Whether you’re looking forward to BBQing, leisurely afternoons spent kicking back on the patio or exploring all your favourite trails on your bike, we know you’ve been waiting months to get outside and enjoy what Canada has to offer this spring. From how to clean and prep your BBQ to how to find the best E-mobility vehicle for you, at Canadian Tire.
After a long and icy winter, spring is finally on the horizon, and with it, the promise of outdoor playtime. As many families hunkered down this winter, trading in trips to the skating rink and ski hill for at-home play, the start of spring has never felt so exciting.
Your backyard can provide a fun, safe place for your kids to exercise their imaginations and stay fit — and luckily, it’s easier than ever to transform your backyard into an unforgettable, kid-friendly play zone.
Bring the adventure home this spring and give your kids the gift of play with these creative and easy-to-follow backyard ideas.
Rather than turning your living room into their personal jungle gym, encourage outdoor play by providing your children with creative ways to get active. Create a D.I.Y. obstacle course using household objects like plastic laundry baskets and jump ropes. In a teamwork exercise, one child can sit in the laundry basket as the other pushes them across the lawn or, using a piece of string, a ruler, and fish crackers, the laundry basket can be transformed into a fishing boat at sea. For older kids consider upping the anti with a Ripline Ninja Obstacle Course which allows for dozens of different backyard adventures.
Shape pool noodles into rainbows and affix them to the grass using pencils or tent pegs to fashion makeshift hurdles. Scatter old pillows or rags across the yard for a backyard version of "The Floor is Lava" and, using sidewalk chalk, create a classic game of Hopscotch or design a new and challenging sidewalk obstacle course.
Set your kids free and encourage them to play a game of Grounders on their very own climbing frame. Children ages 3 to 13 can climb, balance, and enjoy healthy playtime on this geometric metal dome climbing frame while fostering their cognitive and motor skills.
Bring the playground home
It goes without saying that childhood memories are made at the playground. From races down the slide to scaling the rockclimbing wall, a playground provides hours of screen-free entertainment for every member of the family. Inspire outdoor play and creative thinking with a backyard play centre, like this one from KidKraft. It’s designed for children ages 3 to 10 and can hold up to nine people, so there might even be room for you to show the kids what you can do!
As we all know, outdoor play isn’t limited to older children. Big or small, everybody wants a turn at the swings. Suitable for infants as young as nine months, the Little Tikes 2-in-1 Snug ‘n Secure Swing will hold your baby safe as they swing through the air. Spanning your child’s development from infant to toddler, the Little Tikes swing has cemented itself as a playground staple for a reason.
Make exercise fun
Daily physical activity is vital for the health and wellbeing of everyone, including children. The Canadian government recommends children participate in at least one hour of moderate physical activity every day and for a child, what better way of doing so than by jumping on a trampoline? More than providing exercise and an afternoon of fun, the Plum Space Zone Evolution Trampoline is outfitted with vital safety components to keep your jumpers safe as they bounce around.
Whether it’s for fun or fitness (or both!), a trampoline inspires everyone to get active. Trampoline extensions like the Springfree Trampoline FlexrHoop encourage family members, big and small, to get on and practice their dunk shots. The basketball hoop attaches easily to your trampoline and is a great way for future (or former) basketball players in your house to try their hand at the sport.
A fun idea for older children is to play a game of laser tag on the trampoline. Laser X is a real-life gaming experience that brings the fun of laser tag to your own backyard. Family members can play day or night in teams or as individuals, and the game works just as well inside in case your trampoline laser arena happens to get rained out.
Another way to get the whole family moving is to play a fun game like Spikeball. This 2-on-2 game is both as active and competitive as you want it to be — which is great for different skill levels. We also love the Rec-Tek Matric Ball Lawn Game, which combines volleyball with 4-Square in a game that can be set up in just minutes.
Play in the garden
There are few things children love more than mimicking their parents as they go about their “grown-up” tasks. While you get dirty in the garden, help develop your child’s love of nature with a set of kid-friendly gardening tools. After snack time, have them collect their fruit seeds and, using their tools, teach them first-hand how to garden and where food comes from. For larger backyard projects, they can lend a helping hand with their own pint-sized wheelbarrow and gardening gloves.
If you prefer they dig in the sand rather than the dirt, you can’t go wrong with a classic sandbox. The Step2 Play & Store Sand Box is the perfect outdoor activity for children ages two and up as it helps develop fine motor and problem-solving skills. For an affordable alternative to sandbox toys, have your children keep their eyes open for flat rocks during your next outing. After washing them, use an acrylic paint set to design a collection of flowers, cars, or animals they can play with in the sand.