With more and more children immersing themselves in the virtual world instead of discovering the beauties of the outside, physical inactivity has become a serious problem even among the youngest ones. Since physical activity contributes not only to children’s health and fitness, but also to their cognitive development, parents need to motivate their little ones to spend more time outside playing and discovering the wonders of their own backyards.
But first, safety
Before transforming your backyard into a child’s haven, you need to create a safe environment where your children can play. Make sure that your entire backyard is fenced in order to prevent your children from wandering off. If you have a pool, you should place a safety fence around it. Afterwards, you should clean your backyard from all debris and any hidden dangers. Checking whether you have any toxic plants, such as barberry, calla lily, oleander and others, is another important step. Finally, you should put all of your cleaning supplies, chemicals and tools under lock and key so that your children can’t reach them.
Make it appealing
After childproofing your backyard, you can move on to styling it up. Introducing plenty of colours and interesting decorations will help you create a playful atmosphere that will appeal to your children. Using colourful decorations will spark your children’s imagination and creativity, and contribute to their general development. In addition, this will draw their attention away from their video games. Yarn bombing is a great way to add colour to your backyard in a fun, playful way.
You should also consider what kind of activities you want to plan for your children. If you want to motivate your children to be more artistic, you’ll need to design an arts and crafts corner where your children can paint and create.
For the mind and body
Physical activity is not only for the body, but also for the mind, so you should plan activities and games that will contribute to your children’s both physical and cognitive development. A backyard obstacle course is a great activity that can promote your children’s general development, including their motor skills, coordination, balance, agility and spatial awareness. For an obstacle course in your own backyard, you can include balancing obstacles like books or eggs on spoons, bunny hopping through ladders, jumping rope, doing push-ups and even some teamwork activities, such as a “mummy” obstacle where one child wraps their partner in toilet paper. Of course, the difficulty of your backyard obstacle course will vary depending on your children’s age, but make sure to design a course that is neither too easy nor too difficult.
Giving your children their own private area for relaxation and play is another great idea for your backyard. You can use an old tent, lovely tepee or design a playhouse. For younger children, you can design a sand box with all the necessary items, such as shovels, scoops, buckets, etc. However, make sure to add a large umbrella to provide them with enough shade.
Backyard isn’t a battlefield
Joining your children in their play will contribute to their development and awaken your inner child. By being active with your children, you’ll be a great role model, sending a message that regular activity is important and valued in your home. However, you also need to distance yourself and let your children learn and play on their own, as well as discover their own inner world. As long as you keep your eye on your children from a distance, they will remain safe and protected.
Enjoy the perfect chaos
You, as a parent, can relax and appreciate your children’s night of sweet dreams after a day of fun and activity that you ensured. You can spend a quiet, relaxing evening indulging yourself, not worrying about the perfect chaos in your backyard.