How to Design and Maintain a Family-Friendly Backyard

In order to design a family-friendly backyard, you have to not only take your needs into consideration but your kids’ too. That is why this task might be one of the most challenging ones. Don’t worry though. Use this easy guideline and you will be able to create your own peaceful oasis that your whole family can enjoy together.

Plan your space

Before you get to designing your perfect family-friendly oasis in your backyard, you first need to make a clear plan. You need to plan out a design for your outdoor space according to your family’s needs and wishes. The goal you should reach for is to have a lovely family-friendly backyard that everyone will get to enjoy. Take your family members’ concerns and needs into account and try to build them their own personal oasis in the comfort of your backyard. Here are a few ideas you can take into consideration when making your plan.

For instance, instead of pushing furniture against the fences or the wall, you can try to float the furniture pieces in the centre of your backyard. Just make sure you leave about 18 to 24 inches of open area between the coffee table and its surrounding seating. This arrangement will create a flowy atmosphere and keep the space feeling a lot more open and welcoming.

Create a nap nook

Besides creating a lounge area, consider creating a nap nook in your backyard as well. This will be beneficial for both you and your kids. It will be a lovely area for relaxing and taking a nap after a long busy day at work. It could also be a great nap spot for your kids. They can sleep and rest a little while mom and dad take some time to watch their favorite show without having to worry about kids running around.

You can either choose a classic swing set or a porch swing. Both will do the trick. You should also make sure to get a wide one that has a room for two with comfy cushions. Porch swings might be a safer option though. They hang from a ceiling and are a dry and cozy place to snuggle in while watching the rain.

Keep it natural

There is often no need for you to spend a lot of money on certain items that your kids will play with. Try to keep their playground natural. Be creative and use your imagination to build a play area for your kids by using natural materials such as tree stumps. They could be both a playing and a seating area for your kids and their friends. You can also opt for placing some stepping stones on your lawn. To make it even more creative and fun, you can paint them and decorate them too.

Take care of your lawn

Speaking of your lawn, it needs some love and care too. Having people and kids constantly walking and running over it, your lawn will, without a doubt, get damaged sooner or later. That is why it is highly important to maintain it properly and regularly. There are many tasks you need to take care of if you want your lawn to remain tidy and healthy-looking. Some of the basic tasks include mowing the grass, removing weeds, seeding, watering the grass, etc.

However, it is completely reasonable if you don’t have time to dedicate to such time-consuming tasks, but there is always an option to hire professionals who will take care of mowing and weed removing for you and as for watering a great option is to get a sprinkler which will pretty much do a great job for you. All you need to do is place it in your backyard and let it do its thing.

Create a getaway space

Getaway space may not be so common, but that doesn’t make it less necessary. You can choose any part of the backyard to be your getaway space. It can be a simple corner with a hammock, a small terrace placed under your favourite tree, or any other place you find comforting. This will be your place for relaxation where you can lie back, read your favourite book, and watch your kids as they play outside.

Also, you should aim to place your getaway space as far away as possible from the gathering zone. This is especially necessary if you want to have your getaway space be as peaceful and quiet as you like it. The getaway zone should be the place that makes you feel good. So, make it according to your own wishes and needs.

Plan for play equipment

If you do, however, want to implement some actual play equipment for your kids, here are a few ideas. You can go for installing a simple slide and a sandpit at the bottom. As a result, you will have a well-taken care of playground that your kids get to enjoy with their friends.

Add quirky paths

Make sure you also include some hard surface area as well. It can be paving or decking. Either way, your kids are going to need a hard surface they can ride their bikes on. It is also great to have it for scooting or roller-blading. You can go for a standard patio. However, if you want to be a bit more adventurous, you can design a curved path instead. A straight path is always a safe option, but you can also make a fun pathway that wiggles its way around the garden that is going to inspire many fun games and races for your kids.

Create a sensory garden

Create a family-friendly garden that will encourage your kids to enjoy the outdoor activities by stimulating all of their senses. For example, plant some bright flowers like marigolds, sunflowers, or nasturtiums. Rustling grasses and rattling seed heads are great options for the hearing sense. They are lovely to listen to when you need some soothing and calming sounds. Add texture too, like the downy leaves of sage which will stimulate your kids’ sense of touch. Try to include smells as well. You can plant some chocolate cosmos, or grow some easy herbs like mint, chives, or strawberries.

Add some water features

Speaking of a sensory garden, installing some water features is also a pretty good idea. Not only are they soothing to the eye, but they are also so much relaxing to your ears too. There are many different water features of different size and shape you can choose from. The soothing sound of water running will definitely relax you after a long day at work.

Make your furniture multitask

Try to incorporate multitask furniture. Your swing can also be a comfortable seating area. If your kids enjoy swaying in the wind, but you don’t have enough space for a proper frame, simply get a wooden rocker. You can also opt for a fabric hammock tied between two posts.

Install a sunken trampoline

What more can your kids ask for than a trampoline? They will love jumping up and down for hours with their friends. There are many sizes and shapes of trampolines you can choose from. The only downside is that they do take up a lot of space. That is why a sunken trampoline can be a perfect solution. You can either get a do-it-yourself kit or purchase a professional that can install it for you.

Set up camp

Children absolutely love playing in forts and their secret hideouts, whether it is something grand as a treehouse or something as simple as a shaded corner. So, here’s a fantastic idea. You can set up a camp for your kids. Just get a bean tepee and buy some willow or bamboo canes from the local garden centre. You need to construct a circle and hold it in place with garden twine. Then, plant some beans at the base and lead them to grow up the frame.

Get creative with mosaic

Using mosaic tiles is another great way to decorate your backyard and make it look artsier and welcoming at the same time. These will most definitely brighten up the whole area. Just make sure that the tiles you are getting have no sharp edges.

Use your imagination. Arrange different pieces in a creative way. Use different sizes, colours, and shapes to create large designs on your patio and walls. There are numerous options. You just have to let your imagination run wild.

Build a climbing wall

Building a climbing wall in the backyard could be another great way to get your kids busy and ensure you have some private time for relaxing. You can either purchase ready-made climbing walls, but they usually a part of a play structure.

If you don’t have enough space for such a large installment, you can create your own climbing wall holds and place them wherever you like. Simply screw the holds in various positions. Just make sure you call an expert for this part, to ensure complete safety.

Paint a blackboard wall

If you have an empty wall that you’re not sure how to decorate, you can paint a blackboard wall. Make an art station out of it. In case the wall you are working with isn’t entirely flat, you first need to clad it with some plywood. Then, add a sealant along the edges. If that doesn’t work, there is an alternative solution. All you need to do is hang a framed blackboard and make sure to place a seat or two below it so that your kids can reach the higher parts of the board.

Allocate storage

Lastly, get rid of the clutter, it makes space look smaller. Try to go through all the things piled up in your backyard and see what you will keep and what you won’t keep. For the things, you are keeping find a place to store them. You can get multitask furniture for your backyard that has a function of extra storage as well. The things you don’t need, donate to the less fortunate.


Rearranging your whole garden to fit both yours and your kids’ needs sure is a challenging task, but once your create your own oasis that your whole family can enjoy, you’ll see that all the hard work was definitely worth it.


Bio: Patrick Adams is a freelance writer and rock-blues fan. When he is not writing about home improvement, he loves to play chess, watch basketball, and play his guitar. More than anything, he loves to spend his time in his garage, repairing appliances and creating stuff from wood.


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