Over 70% of parents are at least somewhat concerned that their young child may spend too much time looking at phone, computer, or TV screens, according to one report released by Pew Research Center. For parents who want their children to spend more time outdoors and less time online, however, the solution could easily lie in your very own backyard. From how you can set the foundation in getting your kids active to multiple ways in which you can encourage creativity, here are just a few ideas that can make your backyard more kid-friendly.
Getting active outdoors
80% of children between the ages of 11 and 17 aren’t physically active enough, according to one report by the World Health Organization (WHO). With that in mind, making a few changes will transform your backyard into the perfect place for regular exercise. Setting up a cart with plenty of supplies — from jump ropes to hula hoops, volleyballs, etc., you can help keep everything organized and easily accessible while giving your child an array of options. For those who are interested in sports, putting up a soccer or volleyball net, a basketball hoop, or even other play structures — such as a swing set — can all be great when looking to set the foundation to get your kids more active.
While many parents may be reluctant to put play equipment in the backyard, taking the time to install artificial turf beforehand can help make a difference. For example, installing artificial grass turf is just one way to minimize the chances of small injuries (like scrapes from pavement). Artificial turf can also protect clothing, and can make for a cleaner play environment without having to worry about dirt and mud — not to mention you won’t have to worry about any real grass getting ruined over time with high foot traffic. In addition to being durable, artificial turf is a low maintenance solution.
Cultivating a hobby in the garden
If you have the space, planting a garden can be the perfect way to make your backyard more kid-friendly. Not only can a garden present as the perfect family project in which you can spend time caring for it together, but it can prove to be a wonderful learning opportunity that your child can develop a passion for. “Start them off slowly by teaching them to grow their own fruit and vegetables. Not only is the outcome a tasty (and healthy) snack, but they will enjoy watching them grow,” notes Steven Sneddon, director of Garden Mile. However, according to Homes & Gardens, other garden-related activities can further make your backyard a fun place — from creating a bee garden to making seed bombs or even building a bug sanctuary.
When revamping your backyard, encouraging creativity can be done in many ways. One post from Artful Parent, for instance, notes that buying or building a sandbox is just one great idea. Not only is sand noted to be a wonderful sensory experience, but it can allow your child’s imagination to run wild – especially when toys like trucks, cars, shovels, and sandcastle molds are added. To further cater to your child’s interest, adding dolls, action figures, dinosaurs and plastic animals can all turn a sandbox into a whole new realm. When looking to further encourage creativity, putting in a seating area can prove to be one of the most useful inclusions you can bring to the backyard. While it doesn’t sound like a particularly fun addition, a seating area can be used to enjoy lunch outdoors together as a family as well as serve as the perfect place to take a break from playing on a sunny day. Doing homework outside in the fresh air, having a snack, or completing a craft are additional ways to make use of an outdoor seating area.To make the seating area more appealing, keeping coloring books, puzzles, and other art supplies nearby can keep everyone entertained.
Creating the perfect kid-friendly backyard can seem like a challenge, especially if an inground swimming pool is unrealistic or if a trampoline seems too dangerous. However, by considering the addition of other play structures or even options that encourage creativity, you can create the ideal outdoor space in a simple way.
This is a partnered post.