It feels like summer has officially started at our house, since school is out and that means that we’re starting up a new type of rhythm to our days. It’s one that we all love. It usually means that we have a little more free time and a lot more time to spend together. One of the things I love about summer is the ability to have some family fun in the backyard in the evenings.
It looks like I’m not alone in that feeling. A new survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of TruGreen finds that nearly two thirds of Americans (156 million) report that some of their favorite memories have occurred right in their own yards. So, why not build some more family memories in your yard this summer?
While everyone’s family fun night in the backyard will look different, here are some of my tips for keeping it fun and doable.
Tips for Family Fun Night in the Backyard
Keep Meals Simple
Whether you decide to grill out, cook over a fire pit, or just have sandwiches, if your primary goal is family fun, keep dinner simple. When we recently planned to have a family night together outside, we opted for sandwiches and chips, but I added a fun element to it that everyone enjoyed by picking up a fruit tray when I was at the store.
Once summer really heats up, some homemade ice pops would make a perfect addition to the night!
Plan One Activity for the Whole Family
Your whole evening can be one activity or game that everyone joins in on, of course. But, at the very least, it’s fun to plan at least one thing that everyone can do at the same time. During our recent backyard family fun night, we all hung out together around the fire pit to talk and roast marshmallows for s’mores.
Games and Activities Don’t Need to be Complicated to Be Fun
Since I knew everyone would like to not only do something together, but to also have some other choices for activities, I grabbed out lots of different options for people to do together.
It didn’t take lots of planning though, just a simple visit to the garage and game cabinet to grab up things like the beach ball, a ball bouncing game, sidewalk chalk, a playground ball, and Connect Four, which a couple of people had requested to play together in our “fort.”
This offered lots of options for people to be active or creative together, but also offered everyone the possibility to do something they really wanted to do. A great thing about that was that people changed up what they were doing throughout the night so that everyone had a chance for some one-on-one time with a variety of family members.
Other fun and low key things to do outside:
- blowing bubbles
- tag (freeze tag is my favorite)
- running through the sprinkler
- planting vegetables or flowers
- playing music and having a dance party
- star gazing
- playing with glow sticks after dark
- building a fairy house or habitat
- kickball (or any number of ball sports)
- a backyard nature study.
Crowd Source for Family Fun / Family Game Night Ideas
As the parent, you shouldn’t be the only one coming up with ideas for your family fun night. Turn the planning over to your kids! You could even give them a small budget and ask them to plan some backyard fun for your family for a night. You might be surprised with what they come up with!
Spend More Time Enjoying Family Time in Your Yard
The same survey by Harris Poll on behalf of TruGreen found that homebodies become “Yardbodies” in warmer months with Americans spending an average of 12 hours per week in their yards during the summer, much of that time may be spent working to maintain their lawns.
While, yes, this post is sponsored by TruGreen, it’s also very honest of me to say that I’m thankful that because we use TruGreen to maintain our lawn, much of our yard work is limited to a tiny bit of weeding in our mulch area (which is not an area they take care of for us) and just mowing the lawn. It means that much of our summer yard time can be leisure time. Bonus!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.