Remember when we were kids and your mum would say “what are you doing inside? It’s a beautiful day!” We didn’t have a large outdoor entertaining area or pool, but we did have a Hills Hoist which was great for swinging on, a tree for climbing and plenty of grass to play stuck in the mud.
These days though, getting kids to “use their imagination” when it comes to entertaining themselves instead of an x-box doing it for them can be a challenge. Plus with land prices increasing, house sizes getting bigger and backyards getting smaller, the kind of outdoor play I experienced as a kid is becoming less and less common.
The Great Aussie Backyard, is it becoming a thing of the past?
Even if your backyard is small or you’re on a tight budget, there are plenty of ways to get the kids outside. Here’s some that we’ve come up with:
1. Cubby house – You don’t have to spend a fortune to make a simple yet fun cubby house like the one below made from recycled timber. Of course if budget allows and you want to go nuts, you can!
2. Camp out in the backyard – If you have a tent, why not put it up in the backyard? Throw in some colouring books, snacks and a few toys and let them take it from there.
3. Create a treasure hunt – This can be great fun for your kids but also helps them develop problem solving skills too. Here’s a great article I found on how to create a Minecraft Style Treasure Hunt – Check it out here:
4. Build a vegie garden – Building a garden with your kids is fantastic on so many levels; it’s not only a great way to spend time together but helps kids develop an understanding of nature. They can also build a sense of responsibility and pride in themselves after creating, maintaining and eventually harvesting the vegies which they grew themselves. Plus, you could save some money on your groceries too!
5. Chicken coops – Like the vegie garden, having some chooks can not only be fun but educational too. They can learn responsibility by feeding and caring for them as well as enjoy the most exciting part, collecting the eggs!
6. Water Play – Items like a slip n slide are fantastic, first of all they’re cheap; you can often pick one up for as little as $10 and all you need is a hose and some dishwashing liquid will add some extra speed. Add a sprinkler nearby to run through, plus some water pistols or water balloons and you can quickly and easily create an outdoor water park – Perfect for those hot summer days.
7. Backyard games – There’s the obvious staples such as soccer and cricket which is easy enough to set up, or you could go for something a little more creative like Giant Jenga!
All you need is a couple of pieces of timber, plus you could get the kids to paint them for extra fun. Quickly saw them yourself or some stores will actually cut them for you upon ordering.
8. Wheelbarrow mud pit – I don’t know about yours, but my kids love to get filthy and this is a quick and simple way to let them get dirty, make some mud pies and have some fun. Sure it’s messy, but they’ll have a ball and it’s nothing that a hose can’t fix 😉
9. The good old tyre swing – if you have a strong enough tree in your yard an old tyre is perfect for one or a bunch of kids to swing on. If your car needs a new tyre then just use the old one, or you could try checking with a local garage, wrecker and so on to see if you can grab one from there.
10. Build a fort – If you buy a new washing machine, furniture or anything else that comes in a large cardboard box, save it for a bit and throw it out the back! Add some texta’s, tape and stickers and let your child’s imagination run wild.
11. Go for a bike ride – if you’re not comfortable letting your kids ride their bikes out in the street unsupervised (which is fair enough) why not go with them! They will love your company and the exercise and fresh air is great!
12. Sandpits and trampolines – these are still around for good reason, kids love them! (Some parents do too) They’re also simple enough to remove when the kids grow older and are no longer interested.
So get the kids outside, have some fun and don’t let the Great Aussie Backyard disappear!
Here are some related articles you might find useful:
Unstructured play outside is just as important to your child’s development as eating the rainbow and getting a good night’s sleep. But as any parent with Wi-Fi can tell you, getting kids to ditch the screen for Mother Nature is easier said than done. To help encourage your child to let loose outside, we rounded up 25 creative ways they can enjoy the great outdoors—no plug required…
What kids love most about the summer is the fact that they get to spend a lot of time outdoors. This provides you as parents with the perfect opportunity to get crafty and to turn the backyard into a fun playground. There are lots of great ideas you can try and make sure you also involve the kids into your projects…
Are you looking to create a fun adventure in your very own backyard? Whether your kids are into Minecraft or not, this article is sure to get them outside for a fun adventure.
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