How to Create a Whimsical, Kid-Friendly Garden

Posted April 30, 2022 by in Lifestyle
Girl smelling flowers

If you’re looking to get your kids involved in your backyard garden as an alternative to them spending hours in front of the television or tablet, you need to make sure the garden is kid-friendly! It’s important the kids feel welcome and at-home in the outdoor space. Here’s how to create a whimsical backyard garden area the kids are sure to love!

Child enjoying a whimsical garden

1. Pick a Theme!

Themes are great for kids. If they see pieces in an area they recognize, especially if it goes along with a favorite movie of theirs, they’ll be more likely to want to spend time there! Think colors, animals or even shapes. You want everything to work cohesively together to create a theme that exists throughout the entire outdoor space–from your chair cushions to your welcoming personalized garden flags.

2. Paint the Barn!

If you have a barn or detached garage at your home, paint it! The kids will love getting their hands dirty with the paint. You can create so many different patterns and designs on the outdoor structure. Challenge the kids to paint something out of a fairytale to really drive home the idea of a whimsical garden theme. You’ll be amazed at what their imaginations can come up with!

3. Recycle Things from Around the House

Have you ever seen a bathtub used as a planter? Maybe an old kitchen sink? Consider converting items in your home into planters! Instead of sending that old bicycle to the trash, set it up against some hedges in the backyard and plant some flowers in the basket! You can also use growlers or other jugs to plant flowers. 

4. Use Landscaping to Your Advantage

The landscaping in your backyard can go a long way toward making your outdoor space kid-friendly. Consider adding some tall hedges to create a small maze, perfect for the kids to play in! It can also be fun for adults, too. You can even host a haunted maze during Halloween season and watch flowers bloom on it during the spring. Use unique garden stones to create a whimsical pathway to and from your home, lining the edges of bushes or your fence line. 

5. Create Focal Points

If you’re new to design or DIY, you might have heard the term “focal point,” but not actually know what it means. Focal points are pieces of decor or layouts of furniture that draw your eye to a certain point. When you create focal points in your backyard, the kids will then be drawn to that area. Make sure your focal point is in a safe, secure area that’s also kid-friendly! Use old watering cans, gardening tools or even panes of stained glass windows to create your focal point outside. 

6. Make the Mismatched Cohesive

One of the ways that gardens can feel whimsical includes using mismatched pieces. By incorporating mismatched pieces into your backyard garden, you can create a whimsical space that the kids will love to play in! You can use a variety of objects when planning this out–old wooden wheels, rusted metal shovels or anything else that can add texture to your plants, shrubs or flowers. 

7. Browse the Flea Markets

Flea markets tend to have unique, out-of-the-box pieces that create whimsical vibes just by looking at them. From shiny mirrors to bright lights, you can find everything you need to create a fun, whimsical garden area that the kids will love. They also tend to have unique furniture pieces, so browse through the tents at your local flea market to stock up on rugs, chairs, tables and other outdoor furniture that will create that fairytale atmosphere in your outdoor space.

8. Get the Right Lighting

Lighting really creates ambiance in every space. The type of lighting you have can influence how people feel in your space. Warmer, yellow tones can make people feel more relaxed, whereas bright, white light can make people more focused. Overall, an abundance of natural light tends to be best for our eyes and our brains. When planning your outdoor space, you want to make sure you craft the landscape in a way that gives you a plethora of natural light. The way the plants and greenery will play on shadows or streaks of light can really enhance the whimsical feel of your garden. At nighttime, you should consider stringing LED battery- or solar-powered fairy lights to create a unique effect throughout your garden. You can also add glowing glass bulbs along the walkways to illuminate paths through the yard. The kids will love to spend time outside in the garden at night!

9. Add Statues or Gnomes

Statues and gnomes can add another layer of whimsy to your garden. Folklore surrounding statues extends all the way back to ancient Greece, where Medusa would turn anyone to stone who looked directly into her eyes. Gnomes also have some interesting folklore, including protecting treasures hidden underground! Before putting any statues or gnomes in your garden, research the folklore relevant to them, or create stories of your own. Tell them to your children after you place the statues in the garden. The kids will find the stories interesting! You can also find statues or gnomes for each holiday or season, and switching them out from time to time will really drive home the idea that the features are alive.

10. Create Sound with Wind Chimes

Historically, wind chimes were used to promote peace, showcase wealth and protect homes from evil. Nowadays, many people hang wind chimes to create different melodies from the wind. You can find wind chimes in many different colors, materials and styles. Chimes made from different materials will make different types of sounds. For example, a bamboo set of wind chimes will make a deeper, more hollow sound than metal chimes. Incorporate different types of wind chimes throughout your garden to make it feel even more whimsical! You can even look into creating your own wind chimes and get the kids involved. Use the wind chimes to teach them about sound and music, too!

wind chime hanging from tree in garden

Do you have a garden? Let us know in the comments below!

Read more: