With recent data from the CDC suggesting that kids spend over 2 hours a day on screens, and stressed out teens and adults complaining of school and work pressures, family life is under attack. While it would be lovely to simply escape to a tropical paradise together, that’s simply not realistic for the vast majority of families.
So how can you introduce some quality family time for everyone to enjoy? The answer may simply lie in your backyard. With a little creativity and imagination, your garden could be the perfect family space for you to reconnect and relax together. It’s even a project you can do as a team; after all, kids need a little dirt.
Help Your Family With Plant Power
Scientists have long held the belief that being outdoors boosts physical and mental health. If space allows, try to create different zones for different purposes within the garden. Choose colorful, vibrant plants for a sociable area that stimulates great conversation and family fun. Add some outdoor furniture facing inwards, to encourage chat and laughter.
The garden can also be an important place for rest and peace, so you could also create a more tranquil zone with calming scents such as lavender and jasmine. For a real wow factor, try a water feature: an outdoor mirror or wall fountain can be very relaxing. You could also put up fairy lights or position lanterns to create a warm glow as the evening arrives.
Encourage Play Outdoors
For younger children, having space to run around and kick a ball, garden tools or play with a water table can be the perfect antidote to school and screen time. A pot of colorful chalks to draw on stones is also an easy way to foster creativity without having too much mess to clear away. If you’re concerned that your older kids are stressed out, don’t underestimate the healing power of play for them too. Simple garden games like swingball can help them to unwind and switch off from the day’s worries.
Feed your family
The garden is a great place to enjoy informal, chatty mealtimes. Move the BBQ (or try a pizza oven) so that whoever’s cooking can be involved in the fun too. Barbecuing is also a nice easy way to offer up nourishing good food for everyone (think lean meats, grilled seafood, and veggie kebabs), helping you to take care of their physical health as well as their mental well-being.
With a little planning, the garden can be the perfect family-friendly space. Use it as a retreat for everyone, whatever their age. Thoughtful touches that incorporate your family’s unique interests and passions will make them feel really loved and valued, and surely that’s the family dream.