When your tykes are in the mood for springtime shenanigans, they need not look any further than their own backyard. From building the treehouse of their dreams to stretching their enthusiastic imaginations to the limit, kids need a space that indulges their interests, all while preserving yours. Good news is, curating a stimulating but safe environment for your kids is a whole lot easier than you think.
Do Childproof Your Outdoor Kitchen
The backyard is a second home for your kids during the spring and summer months. Ensuring that the outdoor kitchen area is as safe as possible during this busy time is the key to letting the kids run free without worry.
From fascinations with open flames to fixations with barbecue grills, small children tend to gravitate toward things that are deemed “off-limits” by parental units, making it crucial that you secure their safety with the help of a few precautionary measures.
- Make sure barbecue tools are stored out of reach. The last thing you want is for the pointy protrusions of a grill fork to become the hot new backyard toy.
- Secure your outdoor cabinets, cupboards, and drawers with child safety locks to ensure prying hands don’t find their way inside.
- Eliminate the temptation of playing with grill knob by fitting your grill top with a custom cover.
- Consider marking off a “safety zone” around the perimeter of your outdoor kitchen with a line of chalk that keeps kids out when you’re cooking.
Sous Chef in Training
Demystify the allure of your outdoor kitchen by inviting kids into the space to help prepare something simple. This way, they get any cooking curiosity out of their system and you get to spend a little more time with your mini sous chef.
Don’t Be Afraid to Let Your Kids Run Wild
You can rest easy letting your kids have a blast in your backyard with safety measures that ensure playtime doesn’t turn dangerous. It is estimated that nearly 50,000 children are injured each year on home playground sets. The good news? Laying the groundwork for a safe spring is a breeze.
At the start of the season, check your outdoor play equipment for sharp or broken edges or splintered wood, replacing any pieces that might be hazardous. Next, lay a black tarp or a heavy duty tarp covered with a soft surface of organic matter under the play equipment to cushion any falls. This material can be anything from wood chips to sand to shredded rubber. Any of these work as long as you maintain around 1 meter of loose-fill material.
Finally, ensure the play area is free and clear of any natural elements that could possibly cause injury. Remove low-hanging branches, wires, tree stumps, and large roots in the play areas.
Do Spend S’More Time with Your Family
Once the workday is done, there’s no better way to spend a relaxing spring evening than sitting back with your loved ones, relaxing, and toasting a few sticky marshmallows over a safe burning flame. Without a kid-friendly setup and fire pit covers on hand, however, fun time can easily turn into frustration.
When doing anything around your fire pit, keep a fire extinguisher within an arm’s reach to dampen any out of control flames. The same goes for keeping kids a safe distance when they toast their marshmallows by using elongated roasting rods. This will keep them safe from any accidental burns. It’s important to keep your fire pit protected with fire pit covers while not in use – both to preserve it in downtime and keep your kids safe.
Don’t Be Afraid of Embracing Natural Elements
Treehouses fashioned from recycled materials are perfect for creating a space your kids can call their own. And the best part? You can get them involved in both the design process and the building as apprentices to your master carpenter. Use a simple combination of repurposed lumber for the walls, flooring, and roof framing and a heavy duty tarp for the roofing.
As you begin construction on your treehouse, stick with sturdy limbs that are close to the ground. Secure a small stepladder in place for easy entrances and exits. Finally, rip a page out of your playground playbook by layering organic materials around your treehouse to pad any accidental falls. Layer 1 meter of wood chips, mulch, or sand over a black tarp around the area that surrounds the treehouse. Finally, no treehouse is complete without covers for outdoor furniture, ensuring your treehouse tables and chairs stay in pristine condition.