How to create a Zen den for you children to relax in this summer – words Alexa Wang
With the summer holidays fast approaching, it’s the perfect time to put the finishing touches to your garden.
By creating a Zen den where your kids can relax between bouts of play, they’ll be able to enjoy the best of the great British weather this year.
If you like the sound of creating a Zen den for your kids to relax in this summer, simply follow the tips we’ve listed below.
Clear a spot in the shade
If you want to create a calming spot where your little one can catch a breather in the garden, the first step is to clear a space. Zen garden design is all about “less is more”, and the best way to achieve this is by starting with a blank slate and building up from there.
The ideal spot for a Zen den is a space big enough for your little ones to lounge around in and also offers them a bit of privacy. If a spot on your lawn fits this bill it’s a big bonus, as it will help your children to get comfy.
While the summer sun is a great source of vitamin D for your kids, you should be careful to protect them from sunburn, which can not only lead to a lot of short-term pain, but also increase their risk of skin cancer. In its guide to sun safety for children, the NHS recommends that you encourage your kids to stick to the shade, especially between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its strongest.
Setting up your kids’ Zen den in a shady spot will help encourage this without you having to nag them. It’s therefore a good idea to choose a spot in the shade of a tree, building, or fence if you can. If nowhere in your garden fits this bill, you can create your own shade using one of the freestanding parasols from Wyevale Garden Centres.
Pick the right plants
Once you’ve cleared a space for your Zen den, it’s time to think about plants. It’s important to keep your children’s preferences in mind when you’re doing this. For example, if your kids are fascinated by creepy crawlies, fill the area with plants from the RHS’s Perfect for Pollinators list to attract plenty of wildlife. It can also be a good idea to set up a bug hotel, which is as easy as following the steps in the RSPB’s guide to building a bug hotel.
If your little ones run a mile when they hear the buzz of a bee, it’s a good idea to go for non-flowering plants instead, such as ferns and ornamental grasses. These will also offer some great cover and really make your kids feel like they’ve got a space of their own, while still keeping them visible so you can keep an eye on them.
If they show an active interest in the plants, bring them along to the garden centre and let them pick out a plant to look after in their Zen den. Sunflowers are great for this, as they’re easy to grow and look spectacular when fully grown — just follow Gardeners’ World’s guide to growing sunflowers from seed for great results.
Put the den in garden
Once you’ve chosen the perfect spot for a Zen den and spruced up the borders, it’s time to make it cosy for your kids. Pick up a few picnic blankets and outdoor cushions so they can make a comfy nest when they fancy a break. If you’ve got the room, your kids are sure to love their very own tent too — the Adventuridge Tipi Tent from Aldi looks cool and will give your little ones plenty of room to relax in style.
Follow these simple steps to create the perfect space for your kids to relax in this summer. Just try not to be too jealous of their personal Zen den once it’s finished!