It’s summer, time for your children to be outside enjoying the weather and fresh air, instead of being cooped up indoors playing video games and watching TV all the time. While it can be hard to predict what they will enjoy doing, their needs are fairly simple. They like to walk, run, climb, explore, build and pretend.  The key to getting them outside is to keep these activities in mind and create a fun space for them to be themselves. Here are some fun backyard ideas your kids will love, no matter how big it is.

Make A Sandbox

Children love to play in the sand. It’s something they never seem to grow tired of either. From building sandcastles to playing with their toys in it, they can spend hours using their imagination, creating something unique. While not many of us are lucky enough to live next door to a beach, we can bring the beach home to us. Assembling a sandbox is easy to do and fairly inexpensive, and it can keep your children occupied for hours. All you need to do is assemble some lumber in a square, fill it with sand, and cover it with a detachable lid when not using it to keep it clean.

Give Them Their Own Garden To Tend

Another thing children love to do is sowing seeds and watching them grow into plants. They get excited when the fruits of their labor start to bud, but sometimes their patience doesn’t hold out. The key of course is planting things that are not only easy to grow, but grow quickly as well. You can start them with an herb garden, or if they want flowers, marigolds are a great option. Fruits and vegetables can be good too, after all they can be used as healthy snacks later on, but they take longer to grow. Give your children their own small area to work in, with their own child-friendly tools to use. Show them how to check their seeds regularly and keep them watered. Not only will they have fun, but they are learning a valuable skill as well.

Build A Bug Sanctuary

While there are some bugs you don’t want to attract such as mosquitoes and ticks, there are others that can be very beneficial to your garden that you do want around. Your kids will be very interested in them as well, and by creating a bug sanctuary for them they will come around.

Choose a dark corner of your backyard, one with a lot of nooks and crannies, and place some twigs, leaves, moss, bark, old bricks, roof tiles and logs in it to give the insects some cool, damp places to hide in. Bees will be attracted to your garden, especially plants that are rich in pollen and nectar, and you could also create a bee condo for them to live in as well. On top of that, your little bug sanctuary can also attract birds, butterflies and frogs.

Create A Treasure or Scavenger Hunt

This one can take some preparation, but it will really encourage your children to use their imagination. Start by researching and selecting the clues. You don’t have to be overly creative to do this and can buy premade treasure hunts, or find ones online to use. Then create your clues and riddle-cards and hide them appropriately. Of course there needs to be a treasure chest at the end, but that’s the easy part. Just make sure it’s not too easy to find, because the goal is keep your kids busy for as long as possible.

Watch An Outdoor Movie

If your children really want to watch a movie, then why not arrange watching one outside in the backyard? All you need is a blank white surface and a projector. Projectors don’t cost as much as they used to, and many of them can connect to WiFi so you don’t need to connect any other devices to it. If you don’t have a projector, you can always set up an old TV outside to watch it on. The only other things you need are some pillows and blankets so you can sit on the ground comfortably. And of course popcorn. You can’t forget the popcorn.