6 ideas for creating a kid-friendly outdoor living space
As a parent, you've likely uttered the phrase "It's all about the kids" on more than one occasion. But who says kid-friendly concepts can't appeal to adults, too? As a homeowner, you can have the best of both worlds: A space your little ones will have tons of fun in that's also well-designed so you can enjoy the view.
You just need the right ideas and tools to get started. Here are a few concepts to consider when starting your next home improvement project:
Pavers Racetrack Playing with toy cars is a traditional childhood pastime that's likely to carry on for generations to come. That's because this activity ignites the imagination - allowing little ones to picture themselves behind the wheel of speeding cars, maneuvering through hairpin turns as they race to the finish line. Bring this idea to life by incorporating a pavers racetrack in your backyard.
The idea, presented by Architecture and Design, has several variations, but using extra pavers is perhaps the most practical option. After all, you're likely to have a few extra paving stones after completing your paver driveway or walkway. Simply lay out the pieces end-to-end in the grass and use chalk to draw in traffic lanes. Equip the kids with plenty of little cars, trucks or trains and let them have at it!
Non-slip pool pavers Parents can't prevent every accident, but you definitely try your best to protect your kids' well-being. Surrounding your pool with pavers can help your little ones stay safe while having fun. Your kids can enjoy swimming, jumping and running around with friends, and you get some peace of mind since the stones naturally provide a non-slip surface. Of course, you should also supervise children in the pool, but at least you won't have to worry about slipping and sliding around the pool's edge.
Paver patterns Your child's innate sense of wonder might not last forever, but you can always take steps to foster that feeling of magic for a few more years. While prolonging your son or daughter's belief in Santa and the Tooth Fairy is one strategy, there's an equally effective but more homeowner-savvy option of turning your home into a castle. You won't construct an actual one, of course, but you can create a driveway fit for a palace with paver design patterns.
Integrating your family crest into a stone paver driveway is an especially regal route for adding aesthetic appeal. This feature is a great way to boast your family's pride in your heritage - all the makings for a true family fortress.
Whether you're Irish or not, you might enjoy channeling Celtic inspiration for your driveway design. While the classic knot adds traditional flair, you can use this design as a segue for more creative patterns. For instance, you can make a ribbon of sorts out of a single color that systematically crisscrosses down the driveway against a monochromatic background. You still get the intertwining beauty, just in your own unique way.
Artificial turf Grass is an essential component of any kid-friendly outdoor living space. The soft surface lets them crawl, roll, slide and fall with minimal risk for boo boos. However, real grass can leave hard-to-wash stains on clothes or cause sneezing fits come spring.
With turf installation, on the other hand, you can create a space that has all the benefits of real grass without the downfalls like dirt and allergens. System Pavers artificial grass is allergen-friendly, and its porous design ensures mold or mildew will not grow. Plus, it creates a chemical-free environment. Not only is the antimicrobial acrylic coated infill non-toxic, making it safe for kids and pets alike, but you won't need to use potentially harmful fertilizers, weed killers or pesticides, either.
Perhaps the best part of turf, though, is that it's low maintenance. That means you can spend less time watering and mowing and more time with your kids.
Hop scotch Ditch the messy chalk and opt for a permanent hopscotch game on your custom patio. With this idea, kids can play all year-round in the backyard under your watchful eyes. While having the pattern itself can create opportunities for fun, consider teaching your little ones the rules to prolong their time outdoors.
According to The State University of New York at Albany, official rules call for the use of a stone, which player one must toss into the first square of the court. If the rock successfully lands in that cube, the player skips through the rest of the hopscotch course, then returns to the start by going the opposite direction. Player one then tosses the stone into the second square and hops through as he or she did on the first turn. Should player one fail to toss the stone in the appropriate square, step on a line or lose balance and fall, he or she forfeits the turn and must start over after player two goes. The first person to complete the game - by throwing a stone into each square and hopping through the course each time - wins.
Chess board Here's another idea for your leftover pavers - create a giant chess game on your artificial grass! You only need two colors for this project, and you can create the eight-by-eight board by alternating the colors for each square like this one featured on our Twitter page.
If you often host a whole handful of kids, each child can serve as a player on the board - you might even make T-shirts to label each position. Otherwise, create a whole set of giant chess pieces or buy them online.
There's no reason you can't have both a beautiful outdoor living space and kid-friendly yard. Combine the two concepts by incorporating these hardscape designs outside your home.