Barbara’s Backyard Tips

flower-boxIt’s Memorial Day weekend and time to get outside and enjoy your backyard. If you don’t have quite the backyard you’re dreaming of, try Barbara’s tips on how to spruce up your backyard with the kids this summer without spending a fortune!

Flower boxes. Simple flower boxes can be purchased at the hardware
store and then decorated and planted with veggies or flowers.

Painted-chairsFind a table & chair at a garage sale (or your own garage) and let the kids make it new for the summer with some left-over paints. Scrub it down first and scrap off the loose paint, but don’t worry too much about getting it perfect: the idea is to add some color for the season and to let the kids have fun.

Knotted Rope climb-2Make an old-fashion tree swing with 1-1/2” diameter manila rope. You can buy it at Orchard supply. It’s fantastic to look at and to play with! Tie it loosely but securely around a strong tree branch and tie a knot in the bottom to site on. Just make sure you have plenty of room to swing in all directions.

Western-picnic-tableBuy or make a wooden bench and a wood burning tool. Let the kids have fun with it – carving their names, hearts, stars, moons. Then stain the bench a bright color and the carvings will pop!

HammockString a hammock between two trees for lots of lollygagging.

BirdhouseBirdhouse. You can buy unfinished birdhouses at many stores or find
plans on the internet to make your own. Have fun with the kids decorating
it and put it in a focal point of the backyard.

Make your own stepping stones. Many craft stores sell kits with the molds
and the cement. You provide the decoration: marbles, shells, beads, pebbles.
It’s great to get the kids involved. Kids have a knack for playful decoration and it’s a perfect outlet for their creative energy (which can sometimes be a bit messy!)

Dog houseMake a special spot for the family pets. Let your kids go wild painting your dog house; Fido won’t mind!

Helping to “design” the backyard will give the kids a sense of pride and ownership too.

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