June usually means having lots of backyard barbecues with friends and family. I am a better hostess during the summer months as I enjoy being outside and watching the kids play. Parents hang out on the patio, tending the grill. The kids swing, walk the tightrope, or set up a group game. Entertaining during the summer is comfortable, casual, and relaxing for me.
So far we haven’t been allowed to have gatherings due to the Coronavirus. I am hoping this changes so we can enjoy hosting backyard barbecues. The Coronavirus hasn’t stopped us from preparing the backyard for a summer full of fun.
Our backyard needed to be freshened up after a long winter. As we anticipated more time at home this summer, Mike and I decided to think through how we would like to be use the space in our backyard.
We added in a large garden area which was a family undertaking but has been very rewarding. This area is one that the girls and I tend to each morning. It is gratifying to watch the garden grow as we weed and water it.
The backyard has always been part of our summer fun. The girls had a topsy turvy playhouse that my dad built for them along with a big sandbox that kept them occupied for hours at a time. As the girls have grown up they needed different areas to play.
Over the past couple of years, the girls were gifted a large platform tree swing and a slackline. Both of these toys provide a lot of enjoyment for the girls and are staples for our summer backyard fun.
After some prompting from my mom, we bought the girls a large swimming pool. It has been such a success. They play for up to 4 hours at a time in the pool. I just have to make sure they have plenty of sunscreen and keep the water chemicals balanced. The pool is a place where they can relax, cool off, and play. It was the perfect purchase for a more uncertain summer schedule.
The girls also enjoy badminton, bocce ball, whiffle ball, and croquet. There are enough activities that they can rotate through them to keep the backyard activities fresh and interesting.
The pace of our summer days is usually slower, with more time for independent activities. The girls love to grab a good book and find a quiet place to read. We decided to purchase a hammock so that they would have an area perfect for getting lost in a book while enjoying the outdoors.
There is something about being inside a tent or enclosure that relaxes my girls. Since we are a camping family, we have a couple of tents that we pull out for the girls to enjoy in our backyard. They grab all their blankets, lots of snacks, and games or books to take outside and keep themselves entertained for hours.
Sitting around the campfire on a crisp evening is a great way for us to wind down as a family. Watching a fire crackle, adding in more wood, and just tending the fire is a relaxing way for us to enjoy our evenings. A campfire is better if we make s’mores, so I keep all the essential ingredients tucked away for perfect weather nights. I was thinking it may be time to bring our s’mores making up a notch and use peanut butter cups instead of just chocolate.
We decided to open up all the summer fun in our backyard officially by hosting a luau. The girls researched Hawaiian recipes and backyard games. My mom bought tropical themed party decorations. With all of our creative juices following, it took us about a week to pull the luau together.
Our menu included:
- Hawaiian Sand Cups
- Pineapple Dole Whip
- Fruit Kebabs
- Crab Croissant Sandwiches
- Nutter Butter Flip-Flops
More then ever before, we are creating our own fun and finding a way to relax and enjoy each others company.
We look forward to summer as we spend a lot more time in our backyard playing badminton, dining alfresco, and swimming. We did not have to put a lot of money into upgrading our backyard fun. Just the additions of the hammock and swimming pool have already proven to freshen up our space.
I am ready for more nights to sit around the campfire and enjoy our backyard.
What is your favorite way to make a s’mores?
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