Category Archives: Backyard Fun

Small Scale Gardening Offers Big Benefits

Corsica Flower Pots

Small Scale Gardening Offers Big Benefits

Container Gardens and Small Spaces Work Together

Backyard gardening is on the rise. Many homeowners who never before considered a garden are now taking up spades, shovels, and watering cans in order to reap the benefits that come with creating and tending a garden. Gardening is not only a way to create something beautiful for people and animals to enjoy, it is a means of providing the family with fresh and nutritionally superior produce. Gardening also offers many health benefits that include improved flexibility, increased strength and stamina, and decreased stress.

Gardening without a Backyard

If you live in an apartment, condo, or other small space, though, you may feel that gardening is not a possibility. How can gardening be accomplished when there is no backyard in which to plant? Apartment dwellers can still reap the benefits of gardening because it can be done on a smaller scale. Container gardening or garden boxes allows you to create beautiful landscapes in miniature that can be easily tended on a balcony, next to a sunny window, or in a window box.

How to Choose Your Garden Planters

Choosing the right garden planters for your container garden depends on the space available. First, consider the size of the area where the garden planters will be located. Then, decide which shape would work best — square, rectangle, or circle. What material is preferred — natural wood, sturdy resin, metal, or clay? Be sure that the garden planters you choose are safe for growing edible plants, if that is your goal.

Planning Your Miniature Garden

Once you have selected your garden planters, decide what you would like to grow in your new garden. Containers can support a wide variety of plants, including herbs, vegetables, flowers, small shrubs, grasses, and vines. Not all plants like to live in containers, though, so be sure to select varieties that are known to be suitable container plants. Combining different plants in a container provides visual interest: choose plants of varying colors, sizes, and textures to give your container the feel of a “bouquet.” Be sure to choose plants with the same or similar lighting and watering requirements to ensure proper care for all of the plants.

Living in a small space does not mean that you can’t enjoy the benefits of growing and tending a garden. In fact, container gardening provides some added benefits that traditional gardening cannot offer. Small scale gardening using garden planters costs less and requires less maintenance than larger outdoor gardens, so not only can you enjoy the health benefits of gardening, you can also enjoy the money and time saved in the process.

4 Steps to Maintaining a Safe and Healthy Sandbox

Sandbox Kit

Fast and Easy Tips for Play Time Safety

Kids don’t need costly, technologically complex toys and games in order to tap into their creative and imaginative powers. All that’s required to get kids’ creative juices flowing are some basic materials that can be found easily and inexpensively. One popular example of this is a sandbox. A big box or pit of sand and a few simple tools can keep kids occupied for hours.

Making sure the sandbox stays in good condition, though, is essential to ensuring that it remains a safe and healthy place to play. Unfortunately, the backyard sandbox is often missed by parents when it comes to play area maintenance. Here are four quick and easy tips for maintaining your backyard sandbox:

1. Replace the sand.

Over time, the sand in outdoor sand pits or sandboxes gets soiled and should be completely replaced. Generally speaking, replacing sand every year or two should be adequate, but more frequent changes might be needed depending on how often children play in the box and whether a sandbox cover is used consistently. Play sand, rather than building sand, is the best choice for children’s play areas because it is cleaner and free of materials, like clay, that are likely to stain clothing and skin.

2. Check sand toys.

Shovels, rakes, and other toys intended for sand play are not always the most durable of tools. Consequently, they don’t often last for more than a season or two. When sand toys or other tools used in the sandbox break, they can have sharp edges or pointy parts that can cause injuries. Before allowing kids to play in the sandbox this spring, check the condition of their sand toys. Toss out any broken or worn out tools, and replace them with tools made from more durable materials.

3. Check sand on a regular basis.

Don’t assume that the sandbox will stay in good condition over the course of the spring and summer. Sharp sticks, rocks, and other debris find their way into play sand quite easily. What’s more, sand toys may not be able to survive an entire season of active play. Checking the sand on a weekly basis allows you to discover and remove any potentially harmful debris and broken toys. You may also need to replenish play sand during these weekly check-ups, especially if kids have spent any time shoveling it out of the box.

