One thing I absolutely love about this time of the year is using my imagination to transform our living space into the perfect festive setting. I usually do this indoors with our Christmas decorations, our tree and all the other festive touches that put us all in the mood for Christmas. This year however, I decided to do something different by creating a Christmas enchanted garden – an adventure that my children, especially my 2-year old daughter, would remember for a long time.
No matter the size of your garden, there are many different ways to encourage your children’s curiosity and sense of adventure. From creating a mini winter wonderland, to turning your outdoor space into a small campsite, you’ll find that a little bit of imagination can go a very long way. So get into the spirit and dress for the occasion – we are wearing Barbour’s gorgeous new Father Christmas collection, which is inspired by Raymond Brigg’s Father Christmas, available here.
Here are five simple steps to transform your garden into a festive adventure your little ones will absolutely love this Christmas.
1. Set the scene, and build on it
It all starts with a scene. I opted for the idea of an ‘enchanted garden’, which is reminiscent of enchanted forests children read about in their favourite tales. You could easily recreate a small village within the garden, with a little house and other homely elements. For our Christmas-themed village, we imagined a grotto and created one using a teepee tent. It did the job! A few Christmas decorations, my daughter’s toy reindeers for that authentic Christmas grotto look, a bag filled with presents, Christmas music playing in the background and there you have it: Santa’s grotto and a beautifully re-enacted winter wonderland!
2. Bring out the Christmas tree!
And by ‘bring out’, I mean, literally outside. Why have just one Christmas tree inside, when you can have a second one in the garden too? If this isn’t possible, find a corner of your garden, a small bush or a tree that you can decorate for the occasion, with baubles, lights and other festive details. This definitely helps set the scene.
3. Re-use everyday household items
By saving your tin cans, you can create wind chimes, which are a common accessory to have in a garden adventure; but to make it really Christmas-y, why not add a few baubles? Use some thread to hang the tins and baubles, and for a better look, choose a variety of colours. This is not only a great way to recycle and re-purpose everyday household items, it’s also a unique Christmas decor idea.
I brought out a couple of crates and cushions to create a cosy environment, and somewhere for the kids to sit on while they continue working on their arts and crafts, which leads me to my next point…
4. Use nature to create Christmas-themed art
Children love putting their stamp on their surroundings, especially through art. From painting, to sticking leaves on a canvas, or creating masks out of them… toddlers especially love using their hands to make things they can be proud of. Whenever you go out for walks in the woods, where paths are covered with crisp red autumn leaves, remember to pick up sticks, leaves and dried flowers… These can be used as art supplies and are a great way to incorporate nature into play.
5. Create a sensory haven
Ribbons, textures, playing with mud or with water are a great way to create sensory activities for your little ones. If you are lucky enough to have trees in your garden, allow your children to discover their sense of adventure by climbing them, and learning about them. To stay in line with our Christmas theme, I chose to add fair lights. This is definitely what turned the space into a real ‘enchanted garden’.
Whatever world you encourage your children to imagine themselves in, they’ll have fun experiencing it, no matter the size of your garden. So let your imagination run wild, and allow your children to explore nature, their creativity and sense of adventure. Christmas is the perfect time to experiment with new ideas!
AD – This post is a paid partnership with Barbour x House of Fraser.