Summer has arrived but like school, most camps are closed. That means parents need a lot more activities to keep their kids busy, especially those who are trying to work at home. As we've all been housebound for months, the space feels like it's shrinking. It's time to venture outside for additional living space so we've gathered ideas to help you and your kids have more backyard family fun.
It's summer so water is a great way to cool off. Young kids will be happy if you let them play with a garden hose. Older kids might prefer races on a slip and slide water pad (15 ft) like the one shown here, from Amazon. But wait, what about activities where the kids get to play with water and learn something?
Backyard Family Fun Learning Building Skills
With at least one handy parent, it might be time to start teaching children how to build games that don't require tremendous skill. Yes, you can also buy games like this ring toss on Amazon but your kids will love it so much more if they build the games themselves. The round ring toss game was new to me, a great and safe alternative to darts.
Want to build something a little easier? How about a giant Jenga game, just like the table top version of Jenga. Your kids can learn how to use a saw, a sander and then get creative on how they finish the blocks with a stain or paint.
PS Don't have enough time to make your game for this weekend. You might be able to get one from Amazon … click here.
Moving the Kids Fort Building to the Backyard
Weekends are for fun so that's when the kids have been building forts in the family room. Your furniture gets moved around and the linen closet gets raided for blankets and beach towels. It's fun to watch their creativity at work and yes, as the weekend comes to a close they have to put everything away.
If you've already installed a swing set in your backyard, that's the perfect foundation for a fort. The challenge here is whether you want to build a permanent swing set, tree house or fort … or a temporary one? My preference is a temporary one that we can put away, and the kids can build something new each time they head out to the backyard for more fun.
The best materials I found that provide this type of flexibility are the large tube-like building components from Funphix on Amazon, and the ripstop polyester blankets with velcro to attach together, or tie around furniture (blankets from Tote-a-Fort).
Backyard Family Fun Using What You Already Have
Here are ideas for family fun using things you probably have lying around your house … or maybe they're lost in the garage?
- Build an obstacle course using pool noodles.
- Order some seeds and let the kids start a small vegetable garden.
- Pitch the family tent in the backyard and let the kids sleep outside.
- Create a scavenger hunt that lets them discover nature. If they collect everything in a bucket, they can then make nature collages. If they're using glitter and glue, try to have them do this outdoors to reduce cleanup time.
- With a firepit, you can have family campfires with singing and s'mores.
- Create a special outdoor play space just for kids.
Have a wonderful summer and don't forget to put out a flag for July 4th.