Do you feel like your kids are turning into couch potatoes right before your eyes? If so, you are not the only one! Parents everywhere are lamenting their kids’ lack of activity, especially as electronics become more prevalent in everyone’s daily lives. As we all know, it is very easy to sit on the couch and gaze at a screen for hours on end.
Why Kids Need to Get Outdoors and Off the Couch
The problem with kids who are glued to the couch and their electronic devices is that they are not making healthy choices. For example, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “In the United States, the percentage of children and adolescents affected by obesity has more than tripled since the 1970s.” One of the contributing factors to this rapid growth in obesity amongst children is the amount of time children are sitting and playing on their electronic devices.
It is critical to get your kids off the couch and keep them active. But how can you do that when the allure of screens and electronics is so strong? By turning your backyard into a fun entertainment zone, you will have your kids begging to go outdoors and stay outdoors!
10 Backyard DIY Ideas to Get Kids Active
These ten backyard do-it-yourself projects can turn your ordinary backyard into the coolest place to hang out in the neighborhood. And if your kids are old enough, you can have them help plan and build the projects – another great way to spend time together and teach organization skills at the same time.
Set Up a Zip Line
If you want your kids to get off the couch, set up a backyard zip line. They would much rather zip through the air across the backyard then sit around inside. You can find instructions for how to create your own backyard zip line here.
Build an “American Ninja Warrior” Obstacle Course
A great way to make sure your kids are getting enough exercise and staying active is to build your own “American Ninja Warrior”-style obstacle course in the backyard! Once the course has been designed and built, your kids will have a blast trying to conquer the challenges and competing for better times. Check out these instructions for a DIY backyard obstacle course.
Design a Music Fence
One of the perks of playing outdoors is that you can be louder than when you’re indoors. Give your kids even more incentive to make some noise by creating a music fence. Attach various objects and musical instruments to your fence, and your kids can feel free to get loud! Check out these examples of outdoor music walls.
Create a Climbing Wall
Climbing walls are excellent ways to get your kids up and moving. They will love having the freedom to climb and overcome obstacles right in their very own backyard. If you need ideas, see these examples from Architecture Art Designs.
DIY Passing Practice Wall
Can your kids throw a solid pass? Create a wall with various sized and shaped targets for passing practice. This is a great activity to help kids strengthen their motor skills and have some fun at the same time. While you can make your family’s backyard passing wall unique, here is one example to get you started.
DIY Water Blob
A DIY water blob is a fantastic way to encourage kids to leave the couch and head outdoors. This simple activity is so much fun that it will keep them occupied for hours. Here is Clumsy Crafter’s backyard water blob tutorial.
A timeless favorite activity during school recess is tetherball. Why not create your own backyard tetherball set? Following these instructions, you can build your own and have the kids up and playing in no time! Here are DIY tetherball instructions.
Tire swings will never go out of style, and they provide endless hours of entertainment for kids of all ages. Have your kids take turns swinging and pushing to make sure they are staying active.
Turn Your Backyard into a Sports Field
With some spray paint and a few relay cones, you can turn any backyard into a sports field. You can create a backyard soccer field, racetrack, or football field. Best of all – since you are spray-painting grass, it is not permanent.
Build a Fire Pit
While you want your kids to get up and active, another issue with kids staying glued to the couch is that they tend to have their faces glued to screens, as well. If you want to encourage some family bonding time, build a fire pit. Use your backyard fire pit as a place to come together for some screen-free time. Tell jokes, swap stories, and roast marshmallows. Or just stare into the fire – your kids might find it’s way more interesting than what’s on their screens.
One last note: Keep in mind that with any adventurous, outdoor physical activities, falls or other injuries are possible. Consider taking a class to learn basic first aid practices to keep your kids safe. The myriad benefits of these activities will far outweigh the risks, and your kids might even thank you (eventually).