So we just moved into our new house last Fall and now that Spring is here, we are trying to decide what to do with the mess that is in our backyard. One of the hard parts about moving into a new construction…

This is the current state of our backyard:

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So at the beginning of the season I thought we could leave it this way for the entire Summer because the kids were having so much fun “exploring” and building castles out of rocks. Yea they got their hands a little messy but it was so cute!

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However, we are only into the end of May and they have gotten a little bored only getting their hands messy…Now they are coming in looking more like this:

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Okay, I know this isn’t THAT bad, but sometimes they really do come in looking like they just swam through the dirt!! So now I am all about getting that backyard done and done SOON!

So as I’ve been searching the web for awesome backyard ideas all I seem to find are pictures of backyards looking like this:

 

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and this:

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And as much as I know we would all love to have backyards like this, come on, that’s just never gonna happen! So I have looked and looked and come up with some much cheaper, unique ideas that we (at least I, maybe you do have one of those backyards pictured above. And if you do, you should invite my family over 😉 ) can do in our backyards to make it fun and a great place for our families to hang out.

 

1. Paint rocks with glow in the dark paint and put them along your paths. They will glow at night!

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2. Create some shade! This set up is from Ikea in the curtain department.

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3.  You can create bird feeders in all shapes and sizes when you mold them. If you have cookie cutters, you can mix gelatin and water to create a base and then add birdseed and mold it in the cookie cutters. Once the mold sets, you can hang these little feeders anywhere with string. Kids will love this project and if you don’t have a lot of cookie cutters on hand, you can use mason jar lids or anything that will create a mold.

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4. Hula Hoop hide outs! Just string an old bed sheet around a hula hoop and hang from a tree. I love the shade this creates as well. I would have loved this as a kid!

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5. Use the same glow in the dark paint from #1 to paint planters and add light throughout your yard.

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6. I really need to do this! An organized place for all those smaller toys. They get spread so fast and now the kids will know right where to put them.

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7. Create an outdoor bowling alley!

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8. DIY couch for your backyard. Get the instructions here.

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9. Create a fairy (or gnome) home. I have seen these little fairy homes everywhere and I think they are so cute! I went to a couple boutiques for some mother’s day shopping and they had a bunch of vendors selling these cute little fairy garden accessories!  I may have to start our own little fairy garden once my youngest is old enough to not try and eat everything we put in there!

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10. THE WATER BLOB!! If you haven’t seen these yet then you don’t get on Pinterest enough! Get the instructions to make this bad boy here.

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11. Make your own lights with a tuna fish can, a PVC pipe, a dollar store vase, and a candle. Hot glue together and spray paint whatever color you like!

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12. Okay, if you can’t tell, I really must like things that glow in the dark! Ha Ha! But how cool are these tree stumps?! Just paint the tops with colored glow in the dark paint and they become pretty awesome seats for all those backyard fire pits!

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13. Drill holes in your wooden fence and stick in colored marbles. It will make beautiful light when the sun shines through.

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14. Use a bucket to wrap your hose around then you can store all your hose accessories in the bucket!

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15. And last but not least,  if you are super adventurous why not