If you have young children, chances are that your yard is an extension of your home’s living space. Kids love to be outdoors to run, play, explore, and burn off energy. Here are some tips for making your yard more welcoming for your children and their friends:
- Make safety your first priority. Inspect fences and gates to make sure they are in good shape, with no large gaps or damage. Remove any water hazards or standing water, sharp objects, or any items that could pose danger to active children. Never leave young children unattended outside, and make sure that any playground equipment meets safety standards.
- Keep grills and lawn maintenance equipment out of the reach of small children. Place fertilizers, weed control, charcoal, and any poisonous chemicals on high shelves and in locked storage rooms.
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- If possible, clear an open area that’s free of trees or flower beds for children to play in. Keep the turf mowed and shrubbery trimmed from play areas. Have trees inspected regularly and trimmed to avoid falling branches.
- Set up a seating area for adults to enjoy while supervising kids. Position the seating so that the entire yard can be seen, and place it in a shaded area, if possible.
- Include storage for outdoor toys, balls, and games. You might also want to keep beach towels and hats outside, as well as old quilts or blankets for spreading on the ground.
- Plant a children’s garden. Let your kids choose the seeds and plantings they want to include. Help them learn how to plant, weed, water, feed, nurture, and harvest their garden. Children will have fun watching their garden grow and will be invested in its success. If you don’t have room for a garden, designate some containers or pots for your kids to plant.
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- Include a basket or container to hold insect spray, sunscreen, and a first aid kit. Having these items on hand when you need them can be a big timesaver and may encourage use.
- If you don’t have the space or budget for a playhouse or fort, set up a tent instead. Kids can have fun playing camp out or using their imaginations to make the tent something else.
- Create an outdoor art area. Include an easel and washable paints, sidewalk chalk, and other art supplies. Encourage children to use nature in their art creations by painting rocks, tracing leaves, or creating collages from sticks, acorns, and pinecones.
The best way to make your yard kid-friendly is to be outdoors with them as much as possible. Playing outside is a great way to spend quality time together and to get exercise and fresh air at the same time. Ask your children what they’d like to have in the yard to make it more fun for the household. You might be surprised by how creative their ideas can be.