It has a been a long winter this year – longer than usual it seems. But come summertime, parents often feel like they are in the midst of a juggling act. You’re trying to keep the kids busy, happy, and entertained all within the confines of the budget.
As the temps warm up, it can be so easy to tell the kids “Go outside and play!” but is your backyard ready for them? The winter weather s can take a toll on your home between the foliage and outdoor furniture, not to mention the house structure and other outdoor areas. Take the time now to make sure everything is ready for the kids and for company too!
The ice, rain, snow, and winds can damage your shrubs and trees. On those sunny, not-so-cold, end-of-winter days, walk around your home and look for the broken branches and dead foliage and plants. If you can’t clean them now, make a note and get them before summer arrives.
Your backyard will be the site where the kids play so re-seed any bare areas before the temps gets too hot. Apply the pre-emergent herbicides and the fertilizer so that your lawn gets the nutrients it needs for growing season. Test the sprinkler system or the sprinklers and water hoses, making sure all are in good working order.
Hardscape Clean Up
Take a look at your deck, driveway, patios, and stone paths, for any damage. You don’t want chips and cracks that be a safety hazard with kids running around the yard. Patch any cracked flagstone, even out any that have raised up or sunk down.
Eliminate Any Pests
Make sure the outdoor environment around your home is not only attractive and fun, but healthy too. Look for insect infestations, get rid of any rotting tree trunks, woodpiles, and other problem areas. Look for bee hives, wasps nest and have the pest control service out soon.
Repair or Replace Furniture
Check out the deck and patio furniture. Paint it, repair it, or replace it! And if the chains on the swing set have rusted over, cover them with pool noodles! That will add some color to the yard while it hides the rust.
And On To The Fun Stuff!
If you don’t have the budget or time to take the kids to one of those water parks, create your own in the backyard! You can buy a tarp for less than $10, put it under the slide off the existing swing set, then set the sprinkler up and create your own slide-n-slip. Or set up a kick ball croquet game by cutting several hula hoops in half and stick the cut ends in the ground, creating a course. The kids can kick a plastic ball you got at the five-n-dime store for cheap.