When you first buy your own home with a backyard, most of us immediately begin to dream of all the memories that we hope to create there with our families. Even though life is full of beautiful unplanned moments, sometimes we need to take a more active role in creating memories we can cherish later.
For many parents, the tasks and responsibilities of daily life don’t always leave time to plan elaborate parties. However, if you gather the right tools, you can always throw an easy, fun backyard activity on short notice. It all depends on your audience!
So what are some fun easy things to do in your backyard? The answer may be as simple as a picnic date, outdoor board games, or mock camping.
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We have listed five fun easy activities here that should cater to the entire family and every age group. The answer will be different depending on whether your goal is a date night, to keep your teens engaged, or to involve smaller children at a birthday party.
Fan the Flames of Romance with a Picnic Date
At its most basic level, all you will need to do this are a good picnic blanket (and our reviewers tell us this is the best one) and a trip to the grocery store.
No matter how simple, few backyard activities can take the routine out of your relationship like spending a few hours laying in the grass, with some special snacks, as dusk falls.
You can make your picnic date as elaborate as you want it, with a full meal and a glass of wine, or by simply mixing up some crispy breadsticks with a homemade dip. The important thing is to be able to feel the grass beneath your toes and to enjoy a long conversation away from the TV or your phones. So don’t forget to leave them inside the house!
Involve Your Teens with Some Alternative Board Games
If your children are already in middle school or high school, keeping them engaged may require more of a mental challenge than the old games of catch. Board games offer a great opportunity to engage in some healthy competition – plus, they can help you connect with their other quirky interests!
Some good examples of this include:
- A deep-dive into the Topic of the Year with Pandemic
- A fast round of Exploding Kittens
- The chance to live out a horror story with Betrayal in the House of the Hill
- Creating a new frontier for humankind with Terraforming Mars.
If you will be sitting directly on the grass, make sure to pick something that is card-based or that has big pieces: you don’t want to spend hours looking for tiny tokens with a magnifying glass!
Get Your Children Exercising with an Obstacle Course
Instead, if your kids are still in primary school, your main challenge will be to keep them away from the TV every once in a while. A good obstacle course will ensure they move around in the afternoon, and hopefully tire them out before dinner.
You can build obstacles with any objects that you have lying around your house. For example:
- Hang pool noodles from a nearby tree that they will need to evade.
- Use a few wooden poles that they will need to jump through.
- Have them have to throw something (such as a thick string) over a trellis.
- Use old wheels or plastic bowls to mark spots of “lava” that they will have to avoid.
If you have other kids coming over, such as for a birthday party, these obstacles can also be turned into part of a scavenger hunt. Kids love the chance to compete for a secret prize, and it will allow your guest to scatter around a bit into manageable groups.
Take your Tiny Ones to a Mock Campsite
If you still have toddlers or preschool-aged children, now is the right time to start sowing the seeds of an outdoorsy nature. At this stage, they will be too small to go to a proper campsite or natural park. However, you can get them interested in the idea by organizing a backyard camp while staying safe and close to home.
If you can, don’t just put up a tent and make them watch the fire. Instead, get one of these special kids’ tents that they will be able to touch and help build themselves. The more hands-on their experience is, the more it will pique their curiosity for the real deal.
Sometimes, you don’t need to spend a lot of money or travel far to break the routine: you can just take advantage of the space you already have at home! Fun backyard games and dinner nights will create the kind of memories that you will cherish 10 or 20 years from now.
If your family has a lot of small children, the priority will be to get them moving around. If they are already in high school, they may be more interested in pursuing their own outside life – so it will be up to you to find something that matches their hobbies. Learn how to keep your teens engaged here.