We all fondly recall our younger years as nothing beats the carefree hours spent playing and running around outdoors. Playtime is necessary to help children grow both physically and mentally, and so if you have some of your own, it’s a good idea to make your backyard kid friendly
There are so many small backyard kid friendly ideas and it’s easy to get started as long as you have an idea of what you can do as well as how to do it. It doesn’t have to be too expensive or time-consuming, and the following are a few ways you can make sure your kids love playing outdoors.
Landscaping your background will create the perfect foundation for any other setup you decide to go with from swings and slides to trampolines and sandboxes. It all starts with lawn maintenance and pest control so that there are no rodents or bugs waiting to ruin playtime for the little ones the moment they step outside. Pest control is an important factor to consider for keeping your kids safe.
You can use natural elements like trees to hang swings from and graduate the earth then smooth it out to create a small skate ramp. Another great idea is to use rubber playground tiles which come in a variety of fun colors and interlock. On top of this, they’re also cheap, and you can access recycled ones, so you stay environmentally conscious.
You can also do some recycling yourself and re-purpose it’s like pallets into furniture and old clothes into rugs and mats for use around the yard. Involving the kids in these activities will make them even more eager to make use of them and give them a sense of accomplishment to boot!
Creating Bicycle Tracks
If you have enough space, a path around your yard that the kids can ride their bicycles on will give them hours of fun in the sun. Pick the right bike sizes for each child and don’t forget kneepads and helmets to keep them safe. If you have an issue with the bikes at any point, you can search for bicycle services in your area to help you with fixes or repairs if anything happens to the bikes.
You may also choose to go the DIY route and repair or adjust the bicycles yourself. Again, you can involve the children in this activity if they’re up for it and let them play an active role. Extras for this are that you will bond more, and they will learn valuable skills if they’re old enough.
There are different ways you can add a fun bicycle track, and they include:
- Adding a berm to help improve cornering skills. This is as easy as scraping off all weeds and leaves from the chosen path then sweeping them to the outer side of the turn. Next, dig a shallow distance that is about 18 inches wide and pull the dirt out and tamp down the soil in the berm at an angle. Make sure this turn is not too tight to maneuver and kids can enjoy it alongside adults. The best part is that this is not a permanent build, and so it can be adjusted as often as necessary in a short time.
- A dirt ramp or dirt kicker is another fun twist you can add, as you simply need to place a mound of dirt in the bike path. If you can’t find loose soil by digging up a small area that’s out of sight in your compound, you may have to buy some. You then beat the dirt down on the takeoff side to ensure a smooth and natural climb and adjust the kicker to go as high or as low as is comfortable and fun enough and that’s it!
- The final addition is just an alternative to the dirt kicker which involves a bit more time and material but has the advantage of being portable and can be used on a driveway. If you are not handy or don’t have the tools, get help and finish this project in a few hours then test it out and set it up.
Bicycle tracks are a great way for not only the kids, but for adults as well to have hours of fun and exercise at the same time. Just make sure to teach your kids a few safety measures like making sure to watch out for pets and people while riding and off you go!
Build a Treehouse
A treehouse is always extremely fun and cool, and most adults would probably build them for themselves and play in them if they could (or had the time!)
If you have a few large trees in your backyard, give your kids the chance to make great memories with their friends by building a treehouse for them. A few good trees that are great for building tree houses include maple, oak, hemlock, and birch. If you have softwood trees, just make sure the branches are larger than eight inches in diameter.
You can search online for cool and simple ones that will be fast and affordable to construct and also make use of tree trimming services in your area to shape the trees well enough to hold a tree house well.
Safety is important so make sure to enlist a contractor’s services for drilling, bolting down, and securing the main parts of the treehouse so it’s solid enough to withstand harsh weather and vigorous play. Another tip is to construct it in the lower third of the tree if you live in an area with strong winds because as mentioned before, safety is important.
Make a Sandbox
Something else that all kids love playing with is sand, so a sandbox is bound to be a big hit in your backyard for kids of different ages. This is one of the simpler small backyard kid friendly ideas you can add to your yard because it is essentially just a box filled with sand.
