When you have kids, it's easy for your yard to turn into one giant play area. But making your yard kid-friendly doesn't have to mean you're sacrificing aesthetics or giving up the areas of the yard that adults enjoy. Whether your yard is large or small, it's possible to plan for spaces that cater to both adults and kids to create a yard the entire family can enjoy.

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Consider Your Family

There's no one-size-fits-all approach to designing a family-friendly yard. What works for one family might not work for another. Which means the first question you need to think about is what type of yard your family needs.

Make a list of the things you and your family want to do in the yard, then think about how to make that happen. For example, if you want to play catch with your kids you'll need a yard design that includes open lawn areas. If you want a show-stopping front yard, then you'll want to put kids' play areas in the backyard. If an elderly adult lives with you or visits often, you'll need comfortable seating and safe paths for them to walk on.

Define Your Space

Next, let's think about the type of space you have to work with. In larger yards, you'll have the flexibility to create garden spaces, play areas, outdoor dining and relaxation, open lawn areas, and/or water features. You'll still have to plan the layout carefully, but the extra space allows more freedom in what you want to use the yard for.

For smaller yards, you'll need to be more conscious of space. Multifunctional areas will be one of your best friends. For example, a paved outdoor eating area provides room for adults to entertain and the pavement gives children a canvas for chalk art. Adults who enjoy gardening can design a space that's fun for kids to explore and includes natural play areas like a small sand pit.

Elements of Family-Friendly Design

One thing that all family-friendly yards share is an emphasis on safety. You'll want to design a yard that minimizes the risk of serious injury while still giving kids the freedom to play and explore. This can include hardscape elements, like putting a fence up to keep small children from wandering off, as well as making sure your landscape doesn't include poisonous plants.

You'll also want to make sure your lawn is planted with a sturdy grass that can stand up to foot traffic from kids playing in the yard. For cool-season lawns, a blend of fescue, Bluegrass, and ryegrass is the sturdiest option. For warm-season lawns, Bermuda grass and zoysia grass are the most traffic-tolerant.

Think About Maintenance

When you're making a plan for creating a family-friendly yard, remember you're also going to have to take care of the yard. Many homeowners enjoy working out in the yard, so for them this is good news. But if you want to spend more time playing, relaxing, and entertaining in your yard, then you'll want look into low-maintenance landscaping when you're putting a plan together.

Whether low-maintenance or not, you'll still need to mow the lawn, trim around play areas, and maintain garden spaces. And for that, you'll need good-quality lawn care equipment. At Richardson Saw, we carry a variety of homeowner lawnmowers, trimmers, and other tools. We'll be happy to answer your questions and help you find exactly what you need to keep your yard looking good.