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
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.
Modern tree house
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.
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.
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.
Stay-at-home movie theater
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.
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