There are many elements to consider when building and designing an outdoor space, but perhaps the most important to you is making sure that you have a kid-friendly patio. That’s why we’re going to give you tips that explain how to accommodate your children.
Kid-friendly is related to the term family-friendly, which means that something is suitable for every member of the family. These tips are intended to suit the patio to the youngest members of the family so that they can enjoy the outdoors too.
These tips talk about everything from safety to entertainment, and none of them are costly. A kid-friendly patio should be free of dangerous hazards, but also include fun elements to keep them busy. After reading these 23 tips, you’ll know how to design a fun and secure patio for you and your kids to enjoy.
1. Create a designated hangout spot for kids.
One way to keep tabs on your kids while they’re on the patio is to have them hang out in a spot that you’ve set up for them. That way, they won’t mess with anything they shouldn’t in the adults’ section.
Furthermore, they’ll have access to everything they need in their kids’ corner. This method is more suitable for younger children and infants who would be happy in a playpen or decorated corner.
2. Use chalkboard paint.
Chalkboard paint is inexpensive and can be applied to any surface. Paint it on to one wall or section of the floors and watch as your kids draw and color the day away.
This is a great way to keep the kids entertained on the patio and to make them feel like they have freedom in the space. Just make sure they don’t start drawing with chalk on your couch.
3. Add a zipline.
If you are really looking for a fun patio activity for your children, all you have to do is add a zipline to one side. This will both keep them busy and make sure that they don’t interrupt the adults’ fun on the patio.
Ziplines are very easy to install and something that kids really enjoy. They can be purchased in stores or online and can be run from the patio wall to a stake in the yard if there is nothing else to connect them to.
4. Put up play swings.
For a simpler option than a zipline, try swings. These items will be a great pastime for your kids, but they will also look cute on your patio. Try putting one swing for each kid in your house.
Swings can be attached to the canopy of your patio or even to a nearby tree branch. They are great for the children to enjoy on a day with good weather, and they are sure to make them happy to hang out with you on the porch.
5. Keep watch.
A general way to make sure that your patio is kid-friendly is to always keep an eye on them. A patio that isn’t suitable for children is one where there is hardly any adult supervision.
If you’re not going to be there to watch your kids and make sure they don’t harm themselves, it’s better not to let them spend time there. Try keeping a close eye on the children while they are spending time on your patio.
6. Build a treehouse.
While this requires a bit of a construction project, a treehouse can be an enjoyable element to add to your patio. If you like to build things, why not add a little nook to your patio for your kids to hang out?
This will make them feel like they have a place to spend time while you are hanging out with friends. And you can add any accessories like games and blankets to keep them happy.
7. Consider a kitty pool.
Pools are not the easiest things to put on your patio, but your kids will definitely love them. Who doesn’t like to swim? This is also a versatile option because you can actually install a pool, or choose just to buy a plastic one and fill it with hose water.
Either way, your kids will love it, and it will make them want to spend more time with you outside on the patio. Choose a pool if you want your kids to love hanging out on the patio.
8. Install fun lights.
Decorative lights are a great idea no matter what spot you are designing. And it will brighten the space up to make the children feel like they are in a fairytale. There are many different styles of lights to choose from to find the ideal selection for your patio. String lights are a great option for outdoor spaces, but hanging lights also look great if your patio has a canopy. Add lights to your patio and watch as your kids eyes light up at the sight of them.
9. Buy fun-sized chairs.
All a kid needs to feel like they belong somewhere is a special chair that fits them just right. Buying a set of chairs for your children is essential to making a kid-friendly patio.
If you have a boy and a girl, get a pink and blue chair, and it will be their new favorite spot to relax. Fun-sized plastic chairs are cheap and perfect for outdoor spaces.
10. Set up a tent.
Kids love tents, and they would actually look really cute in your outdoor space. Like a treehouse, this accessory could become your child’s new favorite hangout spot.
Put up a tent, hang some lights, and wait for them to crawl in and not want to leave. A tent will make your child feel like they have their very own space on the patio and separate them from the rest of the crowd.
11. Decorate with candy jars.
Candy can be both a fun accessory for your patio and something for your kids to look forward to. Decorate their space with jars of their favorite sweets, and they will love the new patio look.
Hopefully, they will know better than to eat it all at once. But it can be great to keep outside for them to enjoy when you’re hanging out outside. And who knows, maybe you’ll even want to take a few pieces every once in a while.
12. Bring out art supplies.
It’s always a great thing to encourage your kids to make art, and the patio is a great place to do it. Whether they want to draw pictures, paint on canvases, or make collages, you should definitely buy them the supplies to do so.
Making art is a relaxing and fun way for kids to spend their time, and it’s fun to do it outside. If you’re having a patio party, bring out the art supplies, and you can keep your kids occupied for the entire time.
13. Establish rules.
Rules are essential to having well-behaved children, and they can be important when you’re outside on the patio. Set smart rules to ensure that your patio is kid-friendly.
An example of a good patio rule is that the kids aren’t allowed to hang out there without an adult. The last thing you would want is to find that your kids have gotten into trouble on the patio when you weren’t there to watch them. Rules help control their behavior and maintain your patio.
14. Hire a babysitter.
While this tip is not so much an object, it’s a really good idea to consider. If you want your kids to spend time outside but you don’t want to have to stare at them the whole time, hire someone else to do it for you.
