Most kids don't spend nearly enough time outside as they should.
It's hard to get your children into the backyard if there's nothing for them to do out there. But creating a fun and engaging backyard space doesn't take a lot of work.
We've put together our favorite kid-friendly backyard ideas to help inspire you.
So let's get started!
Check Your Backyard for Hazards (And Do It Often)
Before you can let your kids loose in the backyard, you should give the yard a walk-through and check for any potential hazards. If you're not sure what to look for, you should start by doing these three things.
Secure the Fence
Make sure there is a fence around your entire backyard. You should also check the fence for broken boards or child-sized gaps. If your children can fit through the fence or easily climb over it, you might want to consider upgrading it.
And don't forget the gates. Double-check the latches work and make sure they are out of reach of the children.
Put the Tools Away
Put away any gardening tools that a kid could pose a risk to your children. This means things like lawnmowers, shovels, rakes, saws, and power tools should get locked up in the shed or garage.
But don't overlook things like fertilizer, weed killer, or pool cleaner. These things may seem harmless, but they are full of dangerous chemicals that could harm your children if they got ahold of them.
Keep anything you don't want your children playing with stored out of their reach.
Remove Dangerous Plants
You should also take a look at your plants before you let your children outside to play.
That old tree might look beautiful, but falling limbs could send your children to the hospital. You might want to look into the tree removal process if you're worried about falling branches.
Other plants, like poison ivy, rose bushes, or many types of flowers aren't childsafe. Make sure you remove anything that isn't safe for a child to put in their mouth (better to be safe than sorry).
Set Some Backyard Rules
Even if all the tools are put away, you might have some parts of the yard you want your children to stay away from. Come up with some backyard rules and make sure your children know them.
For example, you might tell younger children to keep an adult in sight at all times. Or you might limit how high older children can climb or where they can and can't play.
Even if you set these rules, you should always supervise your kids when they're outside, especially if they are young. This will ensure they have fun and stay safe.
Make Sure Play Structures and Swings Are Secure
If you have a play structure or swing set in your backyard, take some time to make sure everything is bolted down and connected properly. Putting a soft material, like sand or rubber, can help prevent injury from jumping or falling off the structure.
Avoid putting more than two swings next to each other on a play structure or swing set, and pick a soft material for the swing itself. Wooden swings are more likely to cause injury if they hit a child.
Dig a Hole for the Trampoline
Trampolines are a great way for active children to get their energy out, but they can be dangerous. Trampolines put your children at risk of breaking bones or sustaining serious head or neck injuries.
If you want to install a trampoline in your backyard, dig a hole and create an “in-ground” trampoline instead. This will prevent children from falling off the trampoline when they jump.
But you should always hang a safety net around the trampoline as well.
Keep the Sandbox Closed When You Aren't Using It
Covering your sandbox when you aren't using it keeps the sand clean and fresh. If you don't have a tight lid, you might discover unwanted “presents” from neighborhood cats or other animals.
Give the Kids Something to Do
Your kids won't enjoy spending time outside if there's nothing for them do to. Fill the backyard with toys, games, and various activities to encourage them to spend time in the fresh air.
Give your children outside toys they can't usually use inside the house. This can include things like Hoola hoops, jump ropes, balls, bubbles, etc. You can even create a race track out of bricks or wood the perfect size for Hot Wheel cars.
On hot days, turn on the sprinkler or fill up some water balloons. You can even just turn on the garden hose to help them cool off.
If your children enjoy arts and crafts, set up some outdoor art stations for them.
You can hang a chalkboard on an exterior wall or let them color with chalk on your patio.
Finger painting is another good outdoor activity because you don't have to worry about staying clean. The kids can get as covered in paint as they want without ruining any of the indoor furniture.
Hang some bird feeders around the yard outside to attract different types of birds to your yard. Then give set up a bird watching station. You can even give the kids their own pair of binoculars to help them get in the mood.
Your kids might not be all play all the time. They might want a space to relax or curl up with a book instead.
Hang a swinging chair, set up a tent, or buy some child-friendly outdoor furniture. This will give your kids a way to enjoy the outdoors even when they don't feel like playing.
Backyard Ideas That'll Turn Your Space into a Kid-Friendly Paradise
These backyard ideas will give your children fun activities to do outside the house and encourage them to spend more time in the sun.
Want to learn some other helpful parenting tips?
Make sure you check out the Family section of our blog!
Wife, mother, grandma, blogger, all wrapped into one person, although it does not define her these are roles that are important to her. From empty nesters to living with our oldest and 2 grandchildren while our house is rebuilt after a house fire in 10/2018 my life is something new each day.