How to Set Up a Kid Friendly Backyard for Active Play

How to Set Up a Kid Friendly Backyard for Active Play

How to set up a kid friendly backyard to encourage active outside play. And 11 crucial components to contemplate for your outside play space, such as sand &amp water, privacy, toys, and plants.

Updated May 2021

Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

It can really feel like a significant job turning the outside space at your residence (whether or not it be a backyard, front lawn, patio, or deck) into a space that tends to make your youngsters want to go out and play! We’ve identified that a space that is a blank slate, like a flat lawn, can be difficult to entice youngsters to play with, and can even be depressing for us to appear at!

But turning your outside space into a kid-friendly, regularly made use of space for active play does not have to be a significant job. It does not take a lot of time, power or income to make a yard entertaining and attractive to young children.

And we all know how critical play is, appropriate?! Mister Rogers got it appropriate when he stated that play is the work of childhood.

Play is normally talked about as if it had been a relief from really serious mastering. But for young children play is really serious mastering. Play is seriously the work of childhood.

Fred Rogers

11 Elements to Make Kids Want to Go Out &amp Play

As you contemplate your personal backyard, consider about which aspects you currently have, which ones might require an update, and which details you would like to add.

Don’t really feel like you have to incorporate all of these to get your youngsters outdoors to play! Simply use these tips as a beginning point for generating your outside space more kid-friendly (even if it is just a balcony!).

How to Make a Bean Pole Teepee
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

1. Create Backyard “Rooms” for Comfort &amp Privacy

Give youngsters a feeling of privacy and intimacy for their play. Your yard may possibly currently provide this with nooks, corners, or trees (consider a weeping willow hanging down to make a secret area or a climbing tree for older youngsters).

But you can also make “rooms” by adding shrubs or trees, a trellis, an umbrella or canopy, or some sort of fort or hideaway.

Some other tips for producing spaces:

  • A Bean pole teepee (We’ve normally had a bean pole teepee in the previous and the youngsters are asking for a single once more this year.)
  • Or a Fabric teepee
  • Sunflower house (on Let’s Lasso the Moon)
  • A DIY Play home
  • An Old tent
  • An Umbrella or a shade canopy
Children playing in sandbox for kid friendly backyard
Photo by Andrea Martelle

2. Backyard Sand Play

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A location to dig in the sand (or dirt), mold it, construct with it, and touch it is an critical element of a kid friendly backyard. Sand is each a fantastic sensory practical experience and entertaining to manipulate.

The sand box has been a single of our kids’ extremely favored locations to play in the previous and we even constructed an uncomplicated and desirable all-natural sand pit in our backyard. You can acquire or construct your personal sand box, sand pit, or sand table and outfit it with a handful of simple sand toys, such as:

baby playing at a water table
Photo by Andrea Martelle

3. Backyard Water Play

Water is a further entertaining sensory practical experience for young children, particularly in warm climate. Kids love to run via a sprinkler on a hot day, play with water balloons, splash in the kiddie pool, and water the garden. Here are a handful of more approaches to incorporate a water element in your space.

Using the Melissa & Doug Adjustable Easel Outdoors

4. Outdoor Art &amp Creativity for a Kid Friendly Backyard

You know we are all about art and creativity, whether or not inside or out. Sometimes we do art outdoors, just since it is so good out and something we do demands to be outdoors.

And in some cases we do outside art activities that are most effective suited to the backyard, since they are big or messy projects or they involve nature or outside gear. A garden loom, shown above, is a entertaining way to make art in your yard, and at the similar time creates a defined space.

We preserve the kids’ easel on our covered porch for extended periods in the warmer months, or we in some cases take the easel to the backyard for a significant en plein air painting practical experience, or just a modify of scenery.

Sensory play table with oobleck, strainers and mini construction vehicles_Rachel Withers
Photo by Rachel Withers

The similar is correct for the sensory table. We like to bring messier sensory play outdoors for the duration of warmer climate which tends to make for an a lot easier cleanup.

