When it comes to helping your kids to build healthy exercise and play habits, regularity is important. For many of us, that’s a problem. Bad weather often convinces even parents themselves to stay indoors rather than to go out for that jog we’ve been promising ourselves for years. Even during the warmer seasons of the year, rain, wind, or excessive heat can feel like as much of a deterrent as a snowstorm.
Play should be fun, especially because your kids don’t understand the more mundane benefits of exercise. For parents, this means that play spaces need to be protected from adverse weather to maximize the likelihood that playing outside will be fun in the conditions that are available. While no one will want to, or should, be out in a rainstorm, it’s a good idea to shelter your backyard enough that a windy or cloudy day won’t deter them.
Cover your swing set
Your swing set is the heart of your backyard. When your kids aren’t swinging on the swing, they’ll be clambering up the climbing rope, going down the slide, or swinging on the monkey bars. This makes it the most important part of your back yard to shelter. A swing set that’s built onto a tree will have some natural cover, but most of the time parents will need to cover their swing set on their own.
The simplest solution is, of course, to install a covered swing set with a built-in roof. Failing that, a separate canvas cover can be added on. The purpose of this is, most importantly, to keep direct sunlight off of your children. On a hot summer day, this will help to prevent heat exhaustion, and keep covered parts of the swing set from heating up to unbearable temperatures. Additionally, it keeps falling leaves and moisture off of the swing set, making it safer and more fun to play on all year around. It’s especially helpful after a rainstorm, because it’ll keep sitting surfaces dry, so kids can immediately go out to play when the weather improves.
Create plenty of windbreaks
Even relatively mild winds can ruin a good day. Stirred up dust and pollen can trigger allergy attacks, and even the wind itself can be uncomfortable depending on the temperature. Fortunately, this is relatively simple to manage. Installing a tall fence, planting a hedge, or strategically placing some evergreen trees can break the wind for your backyard, creating a nice sheltered area on the leeward side.
Know when to call your kids inside
While regular play is important, safety is every parents’ top concern. Severe weather, whether it’s wind, rain, or just a very hot day, is dangerous, and shouldn’t be underestimated. Parents need to be present when kids are at play to decide whether conditions are safe, and should always get kids inside if the weather becomes unsafe for any reason.