9 Outdoor Activities & Adventures for Kids Right in Your Own Backyard
- April 17, 2018
Transform your backyard into a nature-centered playground
Kids today can often seem more interested in spending their time in front of screens instead of playing outside, making old-fashioned outdoor play somewhat of a lost art. We all know kids need less screen time and more time outdoors, but teaching them to appreciate nature can be quite a challenge.
What are some practical ways to get kids engaged with the outdoors? How can you create a fun and safe environment in your own backyard to foster imaginative play?
Here are a few ideas to make your backyard more conducive to play and imagination:
1. Construct a treehouse. When built safely, a treehouse can create countless hours of outdoor fun and adventure that can send any imagination soaring to new heights. Let it be a project for the whole family, and let the kids give their input into treehouse layout and design (within reason, of course). Once the treehouse is complete, allow the kids to decorate it in a way that is reflective of their personalities, and encourage them to pick a theme for the house. After all, a treehouse can be almost anything from a castle looking out over a vast kingdom to a headquarters for superheroes as they work together to save the world. The memories a child can make in a treehouse have the potential to be long-lasting.
2. Build a birdhouse together. It’s likely safe to say many children don’t know the difference between a cardinal and a robin, so building a birdhouse can be a way of teaching them (and you) more about nature. Let the kids help with the construction of the house as a way of improving their hands-on skills. Once it’s completed, use it as an opportunity to learn about all different types of birds, and encourage the kids to keep a journal of all the types of visitors they see.
3. Find some simplicity in a swing. Commercial playsets are a wonderful source of entertainment, but how about an old-fashioned wooden swing that hangs from a couple trees? The simplicity could help kids appreciate the low-tech things in life. It could also become a place to think, reflect and daydream.
4. Make a trail in your backyard. Depending on the size of your backyard, creating a small path through the property can be a fun way to have your very own nature walk. Mark the trail with rocks, mulch or trees and consider landscaping along the side with various flowers and shrubs. For the kids, it could become a place to play hopscotch, look at birds and insects, take pictures or pretend they are walking on a long journey to another land.
5. Develop a uniquely individual “space” for your child. Trying to get your child to read more? Consider building an outdoor chair or table in the backyard for them to go to read a printed book while enjoying the outdoors. It could also be a place where they can use actual pen and paper to write and journal. Perhaps they could keep a diary of all the things they see outside or even write a story from the inner workings of their imagination.
6. Create a camping oasis. Backyard camping is always a classic family activity. To make the most of the experience, why not create a fun campsite in your backyard to host such adventures? It could include landscaping such as bushes or trees for some privacy, or perhaps even a fire pit to properly make hot dogs and s’mores. This way any time you attempt to stay outside all night, you can have a more comfortable space to enjoy nature.
7. Develop some green thumbs. Not only can a garden help save money on the grocery bill, but it also instills a sense of responsibility and pride over the environment they helped create! Begin small with just a few types of plants and gradually add more with the goal being for the kids to take over the tasks of watering, pruning and the like.
8. Make a science classroom. Enjoy the night sky by getting a telescope for the backyard. Searching the Milky Way will keep the kids engaged for hours and teach them more about the universe. While you are at it, what about making a good place to do all those science experiments that are too messy to do inside? An outdoor chair, table or small concrete slab could be the perfect place to set off some chemical reactions.
9. Consider the needs of your furry children as well. Many families have adopted dogs with the idea the kids are going to be the primary caregivers. We all know that sometimes doesn’t happen quite as hoped, so why not make caring for the dogs fun for the kids? Creating an area in the backyard with a small canine obstacle course could literally send tails wagging and help the kids find enjoyment in training their pet.
The next time the kids begin to bury their heads in devices and start neglecting fresh air, be sure to keep these ideas in mind. We hope you enjoy some quality screen-free time with the family that produces lasting memories.
A beautiful outdoor green space with lush grass and strong trees will be essential to set the stage for your backyard adventures. Put Ryan Lawn & Trees 30 years of experience to work creating a lawn you’ll love and enjoy for years to come. For a free custom quote, contact us today.
By Allison Gibeson, Local Writer.