Creating a backyard to enchant your child!

With technology invading our homes and modernising almost every aspect of our day-to-day living, it is not surprising that simple pleasures of lives are fast becoming a rarity. The popularity of the Internet and the advent of the smartphone, iPad and play stations have triggered a growing population of gadget-crazy youngsters who are increasingly disassociating themselves from the real world and becoming more and more closer to the virtual world.

A manifestation of this trend can be seen in the diminishing popularity of the backyard among the present-day kids and toddlers. Once considered a child’s creative haven where they could experiment and explore to their heart’s content, the multipurpose backyard is gradually losing its identity of a kid-friendly zone and is fast gaining distinction as a favourite haunt of the adults for them to socialise and conduct private get-togethers and BBQ nights.

However, it’s time that we realise that the importance of this magical space is not limited to wining and dining alone. A backyard is also an integral part of our child’s growing years. For decades now, it has played a crucial role in the holistic development of the fertile minds. Apart from its irrefutable fun quotient, the friendly and creative environment of a backyard has evoked and nurtured the imagination of many a young tot and has endowed them with valuable life lessons that have been instrumental in their transformation into caring and responsible adults in the years to come. Thus, it is important that we encourage our children to go back to the inspiring environs of the outdoors by creating a space for them that enthrals them no end.

If you are still wondering whether there is enough merit in investing your precious time and energy in trying to coax your kids to make a dash to the outdoors, then here are few telling reasons that will convince you about the lasting impact of the backyard on your youngster’s character and personality.

Why Should You Invest Time in Creating a Backyard For Your Child?
A backyard is often the first outdoor setting where your child embraces the humane outlook of existing peacefully and in harmony with their surroundings.  This is the place where your child develops a deep-rooted liking for Mother Nature in her various forms that include plants, trees, worms, ants, snails and many other tiny insects that thrive in this open space. Those who want to sensitise their children to the real-world issues of environment pollution and deforestation, can leverage the verdant environs of the backyard to make their kids aware of these global concerns in a light-hearted and fun-filled manner.

A backyard is also a great place to promote your child’s mental and physical development. Activities like climbing trees, playing ball games or running after their pets can strengthen your child’s muscle coordination and gross motor skills while the uninhibited environment of the outdoors is conducive to their creativity and sharpens their ability to think out-of-the-box and come up with innovative ideas. Moreover, you may have noticed that children usually play in groups in their backyards. This fosters team spirit within them and exposes them to a sense of ‘We’ that transcends their innate feeling of ‘I’.  Impromptu acts of allowing their friends to play with their favourite toys teaches them the virtues of caring and sharing in the early stages of their lives while collaborating with their friends to solve exciting scenario-based games and puzzles imparts them with problem-solving skills and valuable lessons in teamwork. All in all, playing in a backyard allows a child to learn much more than what they get to learn if they limit themselves to the impersonal and bookish knowledge of textbooks.

How to Create an Extraordinary Backyard That Will Enchant Your Child?
With the present-day kids engaging less in outdoor pursuits and spending more time indoors, parents are having a tough time motivating them to reduce their fascination for the online world and help them reconnect with nature. One of the key reasons for this detachment is that children are no longer able to associate themselves with the mundane atmosphere of a typical backyard. Fortunately, there are few easy and inexpensive tips that can instantly uplift the mood of your backyard and transform it into a colourful and vibrant space that no kid will be able to resist for long! Here’s a concise list of few of these compelling tips that will help you recreate your space in a way that will appeal to your child.

1. Make your backyard the most inviting corner for your kids by decorating it with colourful and aromatic plants and shrubs that bear a chirpy look and feel that is characteristic of your tiny tots. To create an element of surprise, add few sprinklers here and there and watch your kids squeal with delight as they run through the short spells of water sprays!

2. Go for themed corners in different areas of your backyard, provided you have enough space to do so. You can consider decorating one of the corners with tire swings and tightropes, another area could be converted into a basketball or a netball zone, a third corner of the backyard could be done up with the age-old tree houses or tree towers, tunnels, gravel walkway! Indeed, there is no hard and fast rule here as the sky is the limit when you want to design your backyard in a way that feels straight out of an adventure story for your kids!

3. Kids are naturally enthusiastic and explorative by nature and they lose interest easily. Hence, bland spaces that house limited options, fail to keep them engaged for long. To make sure that your little ones are hooked to the outdoors for long, incorporate plenty of DIY activities into your backyard. Instead of simply asking them to assemble pieces of Lego or puzzles, make them participate in real-world activities that bring them close to nature. Consider allotting a raised garden bed within the backyard where your kids can plant fruits, vegetables and flowers of their choice or make them grow a herb garden in their own imaginative way. Not only will they treasure the entire experience of watching a life grow from its naked state to its full-bloomed form but they will also pick up the enviable virtues of ownership and accountability.

4. Sand and soil are eternal favourites of any child. Encourage your kids to go creative with them and applaud them for their sincere efforts in creating artistic sand sculptures and sandboxes. Mud pits are also a great idea to keep your child engrossed for endless hours. After all, there is hardly any child who doesn’t love messing around in the mud or trying their hands at making mud pies. Rather than going for a permanent mud pit, opt for a makeshift one in the form of a portable wheelbarrow to limit the mess in your backyard. Equip your kids with the necessary shovel, buckets, stick and stones so that they don’t face dearth of materials and equipment when they imagine themselves in the midst of a quarry or a kitchen!  Contrary to common belief, mud has therapeutic benefits too. So, even more reasons for you to allow your child to dig their hands into it without any worries or apprehensions.

5. Many a times, kids reveal their hidden talent or potential through games and fun activities. You can cultivate these skills further by giving them a playful environment that lets them indulge in more of these joyous activities. For example, if you see a hint of a wannabe artist or a gymnast in your child, then it is wise to create a backdrop that fuels their talent likewise. Think of repurposed white boards or outdoor chalkboards and balance beams made of scraps of wood for inspiration!

6. A runaway hit, an expansive splash corner will always tug at your child’s heart and make them want to jump into its cooling bliss right away! Kids will love the splash corner as it helps them stay cool during the sultry summers. Ground covers are also clever options when you want to enhance your backyard look with a lot of greenery that feels soft on your child’s feet and does not require rigorous mowing too.

7. Finally, infuse an old world charm into your backyard by introducing an artificial brook with stones and rocks lined along its banks. Do make sure to keep a watch on your toddler when they are busy feeling the comforting water with their hands and feet. You can also make use of leftover tree stumps to create meandering stone paths along the way for conjuring an image of the woods, right there in the backyard of your home!

There you go...few simple tricks that can make your backyard an ideal playground for your child. This list is not exhaustive as you can experiment as much as you want when it comes to giving your backyard a makeover. Lastly, do remember to consider your child’s preferences when you revamp your backyard. Doing so will ensure that your lively backyard transforms into one appealing corner that not only entices you to make a visit every now and then but also becomes your child’s new best friend, giving those cold gadgets a run for their money!

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