As much as you love your kids, sometimes your house can feel just a bit too closed in for comfort. It’s hard to get on with anything – whether it’s work, domestic tasks, or even your own relaxing – with them running about under your feet and generally causing mayhem. At times like this, you may be desperate for a great outdoor space where you can let your kids play safely and cut loose without stampeding all over the house!
Now, if you’re lucky enough to have a big garden, this problem may be solved already. But what if your only outdoor space is a tiny yard or even a driveway, with nothing but concrete and boring walls on all sides? Well, there are some simple and fun ways you can transform even the tiniest space into a cute outdoor playground. You can even do some of these DIY tasks as fun activities with your kids!
Space and Activities
Your first task should be to look around and plan according to the size and type of space available to you. Any area can be utilized, from a tiny patio to a concrete yard, as long as you tailor your plans to what you have. Different games and stimulating activities will require different amounts of space. For a smaller area, a basketball hoop on the wall is a classic example of how to provide hours of fun with minimal space. You can also use Rust-Oleum paints, which are highly resistant to wear and tear, to paint activities on the ground. What about hopscotch (old school, but a classic), or a grid for 9-square (the most fun you can have with nothing but a ball, some friends, and the smallest of areas)?
A boring grey concrete yard might not fill your kids with enthusiasm for playing outside – but don’t let this stop you. You can fill your outdoor space with color by painting across the floor and walls or making outdoor murals for you all to enjoy. This is an activity you can do with your kids, so they feel like they have ownership over the space they have helped to create. It’s a good idea to make some suggestions – for example, you could designate one wall as a jungle mural and fill it with simple trees, and let your kids paint their best impressions of elephants, jaguars, and tigers… Or you could just let them run wild and fill the space with color! Just make sure you’re using waterproof paints or a waterproof coating to protect your gorgeous paintings from the weather.
Especially if you have younger kids, it’s important to be aware of safety when sending them to play outside. If you have a yard that is open to the road, consider putting in a gate, high and with child-proof locks, so you can feel confident that playing in the yard won’t spill out into more dangerous areas. Children are notoriously resilient, so you shouldn’t worry too much about them playing on hard surfaces, but if you’re particularly concerned, you can plant little borders around the walls to keep them from bashing into them too much. Mosses and grasses are a great way to soften any falls, as well as bringing a splash of color and nature into their play area.
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