A backyard is a haven for an entire family. For kids, it provides fun and relaxation in the comfort of their own home. For parents, it’s a way to relax from a busy day and get a peace of mind knowing that their children are home and safe.

The typical playground

A backyard is not complete without a swing. They are very easy to make and install, and also cheap to purchase. You can go as simple as hanging a car tire from a tree or making a standing swing from an old skateboard. Use car tires to make little seesaws or find a DIY plan for a standard seesaw. Include a couple of climbing and jumping features, such as a rock-climbing wall, climbing rope, and a trampoline. Make sure there is a slide. If you have a steep backyard and a slope you can use, simply place the slide tube on it. A slide can also lead into the pool or a sandpit.

A pit

A typical playground includes a sandpit. To encourage imaginative play, offer a greater variety of materials. You could make a single pit or three of them. They should include sand, gravel, and dirt. There is not much need for explaining the purpose of a sandpit. Gravel is harder to use for building things, but it is made out of a large number of individual rocks, and your kids may find each one of them interesting. Also, toddlers enjoy the sensation of the gravel passing through their fingers and they will find digging through it fascinating. Finally, the dirt. It does not have to be a pit, it could simply be an area. It is meant to be soft, with properties similar to clay, and easily made into the mud.

A mud kitchen and a construction site

These two are best kept in a corner, next to the dirt, and as far as way from your patio as it can get. Both, the construction site, and the mud kitchen use mud as the key ingredient. In addition, there are the sand and gravel pits nearby for the convenience of little builders. Little chefs will know exactly what to do in the kitchen, while you can assist little builders by showing them how to make bricks and mortar. Your kids will spend days and hours playing in this area, for sure.

A pool area

There is nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day than dipping in a swimming pool. While your kids are still very young, you can pull this off with an inflatable swimming pool. You could get an above ground pool the entire family can enjoy. You should include a stand nearby, for all the accessories and toys your children may want to use in the pool. An inground pool is the real thing, but it is not convenient for small backyards and it is expensive to build and maintain. People behind Aspect Shade remind you that you should not forget to protect your children from the sun and that using garden or swimming pool awnings may be the best permanent solution.

Old MacDonald had a farm…

This type of area can be made in backyards of all sizes. You can choose whichever elements you prefer, and think will fit. Create a small vegetable garden, with only a couple of plants of several species, to show your children how to care for plants, teach them responsibility, and the value of home-grown food. In addition, you can make a little petting zoo. Now small animals tend to grow up, so be careful what you choose. A well-designed chicken hoop can, in fact, look decorative in this area and will teach kids something about farm animals. They will enjoy collecting eggs.

A place to relax

Regardless of how old your children are, they will look for a nice private place to relax and read, when they learn how to. This can be a hammock, their own bench, a hanging pod, and even a tree house. Beware that each one of these will also be used as a play area at the times of excess energy. When your children are up for playing, everything can be used as a prop. This is why none of these should be built or hung too high above the ground, and you should make sure there is a soft landing spot, in case they fall.

Something for teens

While a teenager may occasionally sit on a swing, it is not necessarily what they would wish for. This refers to the older teenagers, in particular. Create a secluded area they can enjoy with their friends. The further away it is from the patio and your sitting area, the better. Include several comfortable chairs placed around a firepit. If you have a garden wall nearby, paint a part of it white and make it into an outdoor movie theater screen. Alternatively, hang a white sheet if there are no walls around.

Inspire your children to learn, play, spend time with their friends, be outdoors, and relax within the safety of their home. Design a backyard everyone can enjoy. As a perk, you can do this together, spending time as a family.

Author's Bio: 

Biologist by day, writer by night, and a huge geek. My fields of expertise could be summed up to health, fitness and nutrition-related topics. My interests are on the other hand wide and ever-evolving.