This year, “Mom, I’m bored!” came early, and with our usual activities shut down, we have to get creative to find ways to have fun while staying home. Here are a few ideas to get your family out for some fresh air and good times in your own backyard — no shopping or travel required.
Get out the Games
Most families have outdoor games attracting cobwebs in a corner of the garage or attic. Now is a great time to dust them off and have some family fun outside. Play cornhole, badminton, croquet, volley ball, paddle ball, ring toss or horseshoes. If you’ve lost the rules, Google knows! Just look them up online.
Invent New Games
If you can’t find any traditional games, use your imagination and encourage the kids to use theirs. Take whatever you have on hand and invent your own games. Set up a frisbee golf course in the back yard, toss a football into a laundry basket, build your own kite and see if it flies, or putt golf balls around obstacles into plastic cups.
Family Field Day
You don’t need any sports equipment to have family field day. Three legged races, sack races (with old pillow cases), water balloon toss, egg/spoon races — all the traditional favorites can be played at home.
Take Indoor Games Outside
If your family prefers boardgames or cards, play outside on a patio or deck or spread a blanket in the yard. Make lemonade and yummy snacks to add to the fun. Hold a tournament rather than playing single games. You could even FaceTime or Skype with friends and plan a multi-family tournament — comparing scores at the end of the day, week or weekend to determine the overall winners in different age brackets.
Go on Safari
Kids of all ages are fascinated by the flora and fauna of our planet. Go on safari in your backyard and search for bugs, birds and other critters. Carry a cell phone to help identify any species you don’t recognize. Or just take pictures and wait to look them up on a rainy day.
Spring is a great time to talk about the life cycle of plants, and it just might count for homeschool science credit. Find examples of plants in different stages in the yard. Use them to explain how, from tiny grass blades to towering trees, most plants start as seeds, germinate, grow into plants, flower, pollinate and make seeds to start the cycle again. With older kids, you could talk about the different types of propagation — tuberous roots, bulbs, stolons, rhizomes, etc.
Plan an Art Show
Ask each family member to spend a week taking photos in the yard — flowers, tree bark, birds, sunsets, whatever strikes each artist’s fancy. Look at nature photos online to get ideas for composition. On rainy days, explore editing software, cropping the photos or adding filters. At the end of the week, choose two or three of each family member’s best and share them online through social media. You could even set up a temporary gallery, printing and hanging each person’s best photo in a hallway or entryway.
Don’t forget, your lawn is made of plants, and the grass needs to be protected, especially this time of year.
- Tender spring shoots are more susceptible to damage than strong summer grass blades, so limit heavy traffic and wheeled toys to hard surfaces like sidewalks and driveways.
- Even in established lawns, concentrated foot traffic in the same area is hard on your grass and will stress and eventually even kill the plants. Move the game to a different part of the lawn each time you set up to avoid bare spots.
- If you’re planning to install new grass and your family loves to play in the yard, look for hardy varieties like Bermuda or Zoysia.
Our team of Certified Turfgrass Professionals are currently working safely from their homes, ready to answer any questions you have about keeping your current grass healthy or choosing new grass for your lawn. Give them a call at 770-832-8608 or email at info@NGTurf.com.