Remember when summertime was fun? Think back to your days as a kid and teen, when you didn’t have the responsibilities of school and you could spend your days outside, soaking up the sunshine and playing with friends. Don’t you wish you could go back?
While no one can turn back time, you can build the summertime backyard of your dreams. Here are a few ideas for ensuring your backyard is ripe for seasonal sun, friends and fun.
Make Your Lawn Lush
There is little less fun than heading outside and seeing prickly, dead grass. One key to enjoying the summer is spending as much time as you can spread out on a soft lawn, which means its worth your time and energy to bring your lawn to peak health ASAP.
Depending on your lawn’s starting point, this could be either quite easy or dishearteningly difficult. For instance, if your lawn is already green but requires some thickness, you might only need to overseed to encourage denser, lusher growth. Conversely, if your lawn is suffering from a bevy of ills — brown patches, poor growth, dryness, sparseness, etc. — you might do better to hire professional lawn care services to diagnose and treat your ailing grass. If your problems are severe, you might not have a healthy lawn by this summer, but you could have the lawn of your dreams by next summer.
Install a Home Playground
A playground in your backyard is a convenient way to have fun without venturing as far as the park. Playgrounds come in all shapes and sizes; you can invest in whatever features fit your lifestyle to give yourself more fun within convenient reach. Younger kids enjoy a sandbox (or even a mud box) and swings, while older kids might enjoy more adventurous activities, like a zip line or a fort.
Even if you don’t have kids, a backyard playground can be a worthwhile investment. For instance, kids of all ages enjoy the challenge and thrill of a rock-climbing wall. You might also install outdoor exercise equipment to take advantage of the beautiful summer weather; parallel bars, platforms of various heights, monkey bars and a stretching rack are all useful backyard additions.
Build a Better Entertaining Space
Most of the fun of summer comes from seeing more of the people you love. To take full advantage of the gorgeous summer weather and the extra free time for family and friends, you should consider expanding your outdoor entertaining areas. Outdoor living is a growing trend in home design; buyers want more places on their property to relax and enjoy themselves. Thus, enhancing your outdoor entertaining spaces with indoor features like fans, refrigerators, televisions and more is a great way to both increase the value of your home and provide more comfort and style for your summertime guests.
Make DIY Garden Games
Finally, one way to put your backyard over-the-top for the summer is to offer a plethora of games that keep the fun going. In the past, garden games like croquet and badminton were popular, but these days people enjoy games that require less energy and are likely to be less competitive. Fortunately, there are a few activities easy to DIY, so you don’t have to drop hundreds of dollars on summertime fun. Here is just a small handful of options to consider crafting:
- Slip n Slide. Admittedly, a brand-name Slip n Slide doesn’t cost a fortune, if you can’t get to a toy store, you can craft your own using plastic sheeting, liquid soap and a sprinkler attachment on a hose. It helps if there is some grade to your backyard, so you can use gravity to pull bodies to the end of the slide. You might also need to anchor the sides of your slide with landscape pins, to ensure the sheeting doesn’t curl up on unsuspecting slippers.
- Cornhole. There is a whole host of games with the same mechanic: cornhole, horseshoes, ladder toss and more. If you have power tools, it isn’t difficult to build your own cornhole set out of wood. Then, you can buy bean bags or sew your own.
- Giant Jenga. Jenga is one of the simpler games to make yourself: cut 2×4 boards into 54 10.5-inch pieces, and voila. You don’t even need a saw to complete this DIY; most big box home improvement stores will make woodcuts for you, so you could have your Jenga set with minimal effort.
You probably can’t abandon all your adult responsibilities for the entire summer — but that doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to enjoy the season. By making a few changes to your backyard, you can have a fun, convenient summer, just like you did when you were young.