With summer looming and on the horizon, it’s a great time to get the kids outside, enjoying the fresh air. But how do you get them away from technology like their tablets and Ipads or Netflix! Well, it’s time to start planning some epic summer fun, whether it’s spending time by the pool or backyard camping; there are so many activities that get kids away from the screen!
There are loads of fun backyard fort ideas; typically, they are made from fabric, wood, or recyclable materials such as cardboard and branches. So, don’t worry, you don’t need to be a professional carpenter to build them. Likewise, they do not need to be complicated or time-consuming to put together!
Here are a few examples:
A-Frame Playhouse Fort
A for Amazing, a-frame houses are a really hot house style right now. You can purchase everything from a home depot or any hardware store. It’s as easy as constructing the floor, using cross boars, and constructing the framing for the two walls that the roof will be attached to. Don’t forget to build the opening of the door and add additional boards to stabilize it! On the backside of the house, for a bit of glam, construct a window opening!
Fabric Forts are some of the easiest styles to build. They are straightforward and take little time to set up. It might even be a great challenger for the kids to set them up themselves! These might use existing items like tables as their foundation – simply throw a sheet over the top, and you have a fort, or even put two chairs back to back and hang a sheet over that!
What about Recyclable Forts?
It is important to teach kids about sustainability, so why not use a fun challenge to help enable that? Like being able to create an eco-friendly fort made from recyclable items! If you have any old cardboard boxes or sticks found in the backyard or neighborhood. They are also easy to set up and take down once the summer is finished, which is perfect if you are looking for a temporary option.
Cozy it Up!
It is also important to make your fort cozy and fill it with all the things that might help kids have an epic summer. It could be with soft furnishings like cushions and pillows, soft toys, and furniture. To give it an aesthetic, use some string lights so that the fort can be enjoyed in the long summer evenings and during the day.
Hopping Stump Jump From Fallen Trees
This is an invigorating and fun game for kids, full of energetic bursts and balance. A stump jump game is a great opportunity to use those fallen tree logs front the last time a storm came through. Simply cut the stumps to the same (or different) heights and let the kids have at it! You (or they) could paint them different or fun colors for added complexity for your children. Placing the logs in a row or other designs can help add to the stumps’ creativity.
Create Backyard Rooms for Comfort and Privacy
It’s a good idea to give the kids a feeling of privacy and intimacy for their play. Your backyard may already provide these nooks, corners, or trees, like a weeping willow hanging down to create a secret room or a climbing tree for older kids.
You can also create rooms by adding shrubs or trees, a trellis, an umbrella or canopy, or some sort of fort or hideaway. This can also be where the forts come in! Why not also use an umbrella or shade canopy?
Create an Outdoor Lounge
Sometimes DIY backyard ideas can be as simple as using the items you already have in a new way, and a cool outdoor lounge is a great example of that. Use an empty kiddie pool and pile it with bright throw pillows and blankets, and you can make the kids feel like they are living the high life. But, of course, you may not even want the kids to use it because of how cool it is.
Most things in life are free, but some are also well-chosen equipment that can make a backyard even more fun!
Trampolines are great because bouncing increases lymphatic flow and strengthens bones. However, it is important to keep the trampoline as safe as possible, so have a net around the top and the bottom so the kids can’t walk underneath. It may also be a good idea to limit how many children can jump at once and keep a close eye on kids while they are jumping.
Instagram, Youtube, and Pinterest have no shortage of DIY climbing wall inspiration, and you don’t have to be a great carpenter either. It is important to plan the dimensions; whether you buy or build, you will want to know how tall and wide you want your climbing wall. This depends on your child’s height and the available space, or if you don’t want to do that, why not mount rock climbing holds on boards on one side of the treehouse or nail them against a brick wall!
Games and Sports
Beyond the basic equipment, there are also backyard games that are worth investing in over the years.
Volleyball and Badminton
This is a great way for kids to be active and to get the adults and kids involved! In addition, it can lead to improved coordination and exercise. Using one net can work for both activities; make sure you go to a sports store to purchase durable badminton racquets and tennis racquets!
Why not set up a tent outside, let the kids live outside for a while and let them set up things the way they want, as it can be their patch? Then, they could invite a friend for a sleepover if it suits them. And they do not need to panic as they are still going to be in the wi-fi range.
Most primary-aged kids are ready for the responsibility of caring for their own veggie or flower patch, and high schoolers could be growing all the veggies they need. In fact, gardening is genuinely one of the healthiest possible outdoor activities for older kids and could well be the start of a lifelong hobby. You can invest in vegetable garden beds and potting mix, or you can get old tyres laid on the ground and filled with potting mix. Or even older kitchen containers, old food vessels, and drawers from old cabinets!
Make an Obstacle Course
You don’t have to build anything to get an obstacle course going in the backyard. Think of all the ways kids can go over, under, around, and through what’s already set up. They will enjoy racing each other or beat their best using a timer. They can change the obstacle course around as regularly as they please, but you can also use the same course over and over, just racing to beat their personal best score.
Get Into Wildlife
The backyard has a surprising number of insects, birdlife, and mini-beasts. Encourage the kids to explore by recording what they find in a nature journal. Then, arm them with a pair of binoculars, magnifying glass, camera, and their journal and see who can find the most mini-beasts in an afternoon.
Here is to Summer! What backyard ideas do you have to keep your kids creative and playful this summer?