I’m very thankful that Simon Barker kindly offered to write this post for my site on this very timely topic.
A lot of people are looking for a way to escape the busy and noisy city life in exchange for some fun and relaxing activities. However, if you are someone who’s on a tight budget or you have a very busy work schedule, the idea of taking traditional vacations might not fit on your list. Between fancy meals and trips, the cost of a family vacation can surely add up.
Fortunately, there are still ways for you to give your kids the ultimate fun without spending a big chunk of cash. All you need is to prepare your backyard for these fun activities.
It may sound like a lot of dirty work, but sandboxes give your children the opportunity to play with their imagination. You can teach them how to build sand castles, move around toy trucks or create their own army. You can even let them make their own planets from sand, mud or clay.
To start, it doesn’t have to be a great or expensive sandbox. In fact, even 4×4 timbers can work just as great as professionally done sandboxes. You just have to be creative in what you encourage your kids to do in their play area. For added fun, you can load up the sandbox with a few toys or you can hide them slightly under the sand.
When setting up your sandbox, make sure to consider your children’s safety. You should think of how they’ll get in and out of it and how safe they’ll be once inside. It’s also a good idea to consider their comfort. Keep in mind to place your sandbox in a shaded area, too.
Take your camping gears and sleeping tents in your backyard for the ultimate camping experience that isn’t as expensive as an out-of-town trip. To make the experience more realistic, you can start a campfire and cook some barbecues and smores. You can also share scary stories to your kids or go stargazing with them in the middle of the night.
Another good idea is to invite some of their friends or cousins over. This way, you can enhance your children’s social skills while allowing them to have fun.
3. Traditional Backyard Party Games
You don’t need to start a full barbecue or family party just to have fun in your backyard. You can do backyard party games for no reason at all- other than letting your kids have fun.
One of the most popular backyard party games is the potato sack race. All you need to prepare is a burlap sack or pillowcase big enough for each of your child. Set up a starting and finishing point in your backyard and make sure to place some obstacles in between these areas. If you can’t find big pillowcases, you can start a three-legged race instead.
4. Play Cooking Up Games
Take your old kitchen cabinets and turn them into pieces your daughters can use for their mini kitchen. Stock them up with any spare cooking pots, pans and other utensils you don’t use anymore. You can also buy them a set from any thrift store near your area. They can add plastic cups and spoons for their “guests”, too.
If this is an activity you can see your kids enjoying very much, you can designate a specific part of your yard to have these cabinets affixed. Setting your kids’ toys this way can save you time and effort from building and rebuilding. It will also enhance their sense of responsibility since they have a specific area they need to maintain. Encourage your kids to clean up after and store their toys properly.
5. Set Up A Treasure Hunt Game
Setting up a treasure hunt is a great idea if your kids frequently complain about feeling bored or if they’re overusing their computers. Treasure hunts are fun, easy to plan and can be modified depending on your children’s age.
With treasure hunts, all you need to do is set up a bunch of clues in specific parts of your yard. They can be riddles, questions or tasks your children need to complete or answer before they can move on to your next clue. You can let them choose a leader or divide them into two groups to start a friendly competition. Just make sure that they’re aware of the rules and boundaries of the hunt.
As an alternative, you can also start a scavenging hunt. It’s a bit different from a treasure hunt game in that players need to collect as many items on their list as possible within a given time frame. You can create a list of fruits or household items and hide them in certain areas of your yard. For added excitement, you can let your kids wear their favorite pirate costumes.
Simon Barker is a travel enthusiast who’s very passionate about sharing his thrifty ways of journeying around the world. You can see more of his work in www.ElectricCoolBox.co.uk, where you can find his best electric coolbox reviews.
Categories: Being expat