Monday, June 6, 2011

Is Your Backyard Summer Ready?

Today’s post is part of “Your Green Hour Survival Guide,” a series which I hope will provide you with inspiration to make getting outside every day a habit.

I don’t know about you, but I’m excited that the first official day of summer is just a couple of weeks away. Warmer, longer days make getting our 15 minutes outside almost a no brainer.

In the weeks ahead, I’ll have lots to share to help you get the most of your time outside – including a list of ideas for summer backyard nature fun and tips for staying cool as the temperature rises.

For now, it’s time to make sure the backyard is summer-ready. Here’s what on our to-do list:
  • Give the backyard toys a good once over. Are they clean & in good shape? Should some be given away and/or replaced? How about the bikes?
  • Seek out shady spaces. Make them as alluring for the kiddos as possible. Add seating, chairs or a fort so kids will want to linger in cool spaces.
  • Get ready for water play. We stick with a simple sprinkler attachment for our hose, tons of buckets, spray bottles and sponges. Now’s the time to make sure all of it is accessible.
  • Set up for sand (and mud) play. Last year’s backyard beach was a big hit, so we’re planning something similar again this summer. Along with a container for the sand and the sand itself, make sure you’ve got things to bury and something to dig with, too. Add an outdoor mud kitchen if you like!
  • Dust off the outdoor tables and chairs. Dining al fresco is a simple way to get outside – especially during the summer. If you have a dedicated space for eating, make sure it’s clean, inviting and ready to go.
  • Stockpile on some summer basics. Yes, I mean sunscreen and bug spray. But also sidewalk chalk, bubbles, paints and brushes. Plenty of cold water bottles and popsicles will come in handy, too. 
What’s your favorite way to spend time in your backyard during the summer?


  1. We totally need to stock up on popsicles! The kids are loving our new water table though. Never thought about getting out sponges for them- FUN!

  2. We just bought the make-your-own popsicle receptacles at Bed Bath and Beyond. What's better than orange juice popsicles on a hot summer day? Nothing, that's what. :)

  3. @Melissa: Anything to keep kids cool! :)

    @Ryan: I need to get me some make-your-own popsicle thingys!

  4. Watering plants is a fun way to play with water. :)

    @Debi, you can use paper cups and Popsicle sticks to make them at home.


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