Parents have always instinctively known what researchers are still trying to confirm: that the benefits of outdoor playtime are innumerable. We know that children who often play outdoors have better social skills, executive functions, and behavioral skills than those who stay indoors. Studies have shown that outdoor settings reduce ADHD symptoms in children, a condition which affects approximately 11 percent of children 4–17 years of age, according to data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And perhaps most importantly in this day and age, outdoor playtime helps limit kids’ screen time to the recommended 1–2 hours per day.
But outdoor playtime is not without its hazards, especially during the summer break when temperatures often exceed 90ºF, at which point most weather guidelines recommend parents to use caution and closely observe their kids for signs of being too hot.
The good news is that there are many fantastic products that can help you create the perfect summer kid-friendly backyard playground to maximize the benefits of outdoor playtime.
Give your kids a chalkboard to draw on
Don’t wait for your kids to turn one of your walls into an art project – give them an outdoor chalkboard to draw on instead. You can buy a large chalkboard and install it on the fence, get one of those chalkboard easels fancy restaurants use, or buy a small one and let your kids carry it around wherever they want. An added benefit of a smaller chalkboard is the fact that you can easily display it at home when your kids draw something that touches your heart so much that erasing it simply isn’t an option.
Turn your backyard into a beach
If you want to see your kids’ faces light up with big smiles, surprise them with a spacious pool, such as this one from Intex. Included with the pool is also a removable ladder with slip-resistant steps and a handy debris cover that helps to keep the pool water fresh and clean. Also, don’t forget to give your kids a selection of floats and pool toys to play with. And while you’re at it, why not turn your backyard into a beach by adding a DIY sandbox? All you’ll need is a couple of basic tools and a few planks, and you can give your kids a fantastic reason to go outside and play.
Set up an inflatable bouncer with a water slide
There is at least one thing kids and adults can agree on: inflatable bouncers are awesome! And the only thing better than regular inflatable bouncers are inflatable bouncers with a water slide. Depending on where you live, you might want to choose an inflatable bouncer with an open design so it doesn’t get too hot inside even in the summer heat. Or, better yet, get an open bouncer with a pool area to make it easy for your kids to splash themselves with water even with they are too young to slide.
A backyard campsite for the perfect adventure
Try to remember what activities you loved the most when you were a kid, and we bet that camping was one of them. Unlike you, your kids may have computers and smartphones, but we guarantee that they’ll quickly forget about them if you create a backyard campsite where they can experience memorable summer adventures without venturing too far away from home. A tent that your kids can turn into their operating base is a must, but you should also consider a hammock, a few chairs, or perhaps even a tree house.
Keep it cool with an evaporative air cooler
Unlike fans which only circulate existing air, evaporative air coolers cool air through the evaporation of water, which makes them extremely energy-efficient and suitable for hot summer months, when the air is often uncomfortably dry. Best of all, evaporative air coolers are weather-resistant and easily portable, making them a perfect choice for outdoors. Choose a model with powerful air flow for your porch or backyard to enjoy summer afternoons with your family.
With numerous best-selling products, Honeywell is a popular manufacturer with a variety of indoor and outdoor consumer products, and its evaporative air coolers never disappoint with their reliability, affordability, and features.
Build a Gazebo for Extra Shade
A cozy gazebo adds a shielded play area to your backyard, allowing your kids to play in the shade when the sun becomes unbearable. There are plenty fantastic modern gazebo ideas on the internet, and you can also purchase a ready-to-assemble gazebo from Amazon and other online stores.
A great example of high-quality Gazebo that you can just order, assemble, and use is the Madison Pavilion Gazebo from Sunjoy. This gazebo is made from durable steel with a powder-coated finish, and it comes with an eye-catching soft-top canopy that remains stable even in windy conditions.