Quarantines are getting old. The notion of sheltering in place for extended periods of time is something we aren’t used to. We’re social beings who have a desire to interact with others and experience new places. Yet here we are…stuck at home because of a dangerous and deadly virus that’s overwhelming the planet and forcing us to shelter inside.
However, if you’re lucky enough to live in a single-family home with your own backyard, you don’t technically have to stay indoors. In fact, venturing outside and into your backyard could provide a figurative and literal breath of fresh air.
Try These 6 Fun Backyard Ideas
You might not typically spend a lot of time in your backyard, but during quarantine, it might be your sanity’s saving grace. Here are some fun ideas to help occupy your time, your mind, and your energy:
1. Perform a Backyard Makeover
Is your backyard lonely and neglected? Have you been putting off projects for months or years? What better time than now to perform the backyard makeover of your dreams?
At the very least, this is a perfect chance for you to clean things up. Good ideas include:
· Pressure wash hard surfaces like decks, siding, fences, patios, playsets, and driveways.
· Pull weeds and apply fresh pine straw or mulch to flower beds.
· Prune branches and trim shrubs.
If you’re looking for a project – rather than a cleanup job – consider building a raised bed garden, renovating your kid’s playset, building a deck addition, installing outdoor lighting, building a swing, or something similar.
2. Start a Fire
Few things are better on a cool afternoon or evening than a backyard fire. Two good options include:
· Building a fire pit. A fire pit is easy and convenient. You can make one by digging a shallow pit in your backyard and lining the outer ring with rocks. You can also buy a commercial fire pit. They come in a variety of styles, including cast iron bowls and rock-lined cylinders.
· Buying a chimenea. If you prefer to have something a bit more stylish and easy to maintain, buy a chimenea. Traditionally, they’re made from terra cotta and feature small chimneys at the top. Today, you can find a variety of alternative models and materials (including sleek cast-iron and steel options). One big benefit of using a chimenea over a fire pit is that there’s less exposure to smoke, which ensures you don’t smell like a chimney when you walk inside.
3. Play Lawn Games
Lawn games are perfect for warm sunny days. They help you stay active and provide a degree of friendly competition (which is great for keeping your mind occupied and engaged). There are dozens of yard games, but some of the most popular include corn hole, KanJam, ladder ball, giant Jenga, Spikeball, badminton, and washers.
4. Have a Cookout
You might not be able to invite a bunch of friends and neighbors over, but you can still have a cookout with your household. Fire up the grill, toss on some burgers, and enjoy a nice beverage. Crank up the music, throw in some of the aforementioned lawn games, and it’s a (small) party!
5. Try a Screen on the Green
If you’re tired of binge-watching Netflix inside, you can always switch things up by having your own family-friendly screen on the green – backyard style. While a projector really takes things to the next level, you can use a TV or computer in a bind.
6. Camp Out
Camping out in your own backyard is fun and unique – especially with kids. Consider making it into an entire experience. Ask them to pack their bags, grab s’mores supplies for the fire pit, and tell campfire stories!
Get Outside and Enjoy Some Fresh Air
Doctors recommend people stay active and spend time outside during quarantine. And if you’re in your own backyard, you don’t have to worry about compromising your social distancing plan. Other than a nosy neighbor peeking over your fence, it’s your own private sanctuary. In fact, you’re just as safe in your backyard as you are inside your house (and perhaps more so). So go ahead! Get outside and try something new.