The Inspector

By NPI, Inc.

Melisa Rana
Melisa Rana


3 Ways to Get Your Kids Playing Outdoors this Summer

 May 20, 2024 |  DIY, Home Maintenance, Just for Fun |  summer, home exterior, landscaping, kids

There will always be new technologies and attractions that vie for our attention, but in recent years, “screen time” and other indoor distractions have become more dominant than ever in capturing our kids’ interest. All parents should want their kids to spend time outdoors for many reasons, but here are just a few benefits:

  • Reinforces healthy lifestyle habits.
  • Helps children develop in-person social skills.
  • Teaches cooperation, creativity, and conflict resolution skills.
  • Improves fine-motor skills.

With the school year coming to a close, the time is now to prepare for outdoor activities. If you don’t want your kids glued to their screens all summer, here are a few ideas that just might encourage them to spend more time out of the house.

Make Your Yard a Destination
One reason why some kids have limited enthusiasm for spending time outside is they simply haven’t found “their game” quite yet. If you’re willing to make a small investment and do a little DIY, there are a number of ways to transform your front or backyard from boring, unused space into the talk of the neighborhood.

1. Get a Basketball Hoop
Basketball is a great source of exercise for all ages, and a hoop can be enjoyed by many people at once or a single person at a time.Whether playing “Horse,” jumping into a one-on-one game, or just shooting around, basketball hoops teach coordination, encourage a more active lifestyle, and may even inspire creativity.

Buying a basketball hoop isn’t always a slam dunk decision, however. In all likelihood, your hoop will need to take up some amount of space along your driveway, and vehicle parking may compete with game time. Additionally, inground hoop installations can be pricey, and while portable hoops are less of an investment, they tend to have a limited usable lifespan.

2. Build a Treehouse
While basketball hoops are a great option for older kids, younger children will likely need some time to grow into getting full use and enjoyment from sports that require a higher level of hand-eye coordination. With this in mind, another option that can be exciting, especially for the more DIY-minded, is a treehouse!

Treehouses are great because, just like with playsets, they can teach younger kids how to maneuver in ways they aren’t normally accustomed to. Plus, depending on how “custom” you design your treehouse, building it together can be half the fun. Treehouses are a great option that can add a ton of unique character to your backyard as long as you have a tree that will handle the load.

3. Install a Pool
Finally (and since National Water Safety Month is just behind us), there’s always the grandaddy, surefire way to become the envy of any neighborhood: the swimming pool! On top of being fantastic exercise for the kids, pools are a permanent birthday party solution, a great way to get families to visit more, and they can even have a positive impact on your home value, depending on your area.

Anyone interested in getting a pool should proceed with caution, however, due to the hefty investment (avg. $44,000-$86,000 for an inground pool per Angi) and the demanding maintenance requirements that are instantly added to your plate. Additionally, pools need adequate fencing to keep children safe when they’re unsupervised.

There are many other fantastic options that can instantly make the outdoors more of a draw for your kids this summer such as trampolines, ziplines, and volleyball or badminton nets. As long as you take the time for installation and laying out a few ground rules, you’d be shocked at how quickly they’ll take the concept and run with it!

Before any major home renovation, it’s always wise to start with a home inspection! Order a maintenance inspection with a professional licensed and insured NPI inspector to get an overall view of the condition of your home, including those easily missed issues that can grow into project-derailing problems down the road.

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