As promised, today I will tell you why the Children’s Garden at the Denver Botanic Gardens is so special. The Children’s Garden at the DBG, a rooftop garden across the street from the main garden, was quite a surprise. Most chidren’s gardens are designed primarily to entertain rather than educate. I believe that the goals at the DBG are reversed.
The primary focus of this garden is providing opportunities to experience the plant life as it changes from season to season in the six different ecosystems of Colorado.
These experiences are meant to be fun so parents are encouraged to dress their children in clothes that can get dirty or wet. The garden invites children into these varying spaces without blatantly being a place to play; the play features are subtly integrated into these spaces. They can dig in the dirt, splash in a stream,
explore a “cave”,
swing in cloth swings that are unlike any of the swing sets we usually find in a homeowner’s backyard or on a playground,
or have a picnic at child-sized tables and chairs.
Children are encouraged to touch plants to experience their different textures.
If you are visiting Denver, be sure to visit the Denver Botanic Garden and plan on spending the day. In fact, perhaps you should just plan a visit to Denver.