It’s not impossible to get your child outside to play. If you follow the three steps listed below, you can have a great kid-friendly yard that will make it easy to entice them to go outside.

  • Personalize the Space

What do you kids love to do?  Are they incredibly active?  Then you should include a swing set and large motor skills area in your yard plan. You don’t have to have the space or money for a huge swing set; you might only be able to put a swing on a tree branch, but that may be all they need. Is digging one of their favorite past times?  Then you might consider a sand box. You’ll want to make sure the box has some kind of shading and the ability to be covered when not in use. Are they budding Picasso’s?. Do they love art? You can easily include a drawing area. Chalkboard paint is relatively inexpensive and lets them draw on the walls with permission. If you have a fence or other “dead” zone, paint it with chalkboard paint and let them have at it with sidewalk chalk.

  • Make it Safe

The most basic starting point is to choose an area in your yard that is safe. You will most likely want a fence; this isn’t just to keep your kids in, but it can keep unwanted trouble out. Stray animals and people can’t easily wander in. Make sure you secure any water areas. That means fence those pools and lock those hot tubs. Be wary of water features; even small fountains have enough water to drown a child.

Usually some of the biggest dangers are completely forgotten. Make sure the items you use for lawn maintenance are put away where the kids can’t get to them. You don’t want the kids using the lawn mower before they are old enough. The same goes for the weed whacker and leaf blower. Lawn chemicals also need to be unaccessible to the kids.

When you spend your entire day using furniture and equipment that is too big, there is something very special about finding something that is your size. Garden tools in their size will help inspire their inner farmer. Kid’s tables and chairs will make them feel very special. These are a great place for eating, but also a wonderful place to create art outdoors. Small lawn furniture is a great new addition to the market. Kids love these. A kid-size hide-out that is just too small for adults will really help them decide that outdoors is the place to be.

As you create these kid-sized areas, remember that children are susceptible to heat stroke. They forget to drink more fluids and don’t really care if they are all hot and sweaty when they are involved in an activity they love. For that reason, you should try to shade the areas that they will be in for any length of time. Shade trees are great, but may take some time to grow. Patio umbrellas offer shade, as well.