4. Use a sandbox cover.

Sandbox covers are not used as extensively or as frequently as they should be, but they are one of the easiest and most important ways to maintain a safe and healthy sandbox. When used properly, sandbox covers prevent excess debris, like leaves, sticks, and rocks, from getting into the sand and creating a potential danger to children. Sandbox covers also protect sand from blowing away in strong breezes, and they keep insects from burrowing and nesting in the sand. Most importantly, sandbox covers prevent play sand from contamination by animals who use the sandbox as their toilet.

The only way to use sandbox covers successfully, of course, is to use them regularly when children are not playing in the box. Use sandbox covers that are made to fit your sandbox. Tarps and other makeshift covers can be easily dislodged or removed by animals or strong winds, making them unreliable and ineffective.

Overall, maintaining the backyard sandbox is a simple task that requires little time and few supplies. Keeping all play areas safe and healthy for your kids will give you peace of mind, and will provide your kids and their imaginations with hours of good, clean, simple fun.

3 Swing Set Add Ons That Keep Kids Interested in Backyard Play

Blue Super Tube Spiral SlideHow to Appeal to the Evolving Abilities and Interests of Growing Kids

The backyard swing set you bought for your kids when they were small was probably filled with challenging and fun equipment just right for their age and size. Bucket swings for safety, a short ladder leading to a scoop slide, and maybe even a club house for hours of pretend play. As kids grow older, though, their ideas about what’s fun and challenging evolve. Making sure that the backyard swing set doesn’t become an unused eyesore means keeping up with your children’s changing interests and abilities. By updating the swing set periodically with equipment and accessories that meets your kids’ current needs, you can ensure that the swing set continues to appeal to your kids over the course of many years.

Alternative Swings

Swings are an affordable place to start when it comes to updating a swing set’s accessories. If you haven’t done so already, swap out the bucket swing or half-bucket swing with a traditional belt swing or two. The belt swing is a standard “big kid” swing that will continue to interest kids as they grow. Don’t stop there, though. Swings come in all shapes and styles, and a little variety adds a lot of appeal to a backyard swing set.

Some of the more popular alternative swings include tire swings and disc swings. Kids like that these two swings move in any and every direction, rather than just back and forth. Kids also like the tire swing for its ability to hold two or more friends, which brings an increasingly social and cooperative element to the activity of swinging. Glider swings are another fun alternative to standard swings. Glider swings seat two people, back to back, who work as a team to keep the swing flying high. Finally, older kids and even adults can enjoy a wooden chair swing. A chair swing attaches to the swing set in the same way as any other kind of traditional swing, and it offers a relaxing way to swing gently while chatting with a friend or reading a book.


Swing sets generally come with a standard scoop slide, which is straight, smooth, and adequately thrilling for little ones. As kids get older, though, they tend to prefer a more exhilarating ride. Replacing your original slide for a spiral slide can offer that extra bit of thrill to older kids.  Spiral slides are often completely enclosed tubes, too, similar to what you find on commercial or public playgrounds. The enclosed spiral brings an additional measure of excitement to the sliding experience.

Climbing Accessories

Climbing equipment offers growing kids a fun way to challenge their bodies’ developing abilities. While not usually appropriate for young children, climbing accessories help older kids gain confidence, strengthen muscles, and refine gross motor and motor planning skills. Monkey bars may be the most common type of climbing accessory found on standard swing sets, but they can be added to an existing swing set that doesn’t already have them. Rope ladders and rock wall climbing kits are available, too, and are exceptionally appealing to adventurous kids.

Updating the backyard swing set to meet the changing abilities and interests of your growing kids can be as easy as replacing the existing swings and slide and adding climbing features more suited to older kids. Making small but meaningful changes over time will not only encourage years of continued interest by your kids, but will also reinforce the value of your initial investment in the swing set.

