After months of staring dreamily at rain-sodden windows, summer is finally here. Chances are all through the winter you were thinking ‘I can’t wait for the summer’ so now the longer and warmer days are upon us, let’s not have any regrets.
This is particularly important if you have growing kids as you will never be able to get these potentially joyous times back once your kids are all grown up.
Get a BBQ
If you want to entice the family out into the garden this year, there is nothing better than a barbecue.
The smell of chargrilled food wafting through the windows will ensure that the kids are dropping their Xbox controllers or jumping off the Wii and running out to join you in the garden in no time.
If you invest in a high quality piece of garden furniture such as a Weber BBQ you will have a ready-made focal point that will have your kids laughing and playing outside for hours.
You may have to think about what food you serve if you are to appease the fussier eaters though. This is simple enough and it just means avoiding fish or chicken in favour of the ever popular burgers and hotdogs.
To ensure that your BBQ is not pillaged tempt your children with the prospect of dessert.
The novelty appeal of barbecued bananas is sure to have them sticking around. All you need to do is cut some slits in the fruit, insert chocolate buttons and close the skin back up. Then wrap the bananas in foil and place them on the Weber BBQ. Give it five or ten minutes for the sugars to caramelise and the chocolate to melt and serve with ice cream.
Put some outdoor toys in your garden
All children (including grown-up children) love to play.
A summer garden offers them the chance to enjoy some toys that they just can’t use indoors – no matter how sophisticated the internet is getting these days.
One classic garden stalwart is the swingball. This can be played even in gardens with limited space and is easy enough for children of all ages to get involved. Depending on Andy Murray’s progress at Wimbledon this year, it could prove to be particularly popular with any budding young tennis stars.
Another option if you have more room is a trampoline. This is a great way to ensure that your kids can stay fit and active during the summer.
Remember that if you are installing a trampoline, you will need to consider where to put it and in order to be safe, you will need to leave at least 2.5m of space around the perimeter of the structure.
Ideally, the safe zone will have a low impact floor such as wood chippings or sand as well.
Let the children get green-fingered
For a truly great summer in the garden, your kids will need to embrace it. You can help them with this by allowing them to plant some flowers, or assist with the weeding.
You may want to start off by just teaching your kids to grow cress in an egghead, or you could let them get involved with your veg patch.
Just ensure that they are supervised and hopefully they will spend hours by your side this summer.