Creating a playground in your yard

Have you been trying to figure out a way to get your kids out of the house?  Let’s face it—these days kids just aren’t as active as they used to be, and when we are so busy ourselves, it can be hard to get them out of the house and away from the TV, the Xbox, or any other of the gadgets that we’ve bought to distract them.

One way to inspire your children is to start putting together a homemade playground in your backyard.  Look outside and think about it.  A lot of us have nothing more in the yard but a flat, pristine stretch of lawn or some gravel and a broken down car.  Not exactly inspiring for play, so unless you want them wandering off who knows where.  It’s time to make something in the direct vicinity of your home that will drag them outdoors.

Here are some simple things to get you started.

Trampolines

A trampoline is probably the simplest way to immediately make your yard a kid’s heaven, and even if you didn’t add anything else, they will be tempted to run out and use it for years, even far into their teens.  Trampolines are an amazing source of physical activity that have proven to be even more beneficial than a cardio routine, and kids like to do all sorts of stunts on them, making them lot of fun.

Just be sure to consider safety first when choosing the model for your yard.  A lot of the older ones have proven to be quite dangerous, so look for a newer design, like the springless trampoline.

Slides

What kid doesn’t love a slide?  This is a rather cheap addition to your background playground.  If you’ve already got a pool installed, this can be a way to really make it that much more of a blast.

Swing sets

While certainly not as versatile or captivating as a trampoline, swing sets will always hold their allure for children.  A moment in your backyard giving them a push can be the simplest of bonding experiences, and you will likely find yourself sitting in the seat for a little rocking back and forth as well.  If you’ve got a big back yard and some sturdy trees, save some money by putting up a strong rope or tire swing.

Pools

I realize not everyone can afford an Olympic size swimming pool in the backyard, but all you need is something that can hold some water.  There are plenty of above-ground pools that provide plenty of fun for kids who just want to get wet in the heat and splash around a little bit.

Those are just a few simple ideas.  The point is to start thinking about how you can make your backyard more inviting to kids, and then you won’t have to nag on them to get them outside—they’ll go all on their own.  Sure, they’ll still spend some time playing games on the Xbox, but their lives will begin to alternate between the inside and outside world rather than resembling the life of a couch cushion.

Start adding components like these one at a time as money allows—trampoline, swing, pool—and before you know it, your backyard will be the most exciting place in town.

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