Investing in a Fire Pit for Chilly Nights

Fire Pit / Bowl – Large Oil Rubbed Bronzed

Festive Fall Activities for your Fire Pit

These days, it seems like everyone has a fire pit. If you have yet to join the crowd or even if you’re just looking for a new model for this fall, you can find a lot of different styles to choose from. Thanks to the growing demand, there is a wide selection of styles and designs that you can choose from to spice up your backyard and make enjoying fall all the more fun for your family and friends. With so much to choose from, of course, it can get overwhelming at times. Make sure that you’re prepared by taking the time to explore your options and learn about buying the perfect fire pit for your home.

Considerations for Buying a Fire Pit

When you’re investing in a fire pit, you have a lot of different options to choose from. It’s going to be up to you to make sure that you think about the factors that affect your decision so that you can get everything that you deserve from your purchase. Here are some definite things to keep in mind while you’re shopping:

  • Budget.  If you are like most people, you’ll be looking for a good deal within your price range. Making sure that you stick to your budget can be hard with so many great pits to choose from, but you really have to keep things in check. Make sure that you limit your selection by price first so that you don’t accidentally wind up falling in love with something that you can’t afford. You can get great fire pits in all price ranges, so don’t worry about that.
  • Style.  Everyone has different tastes. With the wide selection of fire pits that you have to choose from, it shouldn’t be difficult for you to find what you need. Think about your backyard and what you want to add to it. You can choose from rustic fire pits, contemporary styles, and more. It’s all about what you want and there’s something for almost everyone out there in today’s market.
  • Size.  If you have a big backyard and room for it, you might be shopping for a large fire pit or outdoor fireplace. If you live in the city, on the other hand, you might be in the market for a smaller model. Either way, there are plenty of different sizes to choose from and it’s going to be up to you to get what you want. Make sure that you think about all of the sizes that are available and measure them out to know what you’re getting. This is especially important when you’re shopping online and can’t see the fire pit in person before you buy.
  • Material.  Most fire pits are made of cast iron or aluminum and designed to withstand excessive heat. However, you can also find fire pits made from other materials or that are part of a table, for example. You’ll have to look at these and consider which the best investment is for your money, no matter what you have in mind.

Shopping Online for Fire Pits

Shopping online gives you a lot more options when you’re in the market for a new fire pit. You will be able to pick and choose from designs from dozens of different brands and companies, giving you a much better chance at finding what you want. Plus, you won’t be limited by things like local pricing and availability. Most home improvement stores and superstores only have a limited number of styles and sizes available, and you don’t want to put yourself in that kind of restricted place. Plus, what fun is it if you have the same fire pit as half of your neighbors? Impress everyone and get what you really want by shopping online for something completely different.

Another perk of shopping online is that you can usually get better prices in addition to giving you more options to choose from within your budget range. If you take just a few minutes to see what’s out there, you might be impressed at all the selection that you can find. Even if you can’t spend a fortune on a fire pit, you can still get some great styles and designs when you expand your options by shopping online.

Plus, shopping online is easy and you can do it whenever the mood strikes. You’ll never have to worry about getting to the store before closing or trying to find time to go out and choose the right fire pit. You can shop from the comfort of home and look at dozens of different styles and designs on the spot, no matter what you have in mind. There are so many perks to shopping online for a fire pit that you really should give it a try before you even think about heading out to your local store to see what they have. Chances are that you can even find their selection online to compare what you can get in the store to the options that you have when you shop online.

How to Make the Final Decision

Ultimately, the final decision about which fire pit to buy is entirely up to you. You have to consider all of the factors listed above and make sure that you’re investing in something that you want. This is an investment that you’ll probably have for a long time, provided that you buy a quality fire pit, so you’ll definitely want to make sure that you’re spending your money accordingly. Think about the quality and reputability of the company that you’re buying from, as well as the fire pit itself. Make sure that you like the style and that it fits your outdoor space. In the end, as long as you like what you’re getting, that’s all that matters. Just remember to shop around and explore all of your options so that you can enjoy the fall nights with family and friends with the perfect fire pit for your backyard.