For young children there should be play features such as a sandpit, paddling pool, climbing rack, swing or Wendy house and, where possible, these should be grouped in a suitable area so that lawns are not battered by the thunder of tiny feet or herbaceous borders smashed and broken by flying balls.
Children in the family must certainly be catered for. They should feel that the garden belongs to them and is not merely a show place into which they are not allowed to trespass. On the other hand, they must learn to respect the plants you buy and tend.
Places most liked by children are the hidden areas – or supposedly hidden – where they can play “hide” games: the land that runs beside the hedge, the glen behind the border made shady and hidden from grown-up eyes, the areas under and behind trees, even the stout limbs of large trees. Play areas of mystery can be made so simply, merely by making a footway that enables you to walk (or run) round the whole perimeter of the garden. If the path winds, is hidden, turns occasionally into stepping stones or leads through a gate or over a tiny but safe bridge, so much the better.
A little piece of rising land can seem very high indeed to a small child. A flight of steps to the top where he can look out is ideal, and provides a definite right of way so that the rest of the hill does not become trodden down. I did this on my own peat hill for my son when he was small. Now I find the steps extremely useful for weeding and otherwise tending my plants.