Fun in Your Own Backyard

In your own backyard you can arrange a summer activities for youngsters during the schools holidays to make your kids active in this idle vacation. You dont have to spend a lot by going to some expensive amusement parks. Make your backyard the best amusement park for your kids and their friends group.

Just outside our back door is a vacation spot that our youngsters claim is tops for sheer fun. It is our own backyard recreation center that we created to solve the problem of idle vacation hours for our active sons and their friends. In the past our boys, like the others in the neighborhood, always greeted the summer vacation with unrestrained joy, but soon came the complaint heard all too often, "What can we do now, Mother?" We no longer hear this since we made our home playground.

Our backyard is typical of the ordinary city backyard; forty by fifty feet. Gone are the once gorgeous perennials, the rock garden and the beautiful fish pool. In their places are a number of attractions that delight the heart of any boy, and incidentally keep him very busy.

We decided to devote one side of the yard to permanent play equipment, while we kept the other side free for games. First we discovered that such a playground must be enclosed to keep all activities within our own yard an arrangement any neighbor appreciates. Fences are expensive, and we wanted our budget to provide as much play equipment as possible. After giving the matter some thought we decided upon a four-foot-high snow fence.

It is inexpensive, easily erected, and is not unsightly. It comes stained red but can be easily whitewashed or painted. It not only keeps the youngsters in but also acts as a backstop for balls.

When the fence was properly in place we had to choose equipment. By popular vote a "gym" was first. There are various types available on the market. The type with double apparatus repays you in satisfaction. There is something in children that makes them want the swing or trapeze at the same moment someone else does; hence the advantage of the twin feature.

A source of lasting pleasure to youngsters is our teeter totter. This was easily made with a sawhorse and a heavy plank. Cleats nailed across the underside of the plank near the center prevent it from slipping. The sandbox is a tradition in American childhood.

A plain box filled with sand can be glorified by the addition of four legs, benches attached along the sides, and a top of boards or canvas. The benches not only afford comfortable positions for the children while playing in the sand but do away with the problem of sand being carried into the house on small shoes a fact appreciated by busy mothers.

Mitch Johnson is a regular writer for , ,

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