans. The best way to ensure their safety is to keep an eye on them.

With these child-friendly garden ideas, you should be able to make sure everything goes smoothly, and you and the kids will have a great day to look back on. Now you've got the safety measures in place, it's time for the fun stuff: check out our best ideas for decorating your garden for a party here!

Originally published