The good factor about outside art is that you do not require to be concerned about paint dribbles and splashes! Plus the paintings can be hung to dry on a clothesline or fence. (Just recall to take the easel or sensory table inside if it rains!)

sidewalk chalk
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

5. Chalk, Chalk, Chalk

Sidewalk chalk is a childhood staple (check out this fun set!) and is made use of for anything from sidewalk drawings and body tracings to games such as tic-tac-toe and hopscotch.

Since chalk washes away effortlessly with rain or the hose, youngsters can draw in a lot of locations like: rocks, fences, wood structures, cement and sidewalks. Create a DIY chalkboard by painting a huge piece of wood with chalkboard paint. Then mount it on a fence or the side of the home.

child planting seeds
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

6. A Kids’ Garden

Any sort of garden that a kid has ownership of is a fantastic practical experience. Watching a seed develop into a plant (and then into a fruit, flower, or vegetable!) is a magical mastering practical experience. And an workout in duty, all at after.

I encourage any parent to give young children their personal garden space, whether or not in a pot or a smaller plot in the ground––and the assistance to support make it a achievement.

Some uncomplicated, kid friendly plants consist of: strawberries, peas, carrots, radishes, cherry tomatoes, and beans. Your youngsters could not like to consume all of these (but) but they will adore to develop and harvest them. For more tips for gardening with youngsters, check out Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots by Sharon Lovejoy or The Garden Classroom by Cathy James.

Some children’s gardening tools to contemplate:

painted birdhouse on fence
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

7. Attract Birds and Butterflies

Our youngsters Enjoy watching the birds, hummingbirds, and butterflies in our garden. You can make your garden friendly to wildlife by planting native flowers, shrubs, and trees about the perimeter of your yard to provide shelter and meals. Add bird feeders, a bird bath, and bird homes as properly, if you can. We’ve painted bird homes in the previous and even assembled our own from kits.

nature table resized (1)
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

8. A Kid Friendly Backyard Observation Kit

Treat your backyard like a all-natural science lab by possessing a handful of crucial observation tools handy:

  • Butterfly nets can be made use of for catching butterflies, moths, and flying insects.
  • A jar with holes in the lid or a bug house can be a short-term insect observation area.
  • A magnifying glass or loupe is helpful for searching closely at your topic.
  • A set of binoculars makes it possible for youngsters to watch bigger bird and animal life more very carefully.
playing with a bubble machine
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

9. Bubbles!

This is a no brainer. Bubbles are magical and entertaining for most young children. They also arguably provide the greatest bang for the buck when producing a kid friendly backyard.

We’ve attempted all types of wands, machines, and bubbles and they are all a significant hit. We’ve even produced our personal beaded bubble wands! We particularly like the bigger multi-bubble wands and a under no circumstances-ending provide of homemade bubble option in a pie dish or shallow bowl (it is uncomplicated and low cost to make a significant batch).

children playing in backyard obstacle course
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

10. Kid Friendly Backyard Toys

Basic childhood toys, such as balls, hula hoops, jump ropes, and stilts, are fantastic for uncomplicated, active entertaining. One of our favorites, even though, is a set of activity cones which are fabulous for open-ended play as they can be made use of so a lot of various approaches. They are best for setting up obstacle courses, produced-up games, and races.

A trampoline is a further backyard element that you may possibly want to contemplate. Our huge 15 foot trampoline has been properly worth the investment and doubles as a backyard area. The youngsters play there just about every day and it is the playdate hangout of selection. (Or you could attempt a mini trampoline that can be moved indoors or outdoors).

swinging in the backyard
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

11. Backyard Swings 

Swings are entertaining and soothing, fantastic for building equilibrium and balance, and a excellent way to be active. The swing set at our old house (a significant wooden DIY affair) got more use more than the years than something else in our backyard––even the considerably-loved sand box. If you have space for a swing set or a tree swing, it can be a worthwhile addition. We do not at the moment have a swing, but are fortunate adequate to have fantastic neighbors with a single that they let our youngsters use.

How about you? What are your family’s favored kid friendly backyard tips? What do you have in location that is working properly for you? And what would you like to add to make your outside space more inviting and workable? Any other tips to add to this list?

children playing in a kid friendly backyard
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

More Outdoor Activity Ideas for Kids

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How to Set Up a Kid Friendly Backyard for Active Play

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