A babysitter can help make sure the kids are safe while they hang out on the patio, as well as keep them entertained. Maybe you would rather enjoy a glass of wine than play tic-tac-toe with your children while on the patio, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Just hire someone who can do the work for you while you relax.
15. Stock up on refreshments.
Whether your kids are on the patio or in the grass, they’ll need water to support them in the heat. Both food and drinks are a good idea to keep handy on your patio.
Try stocking a cooler or the outdoor fridge with water bottles, juices, and anything your kids like to munch on. The last thing you want to discover while relaxing on the patio is that your kids haven’t had enough food or water to sustain them while they’re playing outside.
16. Keep sunscreen handy.
If your patio isn’t completely protected by the sun, it’s imperative that you lather them in sunscreen. During the warmer months, the sun can be quite intense on skin, so you and your kids should both always wear sunscreen while you’re outside.
The best way to make sure that this happens on a regular basis to keep sunscreen bottles on the patio and to apply it to your kids every time they hang out with you there. Sunscreen is important no matter where you are outside.
17. Add board games.
Board games are a classic pastime, and they can make your kids want to spend hours on the patio. You can either buy games to be enjoyed by the whole family or just to be played by the kids.
This simple purchase will have your kids spending as much time on the patio as they can. And board games can sometimes last hours, so it will give you plenty of time to relax outside like you want to.
18. Bring a camera.
No matter what you’re doing with your kids; having a camera on hand is always a good idea. After you’ve considered adding all of these budget elements to your patio, you should also think about getting a camera.
This item helps you capture the great moments that you’ll have on the patio with your children. You can either bring a nice camera from inside or keep a fun polaroid for automatic printing of photos that your kids will love to take and see.
5 things to remove before letting your kids play on the patio
While there are many things that you wouldn’t want to turn around to find your child playing with, a dangerous bug or spider crawling around on them would be terrifying to encounter. The poor kid wouldn’t know that they were in danger, so it’s the parents’ job to keep them safe from harm.
That’s why it’s important to try to keep your patio free of bugs, spiders, and other mischievous animals. There are a number of prevention techniques for your patio, and a lot of them are safe for kids.
One effective technique would be to put a bug-repelling bracelet on your child whenever they are outside. This method is quick and prevents you from having to spray their entire body with bug spray. For other ways to keep bugs away from your patio and to get rid of spiders on your patio, see our very own detailed articles on these topics.
20. Glass (cups / decorations)
When designing an outdoor space, it is always the best policy to eliminate glass items. The risk of them breaking in the pool or the grass is enough to completely prohibit their use outdoors.
Therefore, your patio should be glass-free if you want to ensure that your child will not risk cutting themselves. There are many plastic cups, bowls, and other accessories that can be purchased, and they are just as stylish as glassware.
If you can keep glass out of your patio, you will have one less hazard to worry about. And you won’t have to sacrifice style, as there are so many safe alternatives with which to decorate your patio.
21. Sharp corners
Sharp corners are a hazard to look out for in all areas of your home when you are trying to build a child-safe environment. But just because they are dangerous doesn’t mean you have to throw out all of your furniture and sit on the patio floor.
There are two ways to child-proof your patio with regards to sharp corners. For the sharp items that you already own, simply purchase corner protectors, which are foam applicators that stick to household items that have dangerous edges.
As an alternative measure, avoid buying sharp-cornered furniture in the future. While this may lessen your choices for a new patio coffee table, it could also save your child’s life. The sacrifice is certainly worth it.
22. Alcoholic beverages or food/food wrappers
While many food items are harmless for a child to swallow, alcoholic beverages and food wrappers are not. Besides, you still wouldn’t want to find your child snacking on food that was left on your patio from last night’s party.
In order to keep your kids away from food and drinks that aren’t for them, try having designated spaces for consumption. This means that all food could be strictly eaten at a tall table on the patio, or all drinks could be reserved for consumption at the bar only.
By setting these standards for your patio guests, you will lessen the chance that your child will get into something they shouldn’t. Whether they are found eating a grape on the floor or sucking a margarita from a straw, it’s better if there are firm rules in place to avoid accidents like this.
23. Toxic liquids (bug sprays, lighter fluid, etc.)
Toxic liquids may be the most important item in this list to protect against. As the name suggests, these liquids are dangerous and may even be poisonous. It is imperative to make sure that none of these things are left around your patio for your child to pick up.
Many items on your patio may seem like everyday products to you, but they could be harmful to your children. These include bug spray, lighter fluid, paint cans, and rat poison.
Of course, you can’t just stop using all products to avoid harming your children. Instead, there are smart actions you can take to continue using these liquids without threatening to expose your child to them.
As a general solution, try installing a shelf high up on one of your patio walls or inside a nearby closet to ensure that your kids won’t be able to reach it. Here, you can store paint cans, lighter fluid, and even bug spray.
For rat poison and other animal repellent traps, try putting them underneath the patio and blocking off space so that no one will risk running into them. That way, not even adults will be exposed to your animal evasion attempts.
Between our list of items to include and items to remove, your patio will be completely safe and inviting for kids. While some of these suggestions are products and others are just principles, they all contribute to building a budget-friendly, kid-friendly patio for you and your family to enjoy.