Bringing Family Outdoors

Bringing Family Outdoors is a topic after my own heart. We see the family unit stretching to its limits and pulling apart. There is a definite disconnect. It’s as if we are standing on the outside looking in – but are helpless to stop the insanity. Hence this semi-scolding push to ‘be the change you want to see.’

Here I go Nagging Again

blog cartoonThink a few months ago I was jabbing my jaw about families and cell phones –  Unfortunately, don’t think a landscape blogger can affect change in this increasingly widespread disconnect.  And, I truly hate to NAG, however, we can no longer shut our eyes to kids glued indoors to their electronic devices. Wake Up Call!  blog cartoonCould technology be the only underlying factor when kids won’t play outdoors? (Cell phones are portable . . . they can take them outside with if need be . . .)

So, I’m not buying it. Quit with the blame-shifting on technology. Who’s in charge, anyway? It’s time to take a good-look at family habits and make positive changes. blog cartoonIs staying indoors 100% the kid’s bad habit? Parents, can we share some of the responsibility? We might have a few bad habits of our own.

Do you head outdoors when you arrive home after work or on weekends? Is ‘couch potato’ more than just a joke in your household? (We are so ‘NOT’ judging, BTW)

Remember your own parents yelling, “Go Outside and Play” when you were young? Have you stopped saying it to your kids? Is it easier to ignore the elephant-in-the-room and let them play video games day and night?

American children now spend half as much time outdoors as they did 20 years ago, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, while consuming electronic media for more than 53 hours a week, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported.

Nag-fest over . . . let’s get to Bringing Family Outdoors into Outdoor Living Spaces . . . except – one more thing . . .


Outdoor Landscape Design Cartoon FamilyLead by example. If you want your children to follow your footsteps, let them see you in action. They are going to want to join you. Bringing Family Outdoors is a gift that kids have a right to enjoy. And Spending Time With Family is More Important Than You Think –

Here are 6 good reasons why:

  1. builds self esteem
  2. create bonds
  3. nurtures positive behavior
  4. creates memories
  5. relieves stress

Good points, eh? We all want what’s best for our kids. When Josh Levs, CNN, in the above article states, “Parents act as chauffeurs and cheerleaders, but is all the frenzy good for family?” . . . and uses terms like, “over-scheduled kids” and “frazzled parents,” we can’t help examining our family routine. We want more for our families than this ‘new-norm’ lifestyle. Only problem . . . it’s up to us to effect change.


Outdoor life with your family promises incredible experiences. Nature offers an eternal free pass to a family playground. So, taking it outside should be a snap. We are talking outside the backdoor, so creating places to play together is where we start. Choose your best activity together. Like this soccer side-yard. Mom, Dad . . . make an effort to join the kids in a soccer match. Not just once, many times. A weekly match will be cherished forever . . .

soccor practise - turf grass


Not only does bringing family outside lower stress levels, it improves your mood. True feel-good activities give your mind clarity, will make you feel happier, more energetic, and alert. Everyone in the family unit will thrive – outside. Like in this built-in backyard campground. How fun to plan family camp night together. All of us have loads of stories about camping with our family and friends. Looks like we need another tent or two! (click photo to see more of property)

campsite in landscape


When Moms and Dads work full-time

Kids can’t play outside after school if they’re simply not home. And on weekends, many families turn inward to re-group (rather than play outside). Enjoying the scant time they have together starts with go-to places in your landscape.  Like this unique boardwalk to the playstation.

Playstations are for kids . . . how do adults share in that? Easy, kids are desperate to show-off their mad skills. They need to be noticed. Put that cell phone down, take a walk and enjoy your kids antics. The Dickson landscape was designed with kids in mind.

Improving your short Game is a Family Affair

Hey, get with it! Kids love golf too. Having a mini-putting green in your backyard is pure family fun. But, don’t get complacent. Get outside with the kids and do it! Start a golf-a-thon with ongoing scores . . . make it a new good habit!

Who’s your Daddy?

Father-son, Father-daughter – If competition’s the cake… playing together is the icing…. These sport-courts need no explanation for family-time – as long as the family plays together. We’ve all seen many a boy shooting hoops by himself. Imagine a Dad joining him . . . now, that’s what I’m talking about.

blog cartoon

You want an Example of Bringing Family Outdoors? You Got It!

The Myers family made the choice . . . for an all-inclusive family landscape. A Plethora of Activity. In-ground spa, in-ground trampoline, in-ground fort & playstation, and tah-dah, a humongous fire-pit . . . of course, the family outdoor living room and kitchen add to the family fun. Thanks Myers – perfect example for bringing family outdoors . . .

Making Soak Time – Family Time

Due to popular belief, hot-tubs are not stuck in the 80’s, they’re back! These incredible above-ground or in-ground spas are family magnets. Anytime of day, it’s a fun time to swap stories and spend time together.  Get ready – our homeowners love this family-time activity and made the choice to add them in their backyard renovations – so we’ve got a bunch.

Another all-time family favorite – Fire & water

If spas bring families together – double the pleasure – with another dynamic-duo for backyard family fun – Spa & Firepit. Hop, skip and jump from one to the other. Close enough to chit-chat – parents in the spa, kids around the firepit… or vice-versa – it’s up to you . . . we know it’ll bring happy times.

A family who eats togetherstays together

This well-known expression has never been so important. Get outside and eat together! And the point is, “We know this!” Just do it!

Do these scenarios entice you into Bringing Family Outside?

Now that we’re all hungry . . . Let’s wrap this blog up and go scavenge a few bites for ourselves . . . You can see just a few of the backyard choices you can make with your family – ‘outside.’ There are many more options . . . yard games, board games, outdoor movie screens, pools, scavenger hunts, family days, teach the kids to grill days, plant a garden (everyone has their own veggie), skateboarding, biking, aerobics, dance-offs (fun to watch parents do the shuffle), drone videos . . .

Needs more Ideas? Browse through our portfolio . . . We welcome your visit @

A family-focused landscape design extends living space Bringing Family Outdoors.  Contact us for a complimentary consultation:



Until next time Families . . . Get Outside!

Kim Thibodeau

Exterior Design Serivices

Landscape Blogger – Not a Techie

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