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4 Ways Parents Can Encourage Their Kids to Play in the Yard This Summer

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Parents, do you remember spending the entire day outside as a kid? I remember my mother calling me from the door for dinner because I would stay outside all day and night if I was allowed.

Kids "these days" are not spending their time outside.

And it's not just your imagination. Statistics show that children play outside just 4 hours a week. Fast Company reports that kids spend less time outdoors than prison inmates. Seriously.

That's a problem. But even in a world filled with YouTube, the Internet and television, there's still some hope. Parents can start preparing their yards today, before the warm weather comes along, to encourage their kids to spend more time outside this spring and summer season.

What can you do to encourage kids to play in the yard?

1. Add Stump Steps to the Yard

Stump steps add to a backyard. These unique additions to your yard actually fit the outdoors, so they won't look out of place. You'll also find that adding these stumps, in varying heights of course, will help your child:

  • Increase their balance

You want to make sure that the stumps are far enough apart that it's challenging for your kids to walk or run across them.

Where in the world can you find stumps?

I've found that people selling firewood in the winter often have leftover wood or stumps that can be used. Local Facebook groups are a great place to ask around about stumps.

2. Add Furniture That Spurs Imagination

When I was growing up, we had a three-acre front yard, and it was empty. It was a great place to lay on the ground or play soccer, but it wasn't a place for imagination. Furniture can add to your child's imagination.

You'll find teak furniture is a great option because it repels dry rot, it's durable, and it holds on to natural oils and even rubber in the wood grains. Teak is a low-maintenance option.

But what can you do with furniture to make your backyard fun?

  • Thrones. Yes, thrones. I saw a very expensive wooden throne available for your prince or princess.

  • Benches can be added to allow kids to sit and stargaze at night.

  • Swings add a nice, fun place to play and relax.

You'll also be able to add circular benches around trees or other wooden creations to almost invite your kids outdoors.

3. Rock Spots Are Fun

Younger kids want to play in the dirt and rocks. A gravel play area can be added to your yard easily. You'll need the following for a 4' x 5' gravel pit:

  • Stones

  • Wood

  • 5 x 50lb pea gravel bags

You'll use the stones and wood to help contain the gravel. Fill your hole, add gravel and put rocks around the edges. Kids that play with trucks will love spending time in their gravel oasis.

4. Water Slide and Sprinklers

Young kids, teens and adults love to find a place to cool down in the summer. What better way to encourage kids to play outside than to install sprinklers and water slides? Kids that love to cool down will love sliding on the water slide.

You don't need an entire pool – sprinklers or independent slides will work just as well.

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