An engaging and safe outdoor area will provide your children with hours of entertainment and get them off the couch this summer. Many parents think a kid friendly yard will become a serious investment, but there are tons of amazing upgrades and changes you can make to your backyard that won’t cut into their college funds.
Take a look at these six options to turn your yard into a kid friendly wonderland.
A Home Garden
Creating a home garden is one of the first things parents should consider for their kids. These gardens are often made with nothing more than pieces of scrap wood to section off the space, and will teach kids about nature with a year-round outdoor activity. Have them help you build trellises for climbing beans, weed between the plants, and water pumpkin starts so they can carve their own jack-o-lanterns in the Fall. A garden is a great way to teach responsibility, biology, and hard work.
Interactive Water Features
Even if a new pool isn’t in your budget, there are tons of options for interactive water features for younger children that can still be safe. Nothing more than turning a hose on near the garden will allow them to play with the water without wasting any of this precious resource. You might also consider a bird bath which you can allow to collect with morning dew, or fill every day yourself. Have kids help you identify the local birds who come out to take baths.
Fence It In
If your yard is not fenced in yet, you may want to make this upgrade a priority. A fencing supplier like Mills Fence can help parents create a secure outdoor space that is not only easy on the eyes, but will also stand up to sunlight and moisture. Pick a sturdy material that can withstand the elements and keep kids inside. This is a great option if you have a pet as well.
Use All of Your Vertical Space
You may find yourself quickly running out of space while making a yard kid friendly, and an easy way to combat this is by using vertical space for storage. Everything from trees and patio posts, to the fences and lattices can be used to hang tools, plants, toys, and everything in between.
Use Toys as Part of the Design
Instead of seeing toys as clutter that must be picked up after every play session, you can look for ways to actually use those toys as part of your yard’s overall motif. One of the best ways to do this is to install a swing on an existing tree, instead of using a prefabricated play set. Just be sure the branch will not suffer from rot and is wider than five inches.
Give Kids a Place to Grow
As children grow older, many of the kid-friendly features may seem outdated. Instead of doing away with them completely, consider adding small touches such as a fire pit, or investing in a cheap projector for outdoor movie nights. You don’t want to be stuck with huge playgrounds they won’t use as they get older. Make investments that will be useful in years to come.
Getting kids outside is no simple task anymore, but a few affordable additions might be all you need to get them off the electronics and out into the yard.
Guest Post written by Brooke Chaplan. Brooke is a freelance writer and recent graduate of the University of New Mexico. She enjoys hiking, biking, running and blogging about many different subjects including family, home and fitness. Contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan
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