15 Things to do in Your Backyard
By Elizabeth Price
As a stay at home mom of three, this pandemic has not really impacted our day-to-day life too much. And my kids are 4 years, 2 years, and 3 months old, so they don’t have any idea of what’s going on. Thankfully, the weather is warming up, so we can at least spend a lot of our time outside in this time of isolation. We don’t have a lot of space in our backyard, but we utilize the space we have and we always have fun. Here are some things we do and maybe you can too!
1. Have a picnic
It doesn’t matter what time of the year it is, if the sun is shining and it’s relatively warm outside, you will find me and my kids on our back porch eating our lunch. You don’t have to do anything fancy–just make some sandwiches, grab a drink, and eat outside. Voila! Picnic!
2. Plant a garden
Now is the perfect time for starting seeds! Even if you don’t have a lot of actual garden space where you live, many plant varieties (yes, even veggies) thrive in pots. Here are some easy seeds to start with:
Flowers–zinnias, sunflowers, nasturtiums and marigolds
Veggies–spinach, lettuce, carrots, beans, radishes. Cucumbers and tomatoes are also good for beginners but I’ve never grown them from seed, I just get starter plants.
Herbs–pretty much all herbs are easy to start from seed. Just bear in mind that many are invasive so you may want one pot for each kind you want to grow.
There’s just something so satisfying about growing things for yourself and you get the added bonus of knowing exactly where your food comes from!
3. Set aside a space for digging
If you have young kids and if they’re anything like mine, they love to dig. And if you’re anything like me, you don’t want them digging in your precious garden, but you also don’t want holes in your yard. So, the solution is to just have a designated space for them to dig to their hearts’ content and your garden and yard can be at peace. Another idea I’ve had in regards to this is to provide my kids with some cheap pots full of dirt and some cheap toys for them to bury. I haven’t done this yet, but it’s on my to do list.
4. Go on a treasure hunt
My son is really into pirates right now. An activity I’ve been mulling over is providing him with an actual treasure hunt. This would require a small bit of set up on my part (which is why it hasn’t happened yet) but would be rewarded with such fun memories for everyone. No need to bury the treasure if you don’t want to, just find a good hiding spot, create a map and go!
5. Read a book
Sure, this isn’t necessarily an outdoor activity but you might be surprised at how much more you might enjoy reading when it’s done out of doors. With that in mind, let your kids work on their schoolwork outside. Everyone will appreciate the change of scenery and you might find your children actually concentrate better outside.
6. Play Tag/hide and seek/red light green light
These old school games are still go to games at our house. We don’t even have places to hide, but that doesn’t stop my kids from closing their eyes and counting to play hide and seek.
7. Bring “indoor toys” outside
One of my fondest memories from childhood was playing Barbies in the summertime. I remember taking them outside first thing in the morning to play with them. They went on hikes and safaris in the grass and caught some rays at the local mud puddle. They got so dirty, but they were also easily cleaned, so I guess that’s why my mom never had a problem with it. So, find some toys, maybe ones they haven’t looked at in awhile, and bring them outdoors. See what new adventures your kids will come up with!
8. Kinetic sand
My kids love kinetic sand. I only allow it outside though, so it’s special and fun to them when we do it. Plus, when it spills, it just sweeps away.
9. Look for lizards, frogs, bugs, etc.
We have lots of green anole lizards where we live and they’re always running up and down trees or basking on the fence. Earlier this spring, I accidentally unearthed a toad in the garden and, last year, we saw several praying mantises. We also get lots of dragonflies. Searching for bugs and lizards may take some extra time, but it’s worth the enjoyment your children get from seeing “wildlife” in their backyard. Also, it tends to spur their minds to learn and ask questions that maybe they normally wouldn’t.
10. Play ball
It doesn’t take a lot of space to throw or kick a ball around!
11. Throw a frisbee
12. Field day activities
Hard boil some eggs and grab some spoons and hold an egg race. Find some old pillow cases to hold a sack race. Have a three legged race. Your kids may not get their field day at school this year but that doesn’t have to stop you from holding your own.
13. Create a Resurrection Garden
Last year, my kids and I made a resurrection garden. It was such a neat and special time and has provided countless gospel opportunities with my children. Look them up on Pinterest for ideas but just a small pot, some dirt, and some sticks are all you need to make a reminder of what Easter is really about.
I guess, technically, this is something one would do in a driveway or on a sidewalk, not in the backyard. But it’s still a part of backyard fun, I think.
15. Easter Egg hunt
Lots of churches and community places may be canceling their Easter egg hunts this year but you could still do your own! Whether you dye eggs to hunt, or just fill some plastic ones with candy, everyone will still have a fun time!
I hope this gives you some ideas to enjoy your time at home rather than just endure your time at home. Look at this time as a gift rather than a burden; relax, and enjoy just making some memories!
Elizabeth Price is a wife and mother of 3 in Dillon, SC. Elizabeth and her husband served at several CBM Camps throughout the years as well as graduated from the CBM Internship. www.childrensbibleministries.net/internships They now serve the Lord in their local community.