Dragging your kids away from their gaming consoles, TVs and phone screens can be quite a challenge. They undoubtedly need to spend more time outdoors in the fresh air, and you need to make sure they have enough fun outside they won’t sneak in and get to the first screen while your back is turned. With this in mind, here are 10 amazing tips on how to make your backyard a child-friendly, safe fun-zone.
Above all else, the kids should be safe. Make sure that your yard is fenced – you don’t want your children going out without your permission, and you most certainly don’t want anyone coming in. That way you’ll be able to keep all the temptations out of sight, especially if you have kids too young to fully understand the consequences of such behavior. Speaking of consequences, fencing your yard doesn’t mean you’re done with safety rules. Adjust the rules to your child’s age and make sure they understand them.
Include Your Kids in Some Healthy Gardening
Wondering how to get your kids to eat more vegetables? Help them grow some of their own. An organic veggie patch will teach them lots about nature, how to eat well, and where their food comes from. Choose some easy-to-grow vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots, beets and watch your kids gain a sense of responsibility and satisfaction while tending to their very own pesticide-free garden.
Install a Backyard Playset
Not only will this kind of equipment provide a much-needed place for your children to exercise, it is also a place which will help their social, emotional and cognitive development. The internet is just brimming with ideas when it comes to swings, slides and playhouses. You can purchase one of course, or you can make one yourself. Either way, check it regularly and make sure it’s safe.
Who can resist a good old-fashioned treehouse? Many of them feature accessories such as a climbing wall or a zip-line. The kids have their own space and they get precious exercise while spending time outside. The treehouse business has much evolved these days, and you can get breathtaking luxurious structures for your kids. However, the true appeal of a treehouse is in its simplicity and in involving your kids in the building process.
Kids rarely seem to get tired of playing in the sand. There is an irresistible appeal in getting dirty and dusty while being creative that adults seem to have forgotten. Building a sandbox is a great, inexpensive option for your children to develop their creativity while building forts and digging holes. If you want to take it a step further, shade your sand so you can let the kiddies play in the hot, summer afternoons carefree.
Find yourself a tire big enough and you’ve found a dozen possibilities to make your kids want to stay outdoors. They can double as a sandbox, or be used as swings, but if you really want to make your children exercise, stick them halfway into the ground. They can climb them, jump over them, go through them, you name it. But before you place them in the yard have a little fun designing them yourself. That way you’ll have a cheerful, cheap, rain-resistant and healthy DIY playset.
Install a Splash Pad
If you don’t have a pool, and even if you do, a splash pad is never a bad idea. It is a safe, low-cost, recreational, zero-depth water attraction and undeniably a fast-growing trend. With multiple spray jets, and/or above spray features, they provide a much-needed refuge from the scorching heat and it need not be exclusively for kids – you can sneak in a splash as well!
Safeguard Your Pool
The pool is one of the most dangerous areas for children, especially if they’re under five. Installing an (at least) four feet tall fence around the entire pool will surely provide you with that much-needed piece of mind. Installing a pool alarm is also a good idea, since it will alert you whenever someone enters the water or the pool gate. A local pool safety specialist will be more than happy to give you advice on what might be the best solution for you. You should also clean your pool regularly for the kid’s health safety.
Trampolines are great fun, but can also cause serious injuries. While it would make a great addition to your backyard fun-park, you need to be very careful with this one. Set some ground rules for trampoline use, such as that only one jumper is allowed at a time and that supervision is obligatory. It wouldn’t hurt to have those written down as well.
If you’re going to lure your kids outside with all these amazing and fun ideas, provide some shade. That way they can stay out for longer periods of time. Of course, it won’t hurt to put some sunblock on them now and again, but you can rest easy knowing they can enjoy the summer all day long.
And there you have it. Roll up those sleeves and get ready for a fun backyard family summer.