The weather is turning warmer, the bees are buzzing, and the kids are itching to get in the backyard and play!
As parents and grandparents, it's our job to make sure there's a safe, fun space for our kids to enjoy all year round, but especially in the warmer months when there's just no good excuse for the kids to be cooped up any longer. Putting in the extra effort now will reap large rewards for the whole family when designing, planning, and breaking ground on an excellent backyard space for everyone to enjoy.
There are as many ideas for what makes a backyard great as there are people with backyards, but generally speaking, most families are looking for somewhere that's open, fun, and designed to keep the kids occupied and entertained for hours over the summer break and every weekend of spring and fall.
Getting the right grass for your climate and area is an important first step, as it will grow lushly and leave you with nothing but simple maintenance. Fertilizer will only need to be put down once every season, after you've selected the grass or sod you want to put down, and then all it takes is mowing and sometimes a little raking. This is the first step to having a great backyard area for the family to enjoy.
Set Your Yard Apart
If you love to grill out as often as the weather allows, setting up a nice outdoor eating area near the grill, as well as possibly a canopy or pergola, is a wise choice. This sends the message of "this area is for eating, that area is for playing!" and can help break up the monotony of a backyard.
Kick it up a notch by adding a swimming pool. Everyone loves pool parties, and relaxing in a hot tub, spa, or tanning ledge. Separating the pool area with some pavers or large concrete walkways can help delineate each area and make sure everyone knows where it's okay to run, jump, and play, and where you're better off watching your step and taking it slow.
Some landscaping, plants, trees, or a garden can add a great touch to your backyard and give the family something to admire while they're playing, swimming, or enjoying dinner.
Other ideas could include:
- Fire pit. Everyone loves gathering around after a long day of summer fun
- Playgrounds. Swings and slides - any number of different play structures - are great for the younger kids
- Patio or deck. Add an outdoor bar or kitchen for those who really love to entertain on balmy summer afternoons and evenings
- Outdoor movie theater. Projectors that hook up to a laptop through a USB port are an affordable to create upgrade your streaming game. Just add some outdoor furniture and a simple sheet hung along a clothesline. Or, go for the gold and kit out one side of your shed with a new coat of white paint and arrange the seating where you like it best.
Whatever you decide, keep in mind what type of weather your area routinely receives and plan your furniture and entertainment decisions with that in mind. Don't forget to consider your neighbors and how you'll deal with possible pests or insects (tiki torches burning a citronella fuel work great), the let the good times roll!
Originally posted May 2015