You can take it a step further though by introducing compartments around it in which the kids can keep their toys after playing. You can also add an extra foot or two around the base to catch the sand that will invariably end up outside the box. Though it will still spread, it will be a bit easier to keep it in check and keep the area tidy.
Using bright colors for the sandbox will introduce a fun, lively atmosphere that the kids will enjoy, and with sprinkler systems which we will talk more about in place, you can recreate a beach adventure to a convincing degree.
Alternatively, you can go natural and place the sand area off to one side of your backyard then demarcate the area with rocks and logs. This will enhance the natural flow, and you can leave them unpainted or paint them if you prefer. Contacting a natural stone supplier can also be a good way to get rocks that may not need a lot done to them to make them aesthetically pleasing.
Add a Trampoline to Your Backyard
A trampoline will introduce hours of simple fun at a stretch for a variety of ages. To make it a bit safer and avoid having it stand out, sink it into the ground. There are in-ground trampolines on the market, but you can also use a regular trampoline. Just make sure to dig a deep enough hole and add a small retaining wall around its perimeter so it doesn’t collapse. Also, add a drainage system that can be as simple as perforated drain pipes that lead to a storm drain or gutter.
It’s a good idea to seek assistance and advice from a local contractor because if done incorrectly, there are risks like rust developing and the wall collapsing underneath it.
Another thing you should consider doing is keeping a small pump at hand to help move water along in the event it doesn’t drain out fast enough, which should not be a regular occurrence. Also, make sure to allow for ventilation so that there is a movement of air under the trampoline to allow you enough bounce. Finally, just because the trampoline is in the ground does not mean you can do away with weight regulations so always be sure to observe the safe weight limits for your trampoline.
Set Sprinklers Up
If you don’t already have a sprinkler system in your backyard, this is your cue to set one up. This is cheap enough and has the added benefit of watering your yard to keep the dust down and encourage a lush growth of grass.
As mentioned, sprinklers can complement a sandbox or sand play corner to recreate the feeling of being at the beach. A few tips to help you conserve water as well while you keep the fun going include:
- Using a singular sprinkler head instead of turning the entire system on or use a timer to make sure it runs ten minutes or less. You can also change the time your sprinkler goes on in summer from the early morning to early evening, which is when the kids can enjoy running around in the water.
- Instead of turning the water on full and having it sprinkle higher, you can keep it lower so it can run for longer and use less water.
- If you have dry patches in your yard, you can set the play area to be around that place so that the kids will play while the dry spot gets watered.
- Make sure to get any issue with your sprinkler checked out by a sprinkler system repair contractor to ensure the most efficient use of water and energy.
Let your kids cool down on hot days by running through the sprinklers, and they will be very content at the end of the day. You can also join them and make it a fun activity for the whole family!
Garage Play Area
This final item in our small backyard kid friendly ideas is not fully outdoors, but it is still separate from the main house enough to be a fun alternative space for playing in. Instead of using it as an extra storage area or to simply park your car, you can revamp your garage to give your kids a great play area. First, you will need to light it up because the small windows and single lighting units that are normal to most garages won’t be bright enough to have fun in. If you can, install see-through garage door screens, add skylights, or install large windows on your garage doors to let in ample sunlight.
Getting a few electrical outlets will enable you to have fun parties with music or movies as projectors can be set up for kid’s events like birthdays. A thick rug, carpet, or foam rug will create a comfortable enough floor, and additional insulation to keep the warmth in for colder areas will be perfect.
It’s easy enough to repurpose a garage into a fun space where your kids can have fun as well as do their homework and projects. Even if you don’t have enough money for major installations, starting with a few basics will do and give you room to scale up.
That’s a wrap for the seven ways you can make your backyard (and garage area) fun and kid friendly. Be sure to always take all the precautions you can to ensure there are no hazards in the way that can harm your kids while they play. In the event something does happen, it will be handy to know the nearby medical clinics in your area as well as their hours of operation because you never really know. Also, urgent care clinics are important for faster wait times and less emergent injuries. Now get ready and implement one of these small backyard kid friendly ideas, your kids will love it!