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little girl sprinkler backyard

This summer, the world, and your backyard, will be your oyster. With these fun-filled backyard additions, you’ll never want to come inside. (Mai tai, anyone?)

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Soon, we’ll bask in the warmth of the giant, golden orb above. (Soon.) In laymen’s terms: summer’s coming, kids. If you’re looking for a poolside-lounging, garden-frolicking, mai-tai-sippin’ kinda of time, your backyard might need a little help. (Nothing a backyard tiki bar won’t fix.)

With these ridiculously fun backyard additions, you’ll have a rip-roaring time this summer:

1. Giant checkers

backyard checkers

(image: Meagan Fisher)

Nothing flexes the brain muscles and drums up the competition quite like a game of giant checkers. And, unlike a Monopoly game gone horribly, horribly wrong, you may even look forward to playing. Plus, it’s a great excuse to get outside and soak up some fresh air and sun.

You can buy a giant checkers set online for a couple hundred bucks. Or you could construct one yourself by arranging a few tiles into a checkered pattern on your lawn. To make your game pieces, you could use some plastic plates or round trays in two different colors. Just remember to choose something that’s durable (and easily stackable for when you crush your adversary).

2. A backyard tiki bar

Backyard Tiki Bar at Dusk, With Lanterns

(image: Gary J. Wood)

Sometimes, you need to put some lime in the coconut of life. Instead of fighting traffic and churning out emails, day after day, we should spend our time sipping mai tais on a sunny beach. If you can’t get away anytime soon—I know, life’s not fair—you’ll just have to make your own fun.

This summer, create your own slice of paradise in the form of a backyard tiki bar. You could cobble one together yourself, or you could buy one that’s already assembled. To transform a regular outdoor bar into something more tiki-esque, add some Polynesian-inspired masks or carvings, or a tropical mural and some bamboo.

3. Aqua basketball

backyard natural swimming pool basketball hoop

(image: Lwp Kommunikáció)

If you have kids, playing sports together is a good way to bond and teach them about organization, strategy, and teamwork. On a sizzling-hot summer day, a friendly game of poolside basketball is also a great way to beat the heat and doldrums, and get the whole family moving.

You can buy a poolside basketball net online for around $50 or $100. If basketball isn’t your bag, you could install a poolside volleyball net, or just toss a football or Frisbee around. If everyone looks tanned next to you, even Prince Harry, be sure to shellac that waterproof sunscreen on good!

Over To You

Backyard tiki bar. Need I say more? We could all use a little more enjoyment in our lives. This summer, bring the fun to your backyard.

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Tanya Roberts

Tanya Roberts is a writer and marketer who loves to spin stories about interior design and home decor. She is principle strategist at Bluefinch.ca