When the sun is shining, there’s nothing more liberating than spending time in your backyard. If you have kids, you’ll want to encourage them to explore, create, or build, while you relax–or get involved too!
It can be difficult coming up with new ideas to ensure everyone has a good time, but if you’re seeking inspiration you’ve come to the right place. Here are some fun ideas for making your backyard more fun:
Create a summer stage with no-sew theater curtains! Encourage kids to unlock their creative side by setting up a realistic acting platform they can cherish. All you’ll need is 6 yards of red burlap, clip-on curtain rings, and a clothesline. Cut the fabric into two 3-yard-long pieces before folding 12 inches down one end of each piece of burlap. Clip curtain rings equally spaced apart to the folded edge using approximately seven rings per curtain, before threading the rings onto your line. Rig the line between two trees, and utilize the clips so the curtains are easy to take up and put down. With their very own pop-up theater, kids can experiment with acting and perhaps hone skills that will one day make them famous!
Set Up a Trampoline
Trampolines are great fun for the whole family and can be enjoyed on multiple levels. Whether you’re keen on mastering new tricks, or relish the concept of bouncing around soaking in rays, a trampoline can fulfill multiple purposes. They’re great for kids too, but remember to use trampoline anchors to ensure your trampoline is properly weighted down for safety reasons. An added bonus is that trampolines provide deceivingly good exercise, affording you the luxury of getting a good workout and enjoying a leisurely activity simultaneously!
With a path full of cut logs, you can create a balance challenge which simulates walking a tightrope in an easier fashion. To obtain the cut logs necessary you can contact your local tree trimmer, who might be willing to donate scraps. Otherwise, you can cut logs of varying heights from 2” to 10”, spacing the stumps far apart so participants have to decipher their path to the finish. This introduces an element of conscious thought, and if adults fancy having a go, too, move the logs slightly further apart for a more challenging experience!
What could be better for little builders than a gravel play area for their toy trucks? Create a 4-by-5-foot pit using 50lb bags of pea gravel, combined with larger stones and wood for the play area. For finishing touches you can add wood planks for ramps, and severed tree branches and sticks for building. This is like a sandbox, but less messy!
You won’t know whether your kids have artistic flair unless you give them an opportunity to express themselves, and with their very own outdoor easel they can produce a work of art. A plus-sized chalkboard is a great easel, and creating your own chalkboard paint is advisable because it’s better than store bought. Mix two tablespoons of unsanded tile grout with a cup of exterior latex enamel paint, stirring one cup at a time until it’s properly blended. Next you should add two coats of paint to a piece of plywood, which is used as a backdrop to support your finished drawing station. Remember to position your chalkboard at head height, and let your kids go to work!
Keeping an Eye on Your Kids
If you’re a careful parent, you probably keep a close eye on your kids, even when they’re home, to make sure that they aren’t hurt, misbehaving, or in an unsafe situation. But you also have chores you may need to do inside, or perhaps your kids like feeling “independent” and unsupervised. If you need to be inside while your kiddos are outdoors, you might set up a baby camera that gives you a view of what’s going on. You could easily install custom and ready made blinds that you can angle for perfect viewing. Leave the window cracked, so you can always at least hear what’s going on–and if it’s a nice enough day for the kids to be outside, it will be a good day to air out the house!