We have all been there before. We’re home tired from work and other activities but the children remain restless. Taking them to a park isn’t an option and someone needs to cook dinner. What to do? Enter the backyard: the only place children are free and safe enough to experience the outdoors without giving you extra gray hairs.
Children need a safe place to play, and while as parents we all try to relax about tidiness once toys become part of the decor, we all know children should be spending a minimum of three hours outside. That’s why creating an environment that is both safe and fun is essential in any family home.
If you always dreamed of getting this project together and making your backyard a place of wonder and discovery for the kiddos, check out the list below for fairly simple inspirations.
#1 Keep It Grassy
Having a large grassy area for running around, playing sports, and coming up with new things to do should be the heart of your project.
While children should be exposed to different toys and activities, having a blank slate where they can develop their imagination should also be part of the package.
For that to happen, there’s no need to go too fancy. After all, there will be a lot of running around. All you need is a patch of green, planted or laid out by yourself or an expert.
#2 Plant A Veggie Garden
Children like to get dirty. So why not give them a job while they are at it?
Growing up learning how to grow your own food is not just a joy but also that type of skill that will always be useful. Thankfully, you can plant a vegetable garden pretty much anywhere, whether you live in a small townhouse or a three-acre lot.
If your kids are starting to get an itch to help out, putting a small box in the backyard where you can all plant some veggies together could be the perfect extracurricular activity.
Cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, strawberries, you name it! There are a lot of items you can grow from seed to mature plants and children will have a great deal of fun while making that happen.
#3 Use Natural Elements To Create Play Spaces
Does your backyard have a large tree? Hang a swing! Do you have wood blocks just lying around? Set them up in a corner to create stepping blocks for the kiddoes to climb and run around. What about a hollowed tree trunk? Make it a fun tunnel or a hiding place! The possibilities are endless.
Whatever setting you have, if there’s a natural element you can use as a base for a playground, just do it. Keep it simple, natural, and safe, and you won’t have to worry about spending money on this project.
#4 Build A Tree Or A Traditional Play House
We might have not grown with one of these but we surely know someone who did.
Treehouses are the very heart of what a family-friendly backyard is all about. And by the same token, traditional playhouses play the same role, as a place where children can have some privacy while under the watchful eyes of their parents.
It is in this backyard space where children bond with their friends and siblings, and where they can boost their fine and gross motor skills as they climb and develop their own games. But most importantly, children will also be exposed to a balanced approach to risk by having a backyard treehouse or a playhouse. And by climbing on trees, kids learn important skills they will use for life.
#5 Keep It Cool With A Splash Pad
Splash pads come in a variety of shapes and sizes. And if you’re not into the idea of building a complicated one or having a professional install it, there are kits available in the market that allow for an easy-to-install pad that absorbs the water back through the pad, reusing it by sanitizing it with UV light and chlorine.
While these pads obviously aren’t really useful year-round in most states, they are a joy to have around during the hot summer days, and a great excuse to have your children’s friends over.