It’s time to get out and clean the yard. These spring maintenance tasks are both necessary and great activities for kids. Discover these 10+1 tasks.
10 Fun Yard Maintenance Tasks to do With Your Kids Right Now
ed. note: Over the next few weeks, you might start to see a little more content coming from the other half (ed. note note: Chris here, half? that’s quite generous) of The Creek Line House as Chris tries to share some of his own tips and ideas for those of you looking for things to stay busy and use your time wisely while social distancing and working from home.
This is the time of year that Courtenay and I put our heads together to provide our best tips and advice for whipping your home and property into shape for the coming spring and summer seasons. This year is a little different but that also means we all might have a little, or a lot, more time at home and a few little helpers, too.
The other day, I took a walk around the yard to see where our attention was most needed. It’s a good idea to get outside if you’re able to and it’s a huge bonus if you can get important things done at the same time. After compiling my list, I noticed they were all fairly easy and even fun tasks, maybe even good activities for kids. I also noticed, like every other year, that I found all the usual suspects and thought this would be a good list share with our readers so you too can get outside and enjoy the fresh air while staying productive. After all, we’re all looking for good activities for kids right now.
Our specific situation may be a little different from yours, but you can still apply most of them in your own way. So here it is, 10 fun yard maintenance tasks to do with the kids.
1. Pick-up Sticks – Actual Sticks
Over the winter the deciduous trees on your property probably dropped a few dead twigs and now is the time to clean them up. This task is simple and fun. You can even use the twigs for crafting or other activities. Twice, 8 years apart, with two different junior designers, we turned our sticks into a giant fort. That was an even bigger mess than just having the sticks on the lawn so maybe skip the fort if you’re already short on time.
2. Roadside Garbage Clean-up
Grab a heavy duty garbage bag and a some gloves and pick up any trash that’s found its way on to the area around the road, up against the curb or anywhere else on your property.
3. Repair Damage From Winter Snow Removal
Out here in the country we have loose gravel shoulders on the side of the road. Most of that gravel finds its way into our front yard courtesy of the snow plows that roll up and down the road all winter. I get it, its important to keep the roads clean through the harshest winter weather, but man, that is a lot of gravel to clean up. Glad I have some help this year. The damage isn’t always projectile gravel. It can be sand used to prevent people from slipping on sidewalks or maybe damage to the grass around your driveway from you own snow shoveling adventures. It doesn’t matter how it got there, now is the time to clean it up so the grass can turn green and grow thick.
There are so many things to power wash and what kid doesn’t love the idea of shooting high pressure water at things. Clean the driveway, the deck, the siding or those Adirondack chairs you ‘forgot’ to bring in last fall.
Great Activities for Kids
5. Keep Bird Feeders Full
Don’t you love it when our photos are like, “do this thing we clearly haven’t done”? We need to get this bird feeder loaded up, ASAP. Although, there is no shortage of food for birds around here as the flock of black birds pecking something out of our lawn right now will attest to. That and the wedge of tundra swans out in the corn fields. Or the paddling of ducks down on the creek. The college of cardinals or the two pigeons who sit on our back deck, cooing for hours. Also, that one great blue heron. I call him “heron”. We should still fill these up, though.
6. Clean The Gutters
I said “fun”, right. Well, depending on the personalities of your kids, the slop of dead, wet leaves as they hit the ground from 15 feet up a ladder is actually pretty fun.
7. Start Working The Garden Soil
The garden is our great escape at the best of times so it will become even more important in the coming weeks. When we measure what we get out of the garden vs. what we put into it, the surplus is not in food or flowers. It’s in the mental health benefits of the relaxation and enjoyment we get out of it and the quicker we get started on it, the better the results we end up with. If you don’t have a vegetable garden, now might be the year to start one. Even if you’re in the city you can make a small one. Our first garden was tiny, less 2 deep and about 8 feet long. You can even start one on your balcony, near a window or using an indoor greenhouse if you’re in an apartment.
8. Clean The Garage
I checked this one off the list on Friday, without the kids. I moved everything out of the garage, swept up some saw dust, then moved everything back in and it’s exactly the same. Maybe I should try again with some help this time.
9. Get Rid of Lingering Christmas Decor
Am I even allowed to share this photo? The Cleaning Ninja has Christmas decor on her porch in April? To be fair we officially re-classified this as ‘winter decor’ on January 20th. It was whole thing. What’s that? Winter’s been over for 2 weeks now? That’s why it’s on the list! (ed. note: I actually planned on keeping this winter decor up until April first, thankyouverymuch, so we’re right on time with this one and not negligent in the least as the previous paragraph might suggest.)
10. Clean Up Flower Gardens
Remember all those bulbs you planted last fall? Well, now they’re starting to grow. Help them break through to the sunlight by removing any wet leaves or other debris that might be blocking their way. We’re going to really need all the color and beauty of those flowers this year.
BONUS 10+1. Walk The Dog (or Small Humans)
This is not really a yard maintenance task, more of a self-maintenance task and definitely a productive one. If you’re lucky enough to have somewhere to go on a walk, do it. If you have a dog, give your kids the job of walking the dog if they can handle it safely. Jack loves when that job is assigned to him (Chuck is very well behaved on his walks they just go out into the field so this works well for us). Or make any regular walk an assignment for home-school gym class. Make it productive and valuable.
There you have it, our yard maintenance tasks that also double a great activities for kids. Let us know how you’re getting outdoors with the kids this spring.
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.