Previous posts here have offered tips for maximizing outdoor living space and stretching patio into fall. Some of those ideas are still relevant for helping to transform your backyard or simply give you a minor change of scenery. We’ve come up with a new list of suggestions for young families to make the most out of their backyards.
Rent or borrow a projector and host a family or neighborhood movie night, complete with popcorn and other treats or snacks. Hang a sheet on the back of the house for a screen, and let people sit on blankets or beach chairs for a fun “drive-in” kind of experience.
No pool? No problem! Even as we head into September, we’re sure to get some late-summer high-temperature days. Check out our ideas for cooling off that’s fun for the kids.
Set up an outdoor imagination zone for creative kids. Designate a backyard haven with an easel and paints, flower pots with soil and seeds, materials for building forts, and a sand table. It’s a great way to keep them occupied while you do some yard work or supervise while relaxing with a book and beverage.
Extend that creativity to the performing arts. Build a stage out of pallets or simply install some rope in between two trees and hang large red curtains from the rope. Let your kids figure out the rest! Or invite your friends over for a backyard jam.
Have you heard of an in-ground trampoline? It’s a cool alternative to the traditional trampoline, but it is a permanent structure if you choose this route. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, installing it yourself is much cheaper than hiring professionals. Here’s a how-to!
If your backyard is as cluttered with kids’ toys and gear as the inside of your home, it’s time to organize. A few big buckets and shelves for the shed or garage can help keep outdoor toys tidy instead of being discarded all over the yard when the kids are finished playing.
You don’t have to go inside when the sun goes down. Try camping in your own backyard. Pitch a tent or two and have a family sleepover in the great outdoors (with the convenience of a home bathroom!). Tell ghost stories, heat s’mores over the grill, and snuggle into sleeping bags for the almost-complete camping experience.