When you add a patio to your house, you probably envision so many outdoor activities you can enjoy. You probably especially envision entertaining your children on the patio. The reality of scorching sun beating down on the patio throughout most of the day might change your imagining.
Having an awning installed is a good way to make your patio usable at any time of day. Once you have the awning installed, here are three fun activities for kids to enjoy.
One of the challenges of summertime is keeping kids' school skills strong. Naturally, children don't want to sit around studying when they can be playing outside. A good solution is to turn certain skills into fun games. For example, you could combine the spelling, vocabulary, and cognitive benefits of Scrabble with the fun of the outdoors.
Patio Scrabble will actually be an oversized version of the game board. You'll need cardboard, brown paper, or another large writing surface for the game pieces. The game features 72 squares each with a letter. Use a marker to write one letter on an oversized square - you'll write out the alphabet twice with the exception of Q and X.
To keep things simple, don't go into points and double scores. Instead, simply have the kids make words out of the given letters. If they insist on a winner, that can be the person with the fewest leftover letters at the end.
One of the reasons you may have wanted a patio in the first place was for your own gardening. You can have a set space for potting plants and storing your supplies. The patio is also a great area for teaching kids how to garden. Children love making crafts. Therefore, some of the most successful gardening activities let kids put their creativity to use.
For example, save your large water bottles, and turn them into hanging tomato planters. You'll need to cut off the bottoms and punch holes in the lips. The kids slip tomato seedlings root-first through the mouth and fill the bottles with potting soil. They then tie colorful string or ribbon to the bottles via the small holes you made. You can teach your kids about nurturing the plants.
Another approach to teaching kids about container gardening is by having them construct terrariums. You could choose a theme, such as herb or fairy garden. Simply provide the potting soil, plants, and other supplies. Your children can use their creativity to construct their unique terrarium. Have them continue to water the plants throughout the summer.
You can enjoy constructing these container gardens in the shade on your patio, but make sure to research how much sun the plants you choose need. After you finish putting the container gardens together, you may need to move them to a sunnier part of your yard.
Kid's Birthday Party
If one or more of your children have summer birthdays, you should consider hosting the party on your patio. You can opt for a simple barbecue. However, some more kid-friendly party foods include baguette pizza, sausage rolls, and cake pops. All of these dishes can be made ahead of time.
For activities, some games are better for the backyard. These games include any with water, such as water balloon piñata. This easy game simply involves hanging water balloons from a tree and letting the kids whack at them to release the water. The patio is a great place for the kids to wait their turn in the shade - and to dry off afterward.
A fun patio game to play during the party would be a pickup bottle game. This game is similar to the one you play at carnivals, where you use a small ring to pick up a bottle. For this game, lay out hula hoops, and place sand-filled plastic bottles on their sides in the middle. Have the kids use a stick with a small ring on a stick to try and pull the bottle upright.
Shading your patio with an awning allows you to more easily entertain the kids during the summer. Contact Sunstate Awning for help choosing a beautiful patio awning.