Written by Jyoti Shah in Family
Viewed by 36 readers since 05-01-2009
A swimming pool in the back yard can provide immense relief from the summer heat and provide the right ambience for a party on summer nights. Besides enjoying a summer swim, guests will feel thrilled if you include a barbeque, as this will add a special flavor to the party. Ensure that your barbeque grill is in good order. You will also need to marinate the barbeque items well in advance. If you can provide great cuisine, your guests will remember the occasion and probably also look forward to a similar event each summer! Food need not be a problem, as many of your guests will be willing to pool in with either preparing a dish or two or fetching a large quantity of lemonade that kids will enjoy.
Sharing often takes the burden off the host and allows others a chance to feel good and useful. Plan out the menu with a friend or family member, keeping in mind the kind of food that all will enjoy. Sandwiches, coleslaws, crackers with cheese, cookies and pretzels are foodstuffs enjoyed by all and quite popular. Ensure you have a large quantity of water stocked up as your guest will feel thirsty and need to remain hydrated and cool. Flavored water is a welcome substitute for cold drinks. Remember that you need to invite your guests well in advance. You can send out invitations or mail to them and then follow up with a phone call. This will help you to plan the menu when you know how many guests to expect.
Safety is important. Just make sure that you entrust the kids to a few responsible adults so as to prevent accidents. Alternatively, set aside a separate time for them to enjoy the pool with adults keeping a close watch. This will ensure that children remain safe.
Apart from swimming you can also provide for backyard activity like water polo if there are enough invitees around. Make sure you have the equipment like volleyball and goal nets for the purpose. Swimming gear like arm floaties, and rings, some spare swimsuits, and towels also need to be kept handy. Water guns and water balloons and even a water sprinkler can provide ample fun for all age groups as many enjoy being doused with cool water on a hot summer evening! Apart from this, a basketball net in the backyard also provides loads of fun for those who enjoy this sport.
Besides sports and parties, backyards can provide ample opportunities for young children to explore nature and learn about insects and plants. You will need to provide them will equipment such as containers, magnifying glasses, butterfly nets, resource guides with illustrations and a scrapbook to note down what they observe. After the first showers of rain, they will love to explore small plants and wild flowers that sprout and also notice how bugs and insects move to safer areas. Many children love to watch insects and soon find themselves a cute pet in their own backyard.
Very young children also enjoy playing in the sand. Having a sand pit in the backyard is a fine idea to keep children engaged and happy while mothers take care of their daily chores!
Camping out in one’s own backyard too can be full of fun and excitement, especially on a cool summer night when the stars are out. Take a look at the weather report before you plan to camp out. You will need mattresses, tents, pillows and blankets to keep warm, even on a summer night. Make sure in advance your tent too is in good shape and does not require any repairs, particularly if it is an old one, or buy yourself a new one from any department store.
If you were the kind of person who enjoys gardening then your own backyard would be the best place to start. First of all consider the space you will require and where it will be. If you are planning to grow vegetables then the area nearest to the kitchen will be the best. See that the spot is secluded so that vigorous backyard activities like sports do not affect the plants once they begin to grow. Start with finding the right tools like shovels, forks, hoes etc. Experience will soon teach you what equipment is best. Visit a gardening store and you are sure to find a dealer who will give you sound advice about what tools you will need to begin with. Then consider the seeds. Once you plant them you will love to watch the saplings making an appearance within a few weeks. You will need soil supplements and premixed plant foods to ensure that the plants grow healthy and blossom at the right time. These are not essential, as plants do grow healthy even without them. Children also enjoy gardening, especially if they are allocated a separate area for themselves. Adding a small fountain to your garden is also a fine Feng Shui idea. Ensure you get the direction right!
Besides all this, if you are the kind who enjoys being alone, nothing like a hammock between two trees, with a book for company!
Whatever activity you plan, backyards can be fun and provide loads of enjoyment all through the year, for young and old alike!