A Backyard for the Whole Family: Kid-Friendly Can Be Stylish, Too!
Backyard spaces are an extension of the living spaces in our homes. Especially in the warmer months, we're apt to play, relax, enjoy backyard camping and lawn games, build forts out of a swing set, and even dine more outside or use our backyards as places to gather with the entire family, friends, and neighbors.
For young families, defining these spaces as kid-friendly yet also inviting to adults can be a challenge. However, there are plenty of ways to make the backyard fun for all ages!
The ideal backyard space will include defined areas for gathering or dining as well as plenty of space for kids to play and enjoy backyard games. A little shade, especially in warmer climates, is always a good idea, whether it comes from trees or a covered deck or patio. Landscaping choices should reflect the way a young family will use the space: now may not be the time to try your hand at a prizewinning rose garden. Save that goal for when the kids go off to college instead!
Kids Games: Ideas for the Backyard
Creating a space that encourages healthy outdoor play is a priority for many families, especially those who want their kids to trade "screen time" for good old-fashioned fun in the fresh air.
Some favorite backyard games that can be enjoyed by kids, as well as adults, include volleyball and soccer. There are plenty of inexpensive options for portable volleyball sets and soccer goals that can transform your backyard into a temporary sporting field for birthday parties or other gatherings with friends and neighbors.
Kids love water games in the summer months and water slides or small portable pools always make a splash, whether for birthday parties or play dates. Spray toys that can be attached to garden hoses are another fun and inexpensive option for backyard play.
Consider an attractive storage piece for these types of outdoor toys, so they can remain out of sight when not in use. Storage benches made of weather-resistant materials are a great option as they provide extra seating for backyard barbecues.
Fun outdoor games for kids of all ages are only as limited as your imagination: everyday items around your house can be used to create a backyard scavenger hunt. A backyard jungle gym is another favorite for kids, and you can consider tying the materials and colors into the rest of your décor.
For example, you might paint a jungle gym or playhouse to match your main house. Get older kids involved in this process, too: backyard improvement projects can be made into a game and a way for the whole family to enjoy the outdoors!
Making it Safe: Avoid Backyard Hazards
Ensuring the backyard is a safe place for all ages is a big priority for families. You want to feel confident that whether you are entertaining company or simply allowing your own children to roam free in the yard that potentially dangerous situations are minimized!
Be sure to keep lawn equipment and tools, especially anything like sharp clippers or lawn mowers and edgers, stored away from kids. If you have an outdoor storage shed for these items, be sure it's locked and children cannot access it.
Remember that drowning can occur even in extremely shallow water, so you will always need adults present to supervise children during water play.
Always inspect decks and patios for rotten wood, cracks, or other damage that could create a tripping hazard. And be mindful of the insects in your area, too; keep an eye out for wasp nests or other such hazards and be sure to remove them before children play in your backyard spaces.
Bear in mind that any chemicals used in lawn care and maintenance could be hazardous to children as well as pets. Before you hire a company to fertilize your lawn or treat a problem such as a mole issue, ask about the chemicals used in their products and any dangers associated with them!
Remove debris regularly; large limbs that fall during storms are very tempting "swords" or other imaginary toys for little ones!
Carpet in Outdoor Spaces
Outdoor Carpets are more popular than ever as we transform our backyards into living spaces. Just as rugs play a huge role in the design and aesthetic of our homes, they can really transform an outdoor space and elevate its style. In addition, they can make our outdoor spaces safer, too!
Outdoor carpets used on decks and patios can create a safer, cushioned area for bare feet and also prevent splinters or other injuries from wood and concrete surfaces. They transform any area into a more inviting space. Used under outdoor dining tables, they can recreate the feeling of an actual dining room, or even replicate the look of a charming outdoor café!
Outdoor turf rugs can also create a special area for little ones to play if you prefer to keep them off the grass because of allergies or other concerns.
Most outdoor rugs can be rinsed with a hose for a simple cleaning. And the designs, patterns, and colors are so attractive some people are choosing to use them indoors as well!
Extra Touches to Make it Special
If you really want your backyard to stand out as a great space for kids play as well as entertaining adults, consider some simple and inexpensive things you can do to really give it that "wow" factor. White lights or paper lanterns strung over dining areas or in trees are a great way to add some pizzazz to an evening barbecue.
Jungle gyms and monkey bars can be decorated with lights as well, which can, in turn, make them safer for nighttime play! A small spotlight on a beautiful tree is another easy way to add a touch of style.
Inexpensive outdoor accessories, such as throw pillows to use on storage benches and other furniture, can be coordinated with your outdoor rug. Citronella candles add warmth and glow with the added bonus of keeping bugs away!