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Five Ways to Design an Outdoor Space for Your Kids

Five Ways to Design an Outdoor Space for Your Kids

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and the kids are…playing video games. Trying to usher your kids outside to play in the summer heat can be daunting, especially when competing against computer games and TV shows. One of our go-to ways to create an irresistible cove is by designing an outdoor space for kids using their favorite activities married with fun design elements. Here are our top five ways to get your kids off the couch and into the backyard:

Classic swing set

swingset

    Very few outdoor activities prove to be more fun and worth the expense than a good old-fashioned swing set. Whether your kids are learning to walk or approaching their tween years, they all can appreciate a swing set that incorporates sky-high swinging capabilities and cool design details. If you have kids of all ages, we suggest opting for a playset that combines several swings, a slide, and other activities like rock climbing or a lookout post for your little explorers.

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    Modern tree house

    Image 2

      A cool tree house is a great incentive for your kids to spend more time outdoors, and it can be super adult-friendly, too! Perch your treehouse between the largest trees in your yard and make it spacious enough to hold a few lawn chairs or even a bistro set. Add elements like a tire swing, rope course and ladder for kids to play on while you enjoy a glass of wine with a view.

      Conversation pit

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      Image 3

        If you have older kids, chances are a swing set won’t entice them to get out from in front of the computer. Instead, create a conversation pit using lawn chairs, outdoor furniture, a fire pit, plants and ambient lighting for your kids and their friends to enjoy snacks, games and good times outside. After the kids have gone to bed, gather your friends for a bite and a glass of bubbles to toast to the summer evening.

        Splash zone

        Image 4

          While a pool is always a great fix for summertime blues, it may not be in the budget this year, or you might lack the square footage to install a full-sized lagoon. However, on a hot summer day, there is nothing quite like splashing around in cool water. Installing a fountain on a timer is a great way to get younger kids to beg you to take them outdoors to play. To make it eco-friendly, configure your fountain system to recycle the water.

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          Stay-at-home movie theater

          Image 5

            The only thing better than going to the movies on a warm summer night is to stay at home and watch one in your own backyard! Encourage the kids to invite their friends; set up a screening area with lawn chairs, tables, lighting, and cushions; and play your favorite film using a digital projector and blank wall. Serve up dinner in your outdoor kitchen and set out snacks during the film for movie night alfresco.

            While these five outdoor home improvement ideas are awesome ways to keep your kids entertained outside this summer, there are many more that can help kids take more ownership of their home (and get a few chores done at the same time)! We love the idea of planting a garden or a few fruit trees and teaching the kids to take care of the plants by watering them, turning the soil, and then harvesting their work. If you have a pet, creating an obstacle course with trees and plants in your backyard is a fun way to give your pets and kids exercise all at once.

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            What are some of your favorite ways to encourage kids to play outside this summer? Have you tried any of our suggestions above? We’d love to know!

            Featured photo credit: Alwayswin via shutterstock.com

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            Kerrie Kelly

            Interior designer

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            Published on September 4, 2018

            19 Youtube Children’s Videos That Will Help Make Your Kid Smarter

            19 Youtube Children’s Videos That Will Help Make Your Kid Smarter

            There’s no reason why education should be a bore for kids. Thanks to the wonders of YouTube, they can now find fun, informative, and important videos that can make them smarter one clip at a time.

            Here are 19 Youtube children’s videos to send your kids off into an exciting world of new possibilities:

            1. How big is the ocean? TED-Ed

            TED’s educational channel is perfect for kids. With its fun animations and interesting topics, along with its accessible, means there are some big and complex topics reduced into understandable content. It makes learning fun!

            2. All about nouns – Free School

            Getting to grips with grammar can be hard work. Even authors, journalists, and academics can make elementary errors from time to time.

            The earlier you start, the better, but these Free School videos teach the basics of grammar in vibrant fashion.

            3. Bach’s Partita in E Major – Smalin

            Stephen Malinsowki’s channel takes classical music into the 21st century. With his animated videos, the world’s most famous compositions get transformed into visual treats thanks to his efforts.

            For more about his videos, check out 16 inspiring classic music videos.

            4. First Circumnavigation of the Earth – Simple History

            Here’s an epic history lesson – who were the first humans to circumnavigate the globe? It was Ferdinand Magellan (sort of), although this complex story of bravery and suffering is an incredible story to add to any child’s knowledge of world history.

            The channel offers plenty more like this, too, and simplifies difficult topics.

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            5. Can we “de-extinct” animals? – The Brain Scoop

            The Brain Scoop channel takes a look at many creepy crawlies, plus big questions of our day. This includes whether we can, Jurassic Park style, bring back woolly mammoths and/or mastodons.

            6. Otter cubs get a swimming lesson – BBC Earth

            The BBC is famous for its wildlife documentaries. On BBC Earth’s YouTube channel, you’ll find a large amount of videos of the world’s animals at large.

            Below are some otter cubs finding out how to swim – one of many educational videos about animals.

            7. Elmo riding a tricycle – Sesame Street

            It’s been around for decades, it’s affected many people across the world (even I used to watch it as a young one back in the late 1980s), and it’s on YouTube!

            The channel has the sort of fun material you’d expect, with this video offering a welcome confidence boost for anyone about to learn how to ride a bike.

            8. Jack Back Wants to See Your Weird – SoulPancake

            Weird is wonderful. And Jack Black wants you to embrace your daft side.

            The SoulPancake channel dares kids to think outside the box, as well as embrace their wacky side. Ideal for any young minds looking to unleash their inner creativity.

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            9. Lisa Winter, Robot Builder – Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls

            This is Amy Poehler’s channel that takes a look at inspirational women from around the world.

            Here we have Lisa Winter, who builds robots. It’s a great channel if your daughter is looking to challenge herself, or find an exciting new hobby.

            10. What happens if you eat mold? – SciShow

            We’ve probably all thought about what happens if you eat mold. Now we know, thanks too the SciShow.

            This channel takes a fun look at science and dares to answer some of the big questions of our world (as well as some of the smaller ones).

            11. What’s the hottest hot and coldest cold? – It’s Okay To Be Smart

            Any budding scientists will find this channel helpful. Here we have the answer to the hottest hot and the coldest cold, which anyone can use to enlighten those around them!

            For kids, it’s physics made easy thanks to a fun channel that also uses some excellent animation.

            12. iPhone in molten aluminium – The Backyard Scientist

            This backyard scientist gets up to all manner of unusual experiments.

            Here he’s doing the unthinkable – immersing an iPhone into molten aluminium. What do you think will happen?

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            13. 3D pen wall art – Make Anything

            A 3D printing and design channel! With this clip, kids can find some artistic inspiration.

            A search through the rest of the channel will also be enough for any young mind to find a new project or two.

            14. Mesopotamian ghostbusting with Irving Finkel – British Museum

            Here’s a handy history lesson for inquisitive young minds. Learn about ancient Mesopotamia with Irving Finkel, a philologist and Assyriologist for the British Museum.

            As this video from the museum’s official channel points out, Irv ain’t afraid of no ghost.

            15. What Do We Do All Day?

            This lovely little mini-science experiment will help your kids create an ocean in a bottle. I’m 33 and I want to make one of these things, so I should imagine any younger individual would be positively thrilled to make one of these.

            What Do We Do All Day’s channel offers up many other gems such as this, too.

            16. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again – Kermode and Mayo

            The BBC’s flagship film review show is an absolute joy – it has an army of fans across the world.

            Asides from being funny and entertaining, film critics Dr. Mark Kermode’s impassioned reviews are educational and progressive.

            Perfect listening for anyone getting to appreciate film criticism.

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            17. Rare double asteroid revealed – NASA

            NASA’s channel is full of other worldly wonders such as this rare double asteroid reveal. Along with its many live streams from the Earth’s orbit, it’s a fascinating and essential channel for any young mind to be following.

            18. What has NASA’s Juno discovered around Jupiter? – Astrum

            Astrum is a bit like NASA’s channel, but more detailed. It takes a close look at some of our planets, for instance, like with the ever-fascinating Jupiter.

            If you have any budding astronauts in your family, this is another essential channel.

            19. Best creative home hacks anyone can do – HooplaKidz

            Last but not least, here we have some arts and crafts.

            Would your kid like one of these cute cushions in your home? Would they also want to create it themselves?

            Then this is the right video and channel for you. Find out the basics for some fun crafts and liven up your home with a few friendly new knickknacks.

            There you go, 19 Youtube children’s videos that will help your kids learn new stuff in a fun way! Of course, with a bit of your guidance while watching these videos together, you’re having some really good quality time with your kids too!

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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