Oh how I love summer, especially experiencing summer fun through the eyes of my kids. Whether it’s being covered in dirt after playing outside all day, popsicles on the driveway, or a squirt gun fight, it brings me so much joy to watch them take advantage of this relaxed time of year.
And while the swing set, catching bugs, and riding bikes are how we spend most of our days, sometimes I like to mix it up a bit with some DIY backyard fun. I recently had a friend create a laser maze that was super simple and a huge hit with kids of all ages. I recreated it at my house, and not only did it keep the kids entertained, the adults were able to have actual conversations! That’s a double win in my opinion.
To create a laser maze, you take yarn or curling ribbon and wrap it between several trees, creating different heights, so the kids can either jump over the ribbon or crawl underneath. I don’t have a lot of trees, so I bought some tent stakes and taller driveway markers to help. I used my fence, one tree and the stakes to wrap curling ribbon all over, creating a maze of ribbon at different heights. The kids helped and it probably took 15 minutes to make. Clean up is easy too, you just cut the ribbon down and toss it.
DIY Laser Maze
You will need:
* curling ribbon or yarn (several yards)
* tent or driveway stakes of varying heights (if you don’t have trees)
* tape ( I taped the ribbon onto the stakes to keep them at the height I wanted)
I started with my fence and tied the ribbon onto it. From there I weaved my way through the designated section of my yard, wrapping and taping it onto the stakes and also around the tree and then back to the fence. If using tent stakes, I recommend hammering them all the way into the ground, so no one trips and lands on one sticking up. The driveway markers stayed up high.
DIY Pool Noodle Obstacle Course
You will need:
*pool noodles (as many as you’d like, they are at the Dollar Store)
*unsharpened pencils (at least one per pool noodle, two per noodle if you are doing arches)
The other fun and easy DIY backyard activity I’ve tired is a pool noodle obstacle course. With pool noodles and pencils, you can create all sorts of options. Stick the pencil into the ground and put pool noodles on top, to have the kids weave through them while running. You can also take two pencils and bend the pool noodle onto each pencil, making an arch to crawl under. Break out some duct tape, tape them together to make a ladder of sorts for the kids to jump through. And if you have a swing set or access to a slide, incorporate it into your obstacle course as well. The kids have the most fun when it’s a race and we time how fast they can do it.
What I’ve learned is it doesn’t take a lot of work, just a little effort to mix up our backyard fun. And if you try either option, you should have exhausted kids at the end of it! And to me that’s truly the sign of a perfect summer day.