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Just For Kids    |    for Kids Only

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published on 04/01/2001


By staff writer

Kids and backyards go together. Backyards are places that let you pretend to be what you want to be or do the things you always wanted to do. Backyards are great places for you to create your own kingdoms. Let's begin the adventure:

Step One: Take a long walk around your backyard. Notice the different parts to your backyard like flowerbeds, vegetable garden, open areas, patio, big and little trees, and furniture. Take a notebook or some paper on a clipboard to make notes of what you see.

Step Two: Ask your parent’s permission to have a section of one of the flowerbeds or to help you create one for you. Also ask your parents to take you to a nursery that sells flowers already blooming like Marigolds (if you have a sunny spot or Impatience if you have a shady spot) and by a flat (usually 24 plants). While at the nursery ask the people there to help you learn the best way to plant your flowers. After you plant your flowers, remember to care for them by weeding out unwanted plants and giving them water to drink especially when it’s hot. What you plant now in April will last all summer if you be a good gardener.

Step Three: Don’t be bored in your backyard this summer! Pretend it’s a magical kingdom. With permission from your parents begin getting together an assortment of things to go in “THE BOX”. For example: old sheets, pieces of rope, scattered parts of old games, empty toilet paper rolls, old hats, shoes, gloves, small pieces of lumber, old Halloween costumes, you name it. Now when the long summer days come along you and your friends will have “THE BOX” to make believe. (Ask your Mom and Dad if you can keep it someplace out of the way. And remember to keep adding things to “THE BOX” so you won’t get bored.

Step Three: Remember to go outside after it gets dark, on your adventure. There’s lots to see and do at night like look for flowers that bloom only at night or look for bugs and insects. (Don’t forget to catch some fireflies!)

I like to look for spiders. To do this you need the most important tool for nighttime playing – a FLASHLIGHT. To find a spider stand out in your backyard where there is a pretty good amount of open grassy space. Turn the flashlight on and put it up to your forehead facing out onto the grass. Now very slowly move your head around the yard but keep the flashlight steady with one hand. If you go slow enough and are lucky, you will see two bright tiny eyes shining back. Now walk very carefully toward the two tiny eyes until you reach the spider. Say hello and walk away, but don’t disturb him. (You’ve already shined a light in his eye!)

Some other fascinating things to see at night are the stars and the moon. Make sure you turn out any lights on the outside of your house or patio to get a good clear view of the night sky. Take an old blanket and lay it on the ground so you can lie on your back to look up into the sky. If there are too many trees in your yard, ask your parents to walk down to a park or open area near your house so that everyone in the family can enjoy the nighttime adventure.

Step Four: Start planning now for some other great things to do in your backyard like camp out over night, put on a neighborhood play, read a good book, or swing on a swing set.

Whether you choose one step or all four, you are sure to enjoy your backyard more this spring and summer. NOW is the perfect time to begin your adventure, so spring into action.

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