Your backyard, always great for your health and well-being, can do even more this summer by being a place to hold a staycation. With the pandemic continuing to keep people closer to home, a backyard vacation can be a fun and inexpensive way to spend time together and build new memories as a family while spending time in green space. Here’s how to successfully plan a FUN backyard vacation.
Tips and Ideas for a FUN Backyard Vacation
Make a backyard vacation plan
The first step of any backyard staycation is to come up with a plan for how your family wants to spend their time. Think of activities like dining, camping, and games when coming up with your plan. Also consider if you want to stick to a particular theme – luau, sports, beach day – and plan costumes, food, and activities around that. Get creative with names for meals and activities to make things more enjoyable and on theme.
Map where activities will occur in the yard
No matter the size of your property, identifying zones where various activities will take place will keep you organized and on track. Designate one area for games like soccer, bocce, or lawn darts. A picnic table is an ideal spot for a craft station or lunch buffet. Another spot might be perfect for setting up a tent for a little backyard sleepover. A small fire pit or even a table top fire pit is great for roasting up marshmallows. Don’t forget to consider which spots get the most sun or shade when organizing for the most fun.
Assess what you have and get creative
A lounge chair isn’t just a lounge chair. It can make the perfect element in your very own backyard obstacle course. Your children’s playset could become their new favourite breakfast nook or reading zone. Don’t be afraid to try something new with things you already have.
Spruce up your yard
You want to set the perfect stage for your backyard vacation, which means doing a little maintenance a day or two before. Mow the lawn and trim the bushes. Tidy overgrown areas. Consider adding flowers or planters for a punch of colour in the space. Replace anything that’s broken or at the end of life – that broken picnic table, torn badminton net, rusty grill, etc.
Include teachings about backyard wildlife and nature
There are so many wonderful sights and sounds in nature – even if it’s only in your backyard. Have the kids take an inventory of the different wildlife they spot – such as birds, butterflies, and small animals like chipmunks and squirrels. Spend some time researching each animal’s habitat and unique features. Other fun activities include putting up a bird feeder or planting a butterfly garden. If you’re adding flowers to spruce up your space, consider native species that support birds and pollinators. Helps kids get a hands-on science lesson by installing wind gauges, a rain collector, or a backyard thermometer to track weather over time.
Incorporate your green space into games
There are some creative ways to incorporate your green space into fun family games and activities, such as holding a nature-focused scavenger hunt. You could also create your own backyard theatre by bringing laptops or tablets outside, or setting up a projector to show them on a sheet hung outside.
Don’t forget to talk about your backyard vacation in advance with your family and review your plans. You want everyone to be excited for your backyard vacation! Create a visual countdown to help keep track of the days leading up to your special family event.