When a landscaping client says that he or she wants to create a “backyard for kids,” it begs a question: “How old is the kid?”
Many landscape architects love to design an age-appropriate backyard for children. But they also know: whether your backyard is screened or fully exposed to your neighbors, it still affords you greater privacy than your front yard. It’s your respite. And who’s to say that after a long day at the office, adults shouldn’t feel tempted to relax with a cool drink in a sand pit, do a few turns on a tire swing or wade barefoot in a shallow pool?
To some extent, the best backyards for kids unleash everybody’s inner child. And “kiddie amenities” should gracefully coexist with parent amenities so that everyone fully enjoys the privacy their backyard offers.
You may already have a vision for your backyard and the most talented landscaping firms possess the skills and experience to turn your vision into a reality. When those two visions commingle, magical outcomes can occur. Consider these backyards for kids to get you started on your journey:
Clearly define your tiny turf
Try to vanquish your worries about a small or awkward space; no backyard is perfect. An enterprising landscape architect can ensure that you make the most of the space you do have. You may want a dining area with concrete pavers. And the kids may want their own eating or play area with kid-friendly (meaning rubberized) mulch – one of the surest ways to keep them safe when you have to turn your back.
Capitalize on your woodsy reprieve
You may have been hesitant to disturb the trees and other landscaping in your backyard to create a more kid-friendly environment. Most landscape architects will be empathetic; their instincts usually are to preserve those natural elements too. See how you can artfully integrate, say, a wooden jungle gym, bamboo ramp and wooden-plank walking paths into your backyard so that you can stay in touch with nature.
Create a distinctive “gamer’s paradise”
Like many parents, you may have noticed how transfixed kids have become on indoor games. Entice them to unplug their devices and spend more time outdoors by creating a “gamer’s paradise,” featuring activities the entire family can enjoy (and compete in). Inventive landscape architects will brainstorm ideas with you that they’ve seen go the distance as kids grow up, such as shuffleboard, bean bag or ring tosses, four-square, and badminton.
Cool off with class
You don’t need to build a sprawling outdoor swimming pool to cool off from the Midwest heat. Some of the most visually captivating projects in the region center on small wading pools and bubbling, meandering streams. If you’re concerned about the “hardscape” factor, rest assured that safe backyards for kids feature soft edges and, if you wish, plenty of sand.
Keep in mind that any of these ideas can be embellished to suit your preferences or those of your children. For example, you can add a playhouse or even a large outdoor chalkboard. Your landscaper will supply the important finishing touches, such as twinkling lights so that you can enjoy your backyard after the sun sets as well. After all, every “kid” enjoys staying up late – no matter how old that kid happens to be.