Watch Miss. Tracy talk about landscaping on The Rhode Show here!
Here are some ideas to get you started:
• Natural play scape
• Adding elements
Natural components: are great to add to your landscape. Do you ever notice what a child does with an empty box? Take note of this. Children have more fun with logs just placed in areas, tree cookies where children can build structures, or jump from cookie to cookie. You can also make a tree t-pee. Plant green beans on each leg of tree branches that are placed like a t-pee, the green beans grow up the legs and children can sit inside and the best part eat the beans. Place giant tree stumps in the ground to help build as boarders and put sand in the middle for a sandbox.
You can also add plants, trees, edible gardens, rocks, and mud by adding some or all of these items it gives your child options for open/ended and spontaneity play. Your child will have options to connect with nature for little money. Most items are right in your back yard.
Adding Elements: add water to your landscape it so much fun. This can be child friendly and gives endless opportunities for play. You can build with PVC pipes with connectors and sand kids will play for hours.
You can add small man made ponds that will also grow plants for your children to explore. Water tables or buckets will have kids playing or hours. It depends on how big and how much you want to spend and add.
Planting: Gardening with children is a great way to involve your children. They can plant and watch the different vegetable’s grow, try out new things and add responsibility to care for something. You can also plant some great things around your yard. Flower gardens that give off great fragrance or plants that you can actually taste. Mint is a great one to plant but can take over your yard so be careful. Herbs can be in a garden or in pots along your windowsill. If space allows; plant small fruit trees, apple, pear, peach and plum are great trees that can be pruned to grow and stay small, keep in mind you need two to produce fruit. If space is an issue plant strawberries, blueberries, or grapes. These plants can be in pots and contained in a small area.
When planning on doing landscaping and keeping your children in mind, think of things that they can help with, build with, play and climb. Then sit back and enjoy what you and your family made together.
Resources: Simple Landscaping, Pinterest, Natures Landscapes and learning.
Tracy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Early Childhood education from the University of RI. Besides overseeing sites she has also managed successful fundraisers including golf tournaments, developed and given countless training sessions, and served on boards and committees. Tracy is currently one of the faces of The Children’s Workshop appearing on segments of “The Modern Parent” on Fox Providence’s morning television show, The Rhode Show. In her role, Tracy enjoys most supporting and helping the staff, families, and children she works with every day. When she is not working, she enjoys gardening, cooking, and spending time with her husband and children.