The weather was getting nicer, but our backyard was boring and bland. In fact, I didn’t even want to go out there. One Friday night, I’d had enough. I did what any normal mom would do and searched Pinterest for ideas. I didn’t want to spend a lot, and there was no shortage of ideas. And if you know me, you know that coming up with an idea on a Friday night means that it needs to be done by Sunday afternoon. We hit up Lowe’s and got blocks for a retaining wall, spray paint, patio pavers, and sand.
We (and by we, I mean my husband), started by transplanting the grass to other parts of the yard and building up a retaining wall because that part of the yard is sloped.
Then came the worst part: the rocks. It sounded great in theory, but after several hours of shoveling gravel out of the back of a truck, it didn’t sound so great in reality.
I put together a basic drawing of everything I wanted: hopscotch, a road with a sand pit, and a chalkboard. I broke out the spray paint, and started with the hopscotch. I used basic 12″x 12″ patio pavers and spray painted them blue. I drew the numbers with a sharpie and filled them in with black paint using a sponge brush.
Next I painted a dashed road stripe down the middle of the interlocking pavers and put them out to make a road for cars and trucks. I made the mistake of buying spray paint for this part thinking it would be easier. But it was difficult to make the lines perfect, and I ended up having to make a stencil from cardboard. You could also use yellow paint with a small paint brush to make this step easier. I used a small pond container as a sand box. Note that if you add the sand feature, you’ll want to put holes in the container. Learned that the hard way after a good rain!
For the chalkboard, I bought a piece of cement board and painted it with 2 coats of chalk board paint. We bought small boards to use as trim pieces. My husband cut them to size, and I spray painted them pink. As Etta Mae says, “Pink is my favorite!” My husband attached it to the fence and anchored it with 2 x 4s.
Needless to say, Etta Mae loves her “park” as she calls it. We had plans to add a water table/pretend kitchen, but we’re taking a little break from the backyard construction gig. It’s amazing how much more time we spend outside with just a few little changes. Etta Mae loves coloring on the chalkboard, shoveling the rocks and playing hopscotch. The entire project came in under $300! You don’t have to spend a lot to make a great space for your kids. And the best part is, if we ever decide to make the space more adult friendly, it will make a great space for a fire pit!
Have you done anything to make your backyard more kid friendly?