Summertime in Tennessee is a hot, humid, and sticky mess… We don’t let that stop us from having summer fun as a family, though!! Take a look into our current backyard and at some activities that we hope to add soon!
Backyard Summer Fun Favorites
I have heard a lot of negative talk about Trampolines, but this has been one of the best purchases that we have made for the kids! We have a net up around the sides and it is right beside our porch so we can keep a close eye on them even from the house. They LOVE jumping!
Our oldest kiddo had a camping themed birthday party this year. We had some friends over to camp in the backyard overnight. It was a blast! All you have to do is set up your tent and throw in some flashlights & pillows!
This simple mud kitchen was inspired by a friend of mine (I’ll share her blog a little further down). I paid $0 to make this and it took about 15 minutes to set up. A mud kitchen can be made with any scrap wood that you have lying around. Give the kids some pots, pans, and water and let them get to work…erhm…I mean play. 🙂
Inflatable pools always get busted at our house between the kids and animals. We don’t have the budget for a full size pool so we opted to take the DIY route last year. We placed several straw bales in a large rectangle, secured a tarp over it, and filled it up with the garden hose… The kids love, love, LOVED this pool all summer long!
My sweet husband is a bit of a golf ball hoarder. He has tons of extra golf balls lying around so he takes the kids out to hit them over the pond. Our oldest child gets a kick out of seeing how far he can hit them (he does a pretty good job making it all the way across) and the littles just like to try to make a splash.
Sandboxes seem to be a backyard staple for families with young children. Playing in the sand encourages open ended & sensory play in the great outdoors. Our family opted for a sand tent over a regular sandbox because a tent can protect the kids & the sand from animals, sun, rain, and wind. A sand tent is simply a child-sized tent with play sand covering the bottom. Our kids could play in here for hours on end!
We made water tables for our youngest child’s 1st birthday party. We added sensory balls and water guns to each table. These things were a hit with all of the kids! In the cold months, you can replace the water with sand for a digging/sensory table that won’t freeze their little fingers.
Fishing is a favorite past time for our family as well! If you don’t have a pond, you can find a neighbor who does or go to a local lake. Just make sure that your kids are supervised when fishing.
Bocce Ball is a simple game that even our littles can play. All you have to do is toss a colored ball to score points.
Some of my fondest childhood memories with my parents took place while playing horseshoes. My kids started making the same kind of memories last year when we set up a simple horseshoe pit in our backyard for them.
Summer Fun Activities That We Plan to Add:
I LOVE the idea of oversized wooden lawn games like Jenga & Yahtzee. We plan to purchase game pieces like this or make our own for next summer. This photo is from our local children’s museum. How cool is this chess set??
Geometric Dome Climber
I have wanted one of these bad boys for a couple of years and I am really not sure why we don’t have one yet. Maybe having their own Geometric Dome Climber will encourage my kiddos to climb on mama a little bit less than they do right now.
My friends at JM Funny Farm have the backyard of my dreams! They have a Back to Eden garden, lots of animals, a pond with a zip line, a homemade playground set, a Gaga Ball Pit, carpet ball, an awesome mud kitchen (the inspiration for mine), and they are always creating fun new games with items from around the house (like this one). “Thou shalt not covet”… gotta chant that one over & over after visiting these friends 😉
Don’t’ forget your sunscreen! Babies and big kids can burn quickly in the hot summer sun… Be sure to give them the protection that they need to stay safe!
We use a Natural Mineral sunscreen from Block Island Organics on our kids. This sunscreen is free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, dyes and artificial
fragrances. Block Island also made The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Best Beach & Sport Sunscreen list for the third year in a row!