Across the UK, millions of children have recently headed back to school – but this doesn’t mean you should abandon involving your child in outdoor activities at home. Quite the contrary, in fact – with gardening experts at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) having told inews.co.uk that kids who spend their evenings and weekends in the garden tend to enjoy improved mental health as a result.
Yes, garden activities in which your kids indulge this autumn could certainly include gardening – like weeding, collecting seeds and playing with soil. However, even if your little ones don’t seem too keen on channelling Alan Titchmarsh, there are plenty of other things they could enjoyably do in your garden as the warmth of summer gives way to the more subdued mood of autumn.
True, you probably hadn’t previously thought of autumn as a good time for kids to take part in garden activities. However, you would’ve been guilty of a mistaken assumption – as, after all of the bustling activity that probably occurred in your home’s outdoor space over the summer, with ball games, BBQs and sunbathing aplenty, your garden may well need a bit (or lot!) of tidying up.
For your kids, doing that tidying up could be a lot more fun than they had originally anticipated. Besides, with the abundant sunshine of summer having since reduced to rays trickling through the leaves of the trees, sorting out the garden makes for a good activity to ensure your kids aren’t falling short of the vitamin D intake and levels of physical exercise recommended for them.
You don’t have to simply leave your kids to all of the autumn fun, either. Many of the best autumn activities for children are ones you could engage in alongside them – enabling you to bond with your kids as well as supervise them for their own safety. You can even start watching out for their safety before they set foot in your autumn garden and the crinkly brown leaves possibly littering it.
Ultimately, safeguarding your kids in the garden starts with paying attention to the security defences of the garden itself. Are your garden gates currently looking somewhat worn and rickety? Do these gates have gaps you could imagine your kids slipping through? If your honest, worried answer to questions like these is ‘yes’ then you should seriously consider having new garden gates fitted.
The best autumn activities for families
We mentioned leaves a little earlier, and your kids could benefit immensely from raking those up in your garden – especially as doing so would develop your kids’ gross motor skills and upper body strength. This additional strength and ability they gain from raking will ease their writing efforts later – who knew? Well, you know now, obviously.
In collecting those leaves, your kids can also help you with composting – as those leaves would be deemed ‘brown’ waste, which ought to comprise 50% to 75% of your compost. The remaining share should be ‘green’ waste, which generally means fresh plants. The RHS further details the process of composting, where waste materials are converted into organic matter for ecological purposes.
Once it’s autumn, it’s easy to assume that plant-growing season has come to a close – but, really, you don’t strictly have to rule out adding any plants to your garden in this slightly chillier season. There are many bulbs you could, with your kids’ help, plant in your garden this autumn before you harvest these edible plants the following spring and summer.
Nonetheless, there remain various plants that could be grown in the winter but would actually have to be sown in the spring or summer. Therefore, in preparation, your children could collect seeds in the garden – such as by collecting seeds from dried heads of flowers that have finished blooming.
As your kids do gather seeds, sort them into separate vessels – like plastic bags, paper envelopes or repurposed glass or plastic containers – and label them so that you will be able to see, at a glance, what type of seed each one contains. You could even leave your kids to create and design the labels themselves – in as quirky and creative a manner as you encourage!
While on the subject of creativity, your children could continue to indulge theirs by building a ‘bug hotel’. They could make this by stuffing a tyre with wood, sticks and straw or stuffing stacked pallets with garden debris on which bugs would be able to feed.
If certain parts of your garden could do with some stepping stones, making them could be an outdoor craft that you and your kids could enjoy getting stuck into. Large cake tins could serve as the ‘moulds’ into which you pour a thick mix of cement and water. Once that mixture has dried, decorate the stones with acrylic paint.
Keeping your garden safe with wooden gates
When it comes to bolstering your garden’s security, you shouldn’t overlook your garden gates – especially as these are intended to allow only particular people to access your garden. These people would include not only – obviously – you and your kids but also friends and relatives you might invite over to your house, perhaps even so that they can join you and your kids in garden activities.
Therefore, if any particular garden gate at your home currently looks somewhat worn, you could imbue your garden with additional security just by replacing this gate. However, while many people understandably opt to replace damaged gates with metal gates due to the material’s reputation for resilience, wooden garden gates can actually easily rival – or even surpass – metal gates for security.
One reason is that, when heavy-duty wood is used for outdoor gates, it can prove just as tough as metal gates. Another reason is that, in this context, wood is likely to look less conspicuous than metal. As most people choose wooden – rather than metal – fencing, selecting wood for gates can make them look more consistent with the home’s fencing.
It can also make the homes more visually consistent with other residential properties in the same neighbourhood. Consequently, in the eyes of potential intruders, your home and garden could somewhat blend into the background, making them less of an obvious target.
Sourcing your new wooden gates from the team here at Village Products would let you choose from a variety of styles, colours and finishes for those gates. All in all, we offer various garden products you could use to help keep you and your family safe while you are all in the garden.
Choosing the right garden gate for your home
You could even further boost the security benefits of wooden garden gates by being picky about the height, design and security features of those gates you order. Naturally, tall gates can be particularly desirable due to their ability to help prevent prying eyes from peeking into the garden.
It’s reassuring, then, that we offer wooden garden gates in heights of up to 4 feet and 6 inches – making it easier for you to source gates matching your existing garden fencing in height. The objective here would be to make sure as far as possible that, once fitted in your garden, these gates look integral to it rather than as though they were simply and hurriedly tagged on at a later point.
Still, if you are seeking a new gate specifically for the front of your home, you might need to be particularly careful with the gate’s height. This is partially because an overly tall front gate could look unsightly and enable thieves to hide behind it. Also, planning restrictions might apply to your front gate’s height if your property is adjacent to a highway or in a conservation area.
If your garden also has side gates, you should make sure these aren’t acting as a weak link through which intruders could too easily slip into the garden unnoticed. You can prevent this kind of thing from happening by keeping your garden’s side gates locked at all times and having new wooden side gates installed if the existing gates are looking more than worse for wear.
When ordering new garden gates from our team, you can expect these gates to prove weather-resistant through withstanding various weather conditions. However, for these gates to continue doing so, they would need to be periodically given the correct wood treatment. We stock base coat products with which you could achieve and maintain quality oak, mahogany and teak finishes.
You can also hand your wooden garden gates extra strength by equipping them with a variety of ironmongery fittings we have available. These include locks you should add to the top and bottom of the gate to help prevent it from being buckled and broken. We also offer bolts you could padlock on your gate to further protect your peace of mind.
As we are committed to ensuring high customer satisfaction with our garden gate solutions, it’s easy for you to learn more about these – which we offer right across the UK – if you phone us on 01925 387008 for a chat about your specific requirements.