Sometimes staying at home can be just as fun as heading out on an exciting exploration around town. And if you ask me, there’s nothing better than telling your kiddos to ”˜Go Play Outside’ and being met with enthusiasm and joy.
I personally live for those slow mornings where everyone is content and wrapped up in their own imaginative play so I can sip my coffee in somewhat sweet silence – – at least for a few minutes, anyway. Here are some tips to make your backyard kid friendly and help encourage them to go out and play.
How to Make Your Backyard Kid-Friendly
I am here to share some secrets with you about how to achieve this goal by making your backyard kid-friendly, becoming an open invitation for play and adventure. As our kids grow up, it’s also a bonus that you have the funhouse that all the other kids want to come to!
Kid Friendly Backyard for Newborns and Crawlers
If you have just entered parenthood, creating a backyard sanctuary is as much for your peace as it is for your baby’s. Hang up some wind chimes, a hammock, bird/hummingbird feeders and some shade and you’ve got yourself the perfect place for your little one to nap while you read, do some yoga or take a nap yourself. Doesn’t that sound blissful? Getting out of the house can be tricky during this new phase of life, so creating spaces that make you feel Zen right in your own home are
Once your kiddos become mobile, life changes a little bit. Safety becomes more of an issue and soft things are your new bestie. Indoor/outdoor foam tiles help shield new little knees from scraping against the harsh cement as they test out their new skill:
If you’re brave and don’t mind and always being in your house, a sandbox with a tight-fitting lid (so animals don’t make this their potty!) is always a hit. It’s fun for sensory play, and you can even add drops of lavender essential oils to engage their sense of smell. If you are short on space, grab 2 plastic bins and fill one with water and the other with sand for easy cleanup and storage when you’re done!
Kid Friendly Backyard for Toddlers
Toddlers love to do everything on their own, so creating a space where they can reach their own toys and create the visions they have dreamed up is essential to less meltdowns and more fun. I call these YES spaces. Our most popular backyard toy from toddlerhood onward is our DIY mud kitchen. We got 4 pieces of chopped tree trunk and 2 beams of wood. Paired with our kid-size kitchen supplies from IKEA and it’s been years of fun.
You can get as fancy or as simple with this idea and use things from your recycling for play kitchen stuff. Painted rocks make for fun ”˜food’ too!Â
Planting low, raised beds is perfect for toddlers to start learning how things grow! They can even have their first chore and help water every day, as well as picking the fruits and veggies when they’re ready to eat.
Toddlers also love to climb, amirite? Creating a safe space for them to explore this new fun skill would make you the coolest house on the block. A DIY rock wall, Pickler Triangle or Climbing Arch are all toddler sized ideas and there are many ways to DIY these somewhat expensive toys.
Backyards for School Aged Children
Water, sand, and planting is still fun for school-aged kids and you can have them help with the planting more and more as they grow. They will take great pride in helping to make dinner if they helped to grow what’s on your plate. We recently added some fun rope swings to our front tree, an interchangeable family swing and the climbing ladder that attracts all the neighborhood kids. Add some loose parts (plank wood, boxes and other fun treasures) and you’ve got yourself for
Backyards for the Teenagers
Pleasing the teenage crowd could be tricky, but providing a cozy place to lounge with friends might just do the trick. Create a backyard movie theatre with some sheets, throw pillows and inflatable seats.Â and host movie nights under the stars.
Fire pits and giant sized games like connect four, chess and checkers can also be super fun and might just keep everyone off their phones for a little. It’s worth a shot!
Whether you have a new baby, a teenager or some in between, it’s simple and affordable to create a backyard living space for all to enjoy!
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