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Family Garden Design Ideas

8 Garden Design Ideas For Your Family Garden

Family gardens are hard-working gardens, especially those that also have to accommodate the needs of small children.

Many outdoor toys and play structures not only take up a lot of space, but they’re also a nightmare for the eye. The good news is that there are a lot of fun children’s play elements that aren’t bright or garish and that you can work into even the smallest of family gardens in a subtle way that won’t ruin your garden design aesthetic.  

In this blog we share 8 FUN GARDEN DESIGN IDEAS FOR YOUR FAMILY GARDEN that will help entice the kids outside to enjoy your outdoor space.

These fun & easy family garden design ideas are perfect not just for young children but children of all ages, and they won’t ruin your garden aesthetic!

Family Garden Design Idea #1


When my children were young, I’d often pack their sammies and a few yummy snacks into a basket and send them out into the garden for a picnic lunch. All you need is a little space with a bit of lawn to pop down a picnic rug or add a cute kid-size picnic table. Under the dappled shade of a canopy tree is ideal.  

A garden design idea showing two young children in a lovely garden. They are sitting at a picnic table which is set on beautiful paving with landscaped gardens in the background

Family Garden Design Idea #2


Who doesn’t love the idea of a secret garden! Use trellis or screens to section off a little garden room or nook, so the ‘walls’ of your secret space are partially see-through and you can still keep an eye on your little ones. Make the access to the secret space via a narrow path that cuts through planting or create an entry with an archway or vine covered arbour. This makes the secret garden space feel mysterious and inviting, giving a feeling of transition as you journey from one space to the next through a ‘pinch point’.

Family Garden Design Idea #3


While younger children might not grasp the concept of chess or draughts, they’ll still have fun dragging oversized games pieces about from one paver square to the next.

Most hardware stores and landscaping yards have affordable concrete pavers in contrasting light and dark colours that are suitable to create a checkerboard patio with.

In the hard-working small garden space shown below, I placed the outdoor chess board on the view line of the dining room window, where it adds a sculptural touch. There are pickable veges and fragrant herbs in the raised garden behind, and the raised garden edge is at a height to provide littlies with a casual seating ledge between turns.

A garden design idea for a family garden showing an area of grey and white checkerboard paving that is used as an outdorr chess board. It is part of a herb garden and there are edible plants in the background of the image

Family Garden Design Idea #4


No matter how old we are, it’s hard to resist a swing. If you don’t have a suitable tree to hang a swing from, a simple wooden seat hung from a timber frame with natural coloured rope will integrate beautifully into most garden settings, as will hanging chairs.

Family Garden Design Idea #5


Hammocks can be picked up for a song these days and make great spots to read favourite books or indulge in all sorts of creative play. You don’t need two perfectly placed trees either, just pop in a couple of posts or fix hooks to a sturdy structure.

Family Garden Design Idea #6


Not everyone is blessed with a perfectly flat lawn. Before you fork out for expensive retaining, consider slightly recontouring your sloped areas to make fun grassy slopes for kids to roll down or create little mounded hills to conquer, climb or connect by bridges.

A garden design idea for a family garden showing a young boy doing a forward roll on a small grass mound in a childrens garden. There is a garden seat and a playhouse in the background.

Family Garden Design Idea #7


Blackboards make fantastic garden additions for children of all ages to create outdoor art on, or to use as outdoor easels.  Make your own from marine ply and blackboard paint. Fix one to the fence (or paint it directly onto a suitably smooth surface) outside their bedroom window, where they can create and enjoy their own ever-changing masterpieces.

Family Garden Design Idea #8


Use large pavers with resin bound pebbles in between to embed a hopscotch into a path area.  This can make a boring space like the path to the shed or the clothesline a little more fun, or place it near the vege garden and it’ll keep your little ones entertained as you potter.


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