Build a new patio. Here’s how to design the ideal space
More play space for the kids is a no-brainer, and a new patio is an ideal space. What else can you do? Let them play in a closet, the attic, or at the neighbors with all the free-range peacocks? Those are not suitable areas, to say the least!
A back porch or deck is ideal for many reasons as we’ll chat about below. The best thing is that you don’t have to spend a ton to get a nice play area. Lots of homeowners take the DIY route. And an affordable patio addition is possible depending on size and materials.
But how can you start designing the perfect play area?
Materials and Ideas
Pardon me, I just got lost on Pinterest with hundreds of ways to craft a kid-friendly patio. So… the first up is choosing your building material. An inexpensive project can start with some Quikrete and a little know-how from a friend in the concrete business – drop hints! YouTube is the next option. Other simple materials are wood or flagstones.
Decorative stone or brick is another route that will cost a bit more. Plus, you’ll need serious DIY skills to tackle this home expansion.
Maybe you’re looking for a giant play area because you have more than a couple of rugrats running around. Then it’s best to hire a reputable contractor since you clearly have your hands’ full chasing youngsters.
Pick Your Spot
Kids can get into all kinds of trouble if they get out of your sight. We know this because we did it ourselves. Catching things on fire with firecrackers and jumping off barns. So keep the kids close so you can prevent such chaos in modern times. Depending on their age, you can give them some space. But safety is first, unlike with our parents who let us roam wild.
A patio is awesome because it’s outdoors but not off your radar. You can do laundry while they play with grasshoppers or try catching a hummingbird. There are some issues though:
- Watch out for pests like fire ants and bees.
- Summer heat can put the hurting on youngsters – sunburns or worse.
- Critters are unlikely but you never know if you live in the mountains or a snakey area.
Patio Covers Kids
The answer for sunburn or heat exhaustion in August temps could be a patio cover or patio roof. These structures come in many shapes and sizes. But you do want to consider a quality porch shade system since the children will probably be living with you for a while! Plus, you want one that is eye-pleasing to complement your deck along with your home.
You may have seen old patio covers at a grandparent’s home or along the roadside. These blasts from the past were not built with aesthetics in mind. They were made to be inexpensive and provide shade – that’s about it. Thank goodness there are better pergolas and even sunrooms available today.
Cool Pool Connection
If you have a pool, then connecting the patio play area will make things even more fun. A little planning goes a long way.
- Will there be plenty of shade – mainly for mom and dad!
- Maybe a drying off station to avoid kids tracking water into the house.
- A storage container for 723 pool toys to keep them from cluttering the deck.
- A cocktail section for parents clinging to that endangered last nerve?
The Buzz About Screen Rooms
Screened enclosures are also a consideration for a patio play area. Some illiterate bees are violent because of all those spelling contest losses. Don’t let them ruin a fun day outside for your kiddos.
Screen rooms stop flies, gnats, and stinging insects like wasps. And you know how awful mosquitos are in the evening when the humidity is raging. BTW, the same patio covers beauty principle applies to new-age screen enclosures. They don’t have to be clunky-looking with screws sticking out and wood frames blocking views. Modern times have arrived, with an elegant makeover via our Dolce Screen Wall Systems. They feature unobstructed views and you can pick a chair rail option.
Outdoor Fun Options
You know the truth about kids today – they will super-glue their faces to a screen even outside. So you have to design a patio space in nature that prevents that. It is a difficult battle – and you won’t win every time. That’s OK!
The effort alone is all you need. One day your little DNA copycats will appreciate you forcing them to appreciate nature. They’re too little to do anything about it now except complain, so…
Here’s how to keep them engaged in the real world – free from digital nonsense.
- Try one of these outdoor games.
- Play games from your childhood that they have never tried.
- Get them interested in butterflies or gardening.
- If desperate, there are mobile games that use real-world activities similar to Pokemon Go!
Kids ’R Kids
Times have changed. Kids are oodles more tech-advanced than we were (and are). But they still appreciate nature. All they need is a nudge outdoors for them to remember that. Screens and indoor couch potatoing is a recent trend compared to thousands of years of outdoor fun people have always enjoyed.
If you can join your little ones in outdoor playtime as a parent, that will make things go even smoother. Beyond building out a dapper deck with shady patio roofing, that’s all any child can ask for. OK… they’ll probably ask for homemade ice cream at some point, so get ready.