Every parent eventually reaches the point where they have to make important decisions about their children’s social lives. Do they want their kids to spend most of their time playing at other friends’ homes, or would they rather their house be the one that kids come to? There are pros and cons with each, but most parents agree that it’s easier to know their kids on an intimate level if they’re in close proximity. And one way to ensure that your house is the place friends spend time is to design a killer backyard with plenty to do.
7 Kid-Friendly Backyard Tips
A kid-friendly backyard is one that offers lots of activities and fun, while still being safe and easy on the eyes. Keeping this in mind, here are a few suggestions.
1. Design With Zones in Mind
Designing a backyard with different zones is usually the best approach – particularly if you have a large space. For example, there might be a zone for sports, a zone for playing, and a zone for relaxing. By organizing the backyard in this way, you’re able to incorporate a lot of different types of fun without making it feel cluttered.
2. Think About All Four Seasons
While your backyard will certainly get more use in the warmer months, it’s smart to think about ways to maximize this area during all four seasons.
In the hottest months, swimming pools and other water features like slip ‘n slides are great for keeping kids cool. During the winter months, an outdoor fireplace may come in handy. You can also install large heaters on porches and patios to ensure maximum usability all year long.
3. Use Rock Holds on Trees
If you have a large tree with lots of surface area, you might consider installing climbing holds on the tree and setting up your very own climbing “wall.” This can be a really fun activity for kids of all ages.
If the rock holds extend any further than three feet off the ground, you’ll also want to install some sort of belay contraption and use safety harnesses to ensure children are protected against a fall. Anything below that height is typically safe for free climbing (though you may want to use a cushioned mat on the ground).
4. Build a “Tiny House”
The tiny house movement has taken the world by storm. But you don’t have to sell your house and move to the wilderness to partake. Get your tiny house fix and keep your kids happy with a tiny house playhouse in your backyard.
A tiny house playhouse can be as simple or as intricate as you want it to be. For some inspiration, check out this amazing playhouse that includes a loft, rock climbing wall, and secret hideout.
5. Get an Inflatable Movie Screen
Nothing says summer fun quite like a screen on the green. And while you might think you need to spend thousands of dollars on top-notch equipment to enjoy an outdoor movie, all it takes is an inflatable movie screen and a basic projector. Then when you’re done, you just deflate the screen, fold it up, and store it until next time.
6. Keep it Organized
Outdoor storage is absolutely vital if you want your backyard to be a fun and enjoyable place for you and your kids to spend time. Develop a system and create a “home” for every backyard toy. Task your children with cleaning up the backyard at the end of each day so that it stays nice and tidy. (You might even want to invest in a backyard storage shed.)
7. Limit the Landscaping
While you definitely want your backyard to look good, don’t worry too much about intricate landscaping in a kid-friendly backyard. Not only does it require a lot to maintain, but kids can be pretty destructive. (The last thing you want to do is spend a bunch of money on intricate landscape design only to have your kids and their friends trample through your new flowerbeds.)
Putting it All Together
Every backyard is unique. Likewise, every child has unique interests (which inevitably evolve as they get older). But if you want to design a backyard where your children and their friends are apt to spend time, the tips outlined above will get you there.