Sunday, June 5, 2016

Enjoy the Backyard (June 2016 Monthly Goals)

This spring a big focus for us as a family has been getting the backyard ready for summer. We're pretty blessed to already have a large backyard, but this spring it's gone from a fun place to play to a pretty kid focused yard.

One of our motivations has been that this summer (in addition to visiting some of our favorite local spots) I really want to spend time just relaxing, at home in our yard. 

What we've added to our yard:

We've had both some good luck and some creative fun adding a few new things to our yard this spring.

• Our neighbors passed on their amazing play structure, which was perfect timing as our other one was getting too small for the boys.

• Big Brother asked his grandparents to chip in on a zipline for his birthday, although we realized later that meant we needed to build a platform. Daddy built something pretty awesome so that it can be used as a treehouse as well.

• We scored an Intex Pool on Amazon for a great price (and used credit to make it a true steal.)

• We added some birch tree cookies to several play spots after we had to take down a small birch tree.
• We got out family garden planted this week, which will hopefully be full of yummy, snack-able veggies.

• The boys were given some pretty cool sports toys at Christmas and for their birthdays that we were able to set up this spring.

I know we've been pretty lucky to pull off these additions, but here's a few tips to think about if you want to add to your own yard: 

• Check out Craigslist or other online yard sale posts for used play structures. Although ours came locally, I know other people who have found great deals on structures via Craigslist. For free or a reduced price you can find an amazing deal on a structure that another family is ready to pass on. It may take a little extra "elbow grease" but it's worth it. 

• Yard sale! You never know what you might find for used yard toys and sports equipment. 

• This year we've been asking our parents (the grandparents) to think about chipping in on or larger presents or purchasing non-seasonal gifts for Christmas and birthdays. It allows the boys to get a bigger present or something useable by both of them, and limits the amount of toys coming into the house. 

• Be patient. I've been keeping my eye on the pool we purchased since last summer waiting for it to go on sale. When it finally did, combined with an Amazon credit, it was worth it. 

• Use what you have. Think about what you already have in your house/yard that can be repurposed into something else. For us, a fallen tree made great tree cookies. But other ideas are that you might be able to turn old kitchen supplies into a mud kitchen or musical station or use tires for a climbing structure. 

• Even if you don't have a lot of space for a garden (ours is a raised bed garden) think about container gardening a few key veggies and herbs. Kids love picking their own produce, and they are more likely to eat it that way! 

• Don't be afraid to try building something yourself. We looked at a lot of build your own swing set designs on the internet for the spring. It's easy to find the plans online or through Pinterest. 

Why focus on enjoying the yard? 
To me,  relaxing and enjoying the backyard means we're going to slow down our pace a little. After such a busy and chaotic month of May, we are all ready for a little down time. Playing in the yard and enjoying what we've built and set up means no early morning rush, no coordinating schedules, and no late work evenings. 

All four of us are pretty ready to just have the downtime we need, and our backyard will be the perfect place to do it. 

Throughout this month we'll be sharing different backyard ideas, fun, and games. Be sure to keep an eye on Facebook and Pinterest, especially our Outdoor Fun board where we save lots of great ideas. And don't forget to check out the other Monthly Goal Posts from these other bloggers: 

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1 comment:

  1. What a fun yard! I am hoping to get into a house sometime soon so that we can have a yard again.