5 Ways to Turn Your Yard Into a Playground
As kids, we played for hours. After school, we’d knock on our neighbours’ door and invite our friends out to play. Then we’d play outside until the sun went down, or until our parents physically dragged us back to the house. Our playtimes ruled. The Wii had not yet been invented, and still we managed to have a blast.
Today’s kids aren’t enjoying the same long stretches of unstructured free play. Whether it’s because they’re overscheduled, glued to their video screens and/or not allowed to roam outside unsupervised, it makes us sad. California dad Mike felt sad about this too and wanted his three sons to have something akin to the hazy, lazy days of his own childhood. So he decided to turn his own yard into the most awesome neighbourhood hangout ever, and in the course launched the Playborhood movement and its accompanying online hub where parents can read his blog posts and share ideas. He thinks that, with a bit of effort, our front and backyards can be the best hangouts ever too.
Kids and parents jumping on Mike’s trampoline
His personal playbourhood boasts a front yard family room featuring a sandbox, picnic tables, media system, fountain and basketball hoops, an awesome back yard with a swingset, playhouse and ladder on the fence that neighbourhood kids can use to climb into the Lanzas’ yard, and a trampoline. The best part is, the kids in his nabe and their parents flock to his yard.
Want to create your own playbourhood? Here are 5 tips from Mike:
1. Keep your lives simple. Limit your kids’ screen time and the amount of structured activities in their lives.
Daytime view of the playhouse
Playhouse at night
- CITY: Menlo Park, California
- OUR BUNCH:Mike, tech entrepreneur, blogger, author. Perla, runs greatnonprofits.org. Marco, 5.5, loves bouncey balls. Nico, 2.5, like screaming “Yeah!” like an enthusiastic partier from the movie Animal House. Leo, 11 months, loves his dad.