There are numerous benefits when it comes to kids spending time outdoors, and having an enjoyable outdoor living area can do wonders for your little ones and encourage them to play outside.
However, no amount of fresh air and sunshine is going to matter if your yard is not kid-friendly!
Here are some ideas to help you keep your yard kid-friendly so your children can enjoy the benefits of being outside and physically active:
1. Keep the Weeds Under Control
The first thing you should do in order to keep your yard kid-friendly is to keep the weeds under control.
While most weeds are harmful to kids, some can be downright dangerous – so you want to make sure you keep these out of your yard!
Bittersweet nightshade, for example, has bright, irresistible berries but can be deadly to anyone who eats them.
2. Use a Good Ground Cover
If your yard is not landscaped (i.e., rocky and hardscape), you should think about providing your kids with a smooth and cushiony surface for play areas in your yard.
Ground cover options like artificial grass and rubber playground tiles will ensure that your little ones don’t get injured if they fall.
If landscaping your yard isn’t a plan or doable with your budget, ground cover is a perfect alternative!
3. Add a Sandbox
For yards that are limited when it comes to space, sandboxes are the perfect way to give your child a space to play in that doesn’t take up the whole yard!
Sandboxes provide some wonderful sensory play. Be sure to include scoops, shovels, molds, construction vehicles, funnels, and buckets.
Plus, sandboxes are not permanent installations, so you can take it with you when you move or sell it when your child outgrows it.
4. Provide Lots of Shade
It’s important to make sure your kids don’t overheat in the summertime while they are playing outside.
If your yard doesn’t have a lot of natural shade, you can always install shade sails or canopies to protect your child’s play area from the harsh rays of the sun.
Make sure they also have lots of water on hand!
5. Install a Backyard Playset
You can install a backyard playset to keep your yard kid friendly and encourage physical activity!
Look for age-appropriate play structures that include climbing, swinging, sliding, and playing and can grow with your kids so they can get the most years out of it.
These can be built from scratch, but there are some affordable kits that make the job much easier.
6. Put in a Splash Pad
You don’t have to be a contractor to install a splash pad in your yard! Nowadays, you can buy portable ones that easily hook up to your garden hose for hours of summer fun.
This is great for smaller backyards and budgets, with smaller splash pads costing as little as $10.
However, if you have the room and the budget, you could build a permanent splash pad using paving stones. Incorporate the splash pad into your patio or create a separate play area.
7. Good Lighting
Just because the sun starts to go down doesn’t mean play has to be over!
In order to keep your kids safe if they are playing after dusk, make sure you install good lighting in your yard.
You can use string lights hung around your child’s play structures and path lights leading from the play area to your home.
8. Use Nature
Creating a kid-friendly yard doesn’t have to break the bank – you can easily create fun and engaging structures using nature.
For instance, you can use tree trunks as stools and tables and stones to create paths. Logs can be used as balance beams, and strong trees can support tire swings and rope swings.
Using nature not only reduces your budget but encourages your children to use their imaginations!
9. Make a Place to Chill Out
Playing outside for children doesn’t have to be all go, go, go!
Be sure to include an area where your kids can take a break and chill out. This also provides your children with a private space for their play.
You can build a cloth teepee and throw in some blankets and pillows.
10. Put in a Garden
Gardening is a wonderful experience for children! It encourages many developmental skills, such as responsibility, patience, and perseverance.
You can start with something as simple as an herb garden in pots and work up to a small plot in the ground.
In the ground or containers, you can help your kids grow plants such as strawberries, beans, and carrots.
How do you keep your yard kid-friendly? Let us know in the comments!