When your kids are active and they have specific sports they want to pursue, creating a play space in the backyard can be a natural way to encourage these activities. Whether your youngster likes ball or climbing or other types of sports, there are many features you can install in a backyard to give your child ample opportunity for active play.
As you plan and arrange your backyard for your family, don’t forget to think about safety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide important information about spring and summer outdoor safety to help you keep your kids safe. From insects to standing water in the yard, there are many situations to consider as you create a safe and fun outdoor play area in your yard.
With 10 backyard additions for your little aspiring athlete, your kids can have fun while developing important physical skills.
Backyard play structures can be simple or extensive designs, depending on your budget, your space and the age of your kids. The structure might include swings and a slide, or it can be more extensive with monkey bars and jungle gym equipment. If your kids are active and need areas for swinging and climbing, install a larger play structure that includes areas for climbing. This equipment will encourage strength-building and coordination as your kids play actively in the backyard.
A trampoline will encourage kids to develop coordination and jumping skills. As kids grow, they will learn how to flip and executive summersaults in the air on a trampoline. Always install necessary safety hardware with a trampoline, including nets and guards. Institute firm safety rules with the trampoline that include only one person jumping on the equipment at a time. Always provide adequate supervision of your kids while they use the trampoline to avoid injuries.
If you have a large and sturdy tree in the backyard, you might install a rope from a large branch. The rope can include knots to enable your kids to climb the rope to the top. Rope climbing helps develop coordination and strength. Install a safe ground cover beneath the rope to protect your kids if they fall from the rope.
A climbing wall in the backyard will provide ample opportunity for your kids to develop strong climbing skills. The climbing wall should include holds, bolts and a safe flooring material under the wall. Hire an expert company to assess your backyard and make professional recommendations to ensure that you have a safe climbing wall for your kids to use.
A basketball hoop in the backyard will enable your kids to develop basketball skills. The hoop should be adjustable to various heights to enable shorter kids to shoot hoops as well as older kids. When the hoop is extended to its full height, kids can practice shooting hoops at the standard height to help them develop strong basketball skills. If you have the room, install a full basketball court with two hoops at opposite ends of the paved area. This will enable your kids to practice playing basketball on a standard court.
A zip line is a relatively new backyard addition that can be fun for both big and little kids. Zip lines are a popular activity at amusement parks and now backyard play equipment can include zip lines for home use if you purchase a zip line kit for installation at home. The kit includes a cable and tools to anchor the line in your yard. Once installed, kids strap into a harness and zip along on a pulley from one end of the contraption to the other end. The best way to set up a zip line in a backyard is from one large tree to another large tree. Standard cables are either 150 feet or 250 feet long.
A large grassy area might be the perfect spot to install a badminton net. With the net installed, encourage your kids to play badminton with racquets and the badminton birdie. Playing badminton will develop hand-eye coordination as kids learn how to hit the birdie back and forth over the net.
Depending on your backyard size and your budget, you might install a pool for kids to learn swimming skills. An above-ground pool won’t be as large or as deep as an in-ground pool, but kids can still learn basic swimming skills in the water. With an in-ground pool, kids can practice swimming and learn a variety of swimming strokes. If you install a pool, include adequate safety features such as a fence and pool cover to keep kids out of the pool unless you are supervising. Never allow kids to use the pool without adequate supervision.
If you have a baseball enthusiast, a backyard batting cage could help your child develop important batting skills. The batting cage involves a net that encloses the batting cage, preventing balls from flying around the yard. At one end of the net, the ball machine sits to send balls to the batter on the other end. Batting cages come in various sizes to fit in the space you have available in your yard.
The simple and old-fashioned game of hopscotch can help kids develop important foundational skills such as jumping, hopping and counting. If you have a paved area in the backyard, consider installing a hopscotch court so kids can learn the game of hopscotch and improve jumping skills. A hopscotch court includes squares on the pavement, in which kids must throw a stone and hop around the stone. Kids will develop important gross-motor skills as they must hop around the square that contains the stone. Kids also learn how to compete fairly when playing with others during the game of hopscotch.
With a little planning and effort, you can modify your backyard to fit your child’s interests and desires. Encouraging activity and physical fitness is an important way to help your child grow strong and develop skills. You can always make changes and modify your backyard as your child grows as well.