There are many studies that show that spending time outside is good for both kids and adults. We can think more clearly, feel less stressed, and even heal faster when we spend time in nature. Making your backyard fun for kids is a great way to get them to spend more time in the fresh air and sunshine. A fun play space with lots of things to do will help them stay active and busy while they play and have fun. Here are some suggestions for what you can do.
Make A Den
It’s so much fun to make a garden hideaway. Encourage kids to use their imaginations to come up with ideas for how they want their den to look. Make a simple teepee frame by stringing a strong line or rope between two tree branches or using bamboo canes. Use an old sheet, throw, or blanket to make a privacy screen.
Line the interior of the den with a waterproof sheet, then pile on blankets and pillows to create an extremely snug hiding spot. You can also find some fantastic kits available for purchase on the web if you don’t have the necessary materials at home.
Children love splashing around in water, and as long as the weather allows for it, this is certainly something you should encourage. You might, for example, set the lawn sprinklers going so the kids can run around in the spray. Or perhaps you have a paddling pool they can use to explore imaginative play.
You might even have a swimming pool. If this is the case, make sure you keep up to date with pool maintenance and only let the kids use the pool if you or another adult is there to supervise. As long as all the safety precautions have been taken care of, a swimming pool is a fun place to play, and the kids can learn a life skill at the same time.
Build A Playhouse
During our childhood, many of us have fond memories of spending hours upon hours in a playhouse or treehouse. As adults, we know how important it is to have our own space, but sometimes we forget that children need their own space, too. It is just as important for them to have safe places where they can relax, read, play games with their friends, or just be quiet.
If you aren’t very handy and don’t know much about building, it’s best to hire a professional to make sure the structure is safe. You can also buy pre-made playhouses that are easy to put together.
Make A Nature Trail
Kids love organized hunts, so why not try a nature-inspired trail based on what you can find in the backyard and encourage children to learn about things in their own natural environment?
Include looking for bees, bugs, and butterflies and figuring out what different plants and trees are by their flowers, bark, and berries. Encourage your kids to collect leaves and figure out what kind they are. Also, tell them to look for animal tracks, like paw prints, that belong to wild animals in the area. Help them start a nature journal in which they can write down everything they find. The reward could be something that’s good for the environment, like giving them a seed to plant.