Yards and children go together like summer and lemonade, so designing a family-friendly backyard will bring you and your family years of enjoyment. The following are some things to consider while designing a new backyard for the whole family to enjoy.
Many parents worry about their children’s safety outdoors, which is understandable but doesn’t mean you should start kid-proofing every inch of your yard. Family-friendly designs should make sure there are no opportunities for serious injury while providing a space for kids to enjoy their time outdoors. A back yard should provide opportunities for exploration, sensory learning and games, which sometimes involve the potential for scraped knees. For instance, low, natural stone walls are beautiful ways to retain raised areas for planting or vegetable gardening, and can be a fun place for kids to learn how to balance.
Think About Textures and Levels
A beautiful back yard can be a flat expanse of lawn a beautiful combination of lawn, wildflowers, shrubs and trees to provide visual interest and attract wild birds. The back of a yard can be a great space for exploration, too—consider placing a hiding spot in a back corner by enclosing an open space with trees, shrubs, or tall grasses.
Plant a Vegetable Garden
Planting a vegetable garden can be enormous fun for the whole family, and will help teach children about gardening and food, all the while giving them the opportunity to get their hands dirty for a good purpose. The satisfaction of watching the growth of carefully-tended plants, not to mention eating home-grown veggies, will help kids learn the value and reward of hard work. Vegetable gardens need not be large; a raised 5×5 patch will do. Vegetable gardens also provide a great conduit for compost, if your household wants to incorporate sustainability practices into the backyard experience.
Go For a Swim
Having a pool not only provides an excellent opportunity to get exercise at home, it’s tons of fun for everyone. Your kids and their friends can enjoy hours of fun in a backyard swimming pool and the grown-ups can take a refreshing swim during the hotter months. If you have limited yard space, a specialist from Blue World Pools says an above ground pool may be just the thing for your backyard. These can be purchased in different sizes and designs, so you can choose the one that best suits your space requirements and aesthetic preferences.
Sit Back and Relax
Sometimes the best way to enjoy a yard is to have a great viewing point, or a combination of viewing spots. Consider adding a stone patio or deck with lawn furniture near the house, for a start. Large, central trees can shelter benches or a picnic table, and rope swings can be enjoyed by people of any age. Other options to consider are hammocks for fresh summer naps, or a fire pit for storytelling, marshmallow roasting, or simply gazing thoughtfully into the flames. Fire pits are especially good for summer parties as your kids grow up—they’ll want to share the backyard camping experience with their friends!
The opportunities to create a beautiful, functional, family-friendly backyard are almost limitless. Consider the advantages of your space and the vegetation already present in your yard to start out, and then let your imagination decide the rest.