Want to get your kids away from screens and devices for a little while? Then it’s time to turn your attention to the backyard.
It’s increasingly difficult to get kids away from the electronics and spending time outdoors where they can be physically active and enjoy nature. However, it’s a challenge every parent has to overcome. It’s no coincidence the childhood obesity rate has doubled in the last 30 years as video games, consoles, computers, and devices have risen in popularity.
It’s a lot easier to encourage kids to go outside and play when there are plenty of fun activities for them to enjoy. Even something as simple as an outdoor slide or ball will encourage them to get out more. It will take a little bit of money and sweat equity, but the rewards your children will gain are well worth it!
Add a Green Space
Pavers and decks can never replace grass. Kids love running barefoot and rolling around in the soft blades as they play. And if you have sports loving kids, grass is an absolute must for practicing at home.
The top priority is finding a grass species that can handle the weather in your area as well as the trampling of rambunctious kids. Kentucky bluegrass seed is a great option because of its density and ability to handle foot traffic. It’s so lush and resilient, it’s one of the most commonly used grasses for sports fields. Many homeowners also like that it can grow in the shade or full sunlight.
Create a Garden
Getting kids into gardening is much easier than most people realise. You’ve got to get your hands dirty, but kids seem to enjoy doing that. They also love getting to see all their hard work pay off.
Having a garden is like have a hands-on classroom in your backyard. Gardening teaches kids about photosynthesis and germination; it gives them a better appreciation for where their food comes from; and it allows them to contribute to the family meals in a unique way. It’s also a great way for parents and kids to bond with a shared activity.
Build a Tree House or Fort
Kids love having a space they can call their own. A backyard tree house or fort is their home away from home that they’ll want to spend time in whether they’re on their own or playing with friends.
Don’t worry if you’re not a handyman. There are lots of tree house and fort designs that are super simple to build. One of the quickest and easiest is a teepee. This clever bean pole teepee design can be constructed and ready for use in a single afternoon.
Of course, you can always buy a playhouse if you’re short on time or tools.
Set Up a Swing Set
Swing sets are a classic outdoor entertainment space for kids. It can be as simple as a tire swing or a massive wooden structure with ladders and a childrens slide. Which one you go with should be decided by two factors: what’s age-appropriate and which option is sized for your outdoor space.
The swing set doesn’t have to be large and fancy. As long as it’s designed for safe play your kids will get enjoyment out of swinging around.
Make a Covered Sandbox
One trip to the playground will tell you a sandbox offers kids endless entertainment that stretches their creativity. The best part is that sandboxes are easy to make and inexpensive.
The first step is deciding how large you want the sandbox to be. Next, gather your supplies. All you need is pressure treated 2×10 boards, pressure treated plywood and galvanized deck screws. Now follow these four steps to build your sandbox.
The final step is to decide how you’ll cover the sandbox when it isn’t being used. This is extremely important because neighborhood cats could find the sandbox and start using it as their personal bathroom. Covering the sandbox when you’re not outside will ensure your kids don’t get sick or an expected surprise from the local felines.
Playing outside is good for your kid’s health and provides many learning opportunities. Incorporate a few of these ideas in your backyard and the biggest problem you may have is getting them back inside for dinner and homework!