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What Are the Best Tips for Designing a Backyard for Kids?

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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2016
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When planning a backyard for kids, it is important to make it a fun, safe area for children to play, as well as make sure it is aesthetically pleasing and an enjoyable place to relax for adults. There are a number of ways to do this; some people choose to divide their backyard into "zones," such as a patio for a table and chairs, a landscaped garden or edges, and then a smaller area for kids. Others will basically design their whole backyard for kids, and install things like swing sets and sandboxes to make the area more fun. Choices will largely depend on the size of the backyard and the amount of money a family has to invest.

Safety is paramount when designing a backyard for kids. Many people fence their yards in, especially if they live near a road; this is important for pet safety as well. If there is a pool or any type of water in the yard, even a small pond or fountain, it is important to make sure that kids cannot get into it unsupervised. Pools should always be fenced in, and have baby gates on the entrances to prevent accidents. When selecting plants for a backyard for kids, avoid ones with sharp, spiked leaves or thorns, such as rosebushes.

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It is then important to determine how the yard will be designed. The whole backyard might be left for the kids, or just a portion. In larger yards, doing some additional outdoor design planning, and setting up specific areas, can help make the backyard an enjoyable place for everyone to be. For instance, putting a patio in one area for a table and a grill, a flower or vegetable garden in another, and setting up another space for kids with outdoor toys or items like a swing set can make the backyard a fun place for the whole family.

It is important as well, when designing a backyard for kids, to ensure they have methods for entertaining themselves. Swing sets, tree houses, or other play sets are often sold in kits at home improvement or discount stores, and are fairly easy to assemble with a little effort. For younger kids, a sandbox or other play area with outdoor toys can be fun. When designing the backyard, consider how the parents or caregivers will supervise the kids; if it will be from inside the house, for example, make sure there is a window that provides a view of the yard.

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