The best part about heading into the warmer weather is that you get to make more use of your backyard. While summer calls for more lawn care and yard maintenance, it also calls for the swingball set to be brought out of hibernation and more time for an intensely competitive game of backyard cricket.
If you’re dabbling in lawn care to prime your backyard for summer activities, you may be wondering what on earth you can get up to you with your friends and family. Here are some of the best summer games to play out on the lawn.
Backyard cricket has been responsible for tears of joy and sadness, arguments, and long-standing family feuds. In fact, it’s not Christmas if someone doesn’t bring out the beaten and weathered wickets, the worn-out cricket bat and the ball that every losing team swears was “tampered” with.
Backyard cricket has become so entrenched in Kiwi summers that you can even join backyard cricket championships with a chance of being reigned the champion.
If you take a game of Christmas cricket quite seriously, then there’s also no time like the present to get lawn care preparations underway. The backyard has to be in tip-top shape for what is one of the most highly anticipated family games of the year.
Can you really say you’ve experienced a Kiwi summer if your cousin hasn’t run off crying after a ball to the face? From November onwards, swing ball sets are in hot demand, as parents look to provide entertainment in the backyard for children throughout the school holidays and on Christmas day. However, swing ball is more than entertainment for the kids. Mum and dad also take great pride in hitting the ball as hard as they can to let off steam and have a few laughs with the family.
However, swing ball can take its toll on your lawn. Not only does it create a great, gaping hole in the backyard, but it grows ever larger with each big hit. What’s more, grass around the set also flattens with being stepped on and takes a while to come back to life. If you plan on introducing swing ball into your Christmas festivities, consider placing it somewhere where your grass can recuperate without foot traffic once celebrations are over.
Badminton usually is a game reserved for those with a large backyard. It requires a net, a minimum of two people, a competitive nature, and a strong racquet arm! Most toy outlets begin stocking badminton sets as soon as the warmer weather hits, with enough shuttlecocks and racquets for at least four players. If you have grounds galore and plenty of players, then why not create a competitive family team sport? You never know, badminton could become a new Christmas tradition.
Slip ‘n’ Slide
If you’re prepared to let your backyard get a little bit messy in the name of summer fun, then it’s time to dust off the slip ‘n’ slide and get the whole family in on the action. While you are going to have to dedicate time to lawn care after the fun stops, it’s an activity that’s bound to cool everyone down - even if it does cause arguments with who gets to go down it first! When you add a water slide to your backyard, it’s also a good idea to inspect the ground for anything that could make your trip down it painful. After tree trimming, remove all sharp sticks from the lawn, and make sure you’ve left a little bit of growth on the lawns for padding.
What’s more, it might be best to leave your garden tidy up until after you’ve had your fun, as there can be nothing more uncomfortable than getting covered in mulch and dirt that remains on the lawns after digging around in the garden.
If you’re looking for an activity that will keep the kids in the backyard all summer, then a water fight is it. All you need to do is buy a few water guns, some water balloons, and let them loose with the outdoor tap. Once the cousins and other family members turn up, they can then spend hours running around the lawn getting soaked to the skin but having loads of fun. The best part is, summer can be quite dry in some parts of New Zealand, so the bit of water can be a welcome addition to a suffering lawn.
If lawn care is the least of your worries, with trying to entertain children at the forefront of your mind, then why not invite them to take part in sack races? Every child has a competitive streak, and if they can make use of their Santa sacks long after they open all their presents, then all the better. Line all the kids up on the lawn, have them get into their Santa sack, then let them run and hop to the other side. The first person to get to the other side of the lawn wins!
It’s not a Kiwi Christmas unless you spend a little time in your backyard soaking up the summer rays. If you’re short of ideas and need something to keep little minds and bodies active, then try these options above! You may also like to check out the Backyard Bash and see how you can sign up to be part of the backyard cricket championship!