One of the joys of childhood is being able to run around in the backyard. It can be a place for adventure, imaginative play, and a child’s first introduction to sports. Whether you just moved into a new home or you’re simply preparing your yard for a new arrival, there are certain steps you can take to ensure that your backyard is kid-friendly and appropriate for hours of fun.


The most important consideration is safety. Ideally, your yard should be fenced in to keep pets or little ones from straying too far from home.

– Make sure your fence posts are secure and nailed in completely. If you are using a chain link fence, check for holes or gaps, and make sure the fence isn’t pulled up around the bottom.

– Carefully inspect your yard for weeds like poison ivy or poison sumac, and dispose of it properly and thoroughly.

– Use an organic weed-killer, or if you decide to go for something stronger; be sure to keep the little ones out of the yard until it dries – about 24 hours or more. Try spraying after they go to bed on a school night to remove temptation.

– Sprinkler heads and holes can be a tripping hazard, so keep the grass low enough that they are easily visible.

Outdoor use

Once your yard is relatively injury-proof, you’ll want to enjoy it with your family as much as possible. You can play a lot of tag or hide and seek, but eventually you’ll need to stop for a snack.

– Some home renovations now include an outdoor kitchen. Complete with mini-fridge, range, and sink, you can cook a family meal among the birds and flowers. Many businesses offer do-it-yourself outdoor cabinet systems that are completely weather-proof—designed to look perfect after snowstorms, direct sunlight, or even drenching rain.

– Create amazing memories for your children by making dinner together under the stars and enjoying a moonlit picnic.

Play areas

Kids can play for hours with a football, a jump rope, or just a few sticks for dueling. However, to make the perfect backyard you’ll want to design a play space just for them.

– If you have the trees and the construction know-how, consider a custom tree house. It can be as simple as a raised platform between three trees, or you can go all out with a rope ladder, walls, and a roof.

– If your yard is of a grassier and open persuasion, your kids will enjoy a traditional swing set or playground. Play structures can be purchased as a set to be installed, or piece by piece to create your own individual play place. Incorporate slides, ladders, monkey bars, or even a ship captain’s wheel and telescope.

By creating a safe and kid-friendly backyard, you make a space you can enjoy with your children for years. Encourage outside activity and exercise, and don’t forget patio furniture for yourself, so you can watch your children play.

Photo credit: ssdg4773