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kid legs feet backyard lawn

Outdoor living spaces apply to kids, too. Here are some ways to get your children outside and to create backyard spaces and activities to give them good reason.

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Encouraging the kids to take it outside to give them a sense that your outdoor space is their outdoor space too is a common goal. It’s certainly a reason why people invest in homes with backyards in the first place! There’s no better way to encourage kids to use your outdoor space as you intended them to do than to turn your backyard into a place of fun and creativity for the children.

Activities outside for kids can be applied to public greenspaces too as well as backyards, of course. But, backyards are a part of your home. Here are a few ideas to ponder.

Create a kid-friendly deck

Your deck is a multipurpose staging area for outdoor activities. It can be anything you want it to be, since it’s yours. As such, it’s a great time to use your own imagination for how your kids can use it.

The deck or patio is the perfect place where kids can learn about cooking in an outdoor kitchen. They can view the constellations by looking through a telescope during the evening. It can be used as a literal staging area if your kids like to perform. The reason you’ve built a deck is to establish what life outdoors means to you and your family. The rest is down to what your passions are, and those of your children.

Rock painting

Almost any nursery store or home improvement center has rocks used for landscaping. To enlist the help of your kids and make it fun for the whole family, try painting the rocks, allowing the kids to utilize their imagination. Painted rocks add wonderful color as a decoration, or even as a pathway. If you use washable paint, you can create a new look every time it rains.

Create a playhouse

Sure, many backyards have a playhouse, but how many of them have a creative element? There are playhouse kits you can buy that range from the modest to the grandiose. But, in the meantime, even your camping equipment will do. Use pup tents and set up a space in the yard for imagined adventures, and even a place for picnics and sleepovers. And of course there’s the old standby if it’s available to you; the ever-versatile cardboard box!

backyard boys playing in cardboard box

Whichever way you choose to play this one, the kids can use their imagination to transport themselves to another land or become a character they’ve read about in stories. Imagination and being able to exercise it is what childhood is all about.

Homemade waterpark

Water is fun! And even if you don’t have a swimming pool, you can still make great use of what you’ve got. Or at least you can find inexpensive alternatives and make your own waterpark.

Create a water balloon station and place to throw them. Get the neighbors to donate their kiddie pools for the afternoon. Set up the sprinklers to water your lawn, your garden, and your kids at the same time.  Creative safe and fun water-themed activities doesn’t have to involve an in-ground pool

Modified photo walk

Taking pictures of nature and even of each other is fun at any age. Even if they don’t have their own camera, many personal devices designed for kids include a camera function. Why not use it? Even if your backyard isn’t that large, a modified version of the photo walk is a way to help your kids exercise their photographer’s eye.

Assign some subject matter for the kids to find and photograph; a type of plant, a specific color, a type of insect or bird. Then collect all of the images and upload them to a folder in the cloud, or create a photo blog. When a child discovers the wonders of nature in their (very literal this time) own backyard, a consciousness toward good stewardship of the earth isn’t far behind, not to mention a love of photography.

kid with camera taking pictures lawn

Outdoor art

Transfer the art supplies you keep indoors, and take it to the yard. Give your kids a mission to paint the same tree or sky, or arrangement of flowers and shrubs in the garden. Or, give their imaginations free rein entirely. When everyone is done, stage an art show for family, friends, and neighbors. Anything goes when it comes to art. And being outside in the sunshine makes it all the more enjoyable.

Your outdoor space is yours – and your children’s!

Your outdoor living space is for your whole family, including your kids. There are all kinds of ways to keep them engaged and safe and we hope that these have helped to spark your own imaginations of the possiblities as summer commences.

 

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Rob Jones

Rob served as Editor-In-Chief of BuildDirect Blog: Life At Home from 2007-2016. He is a writer, Dad, content strategist, and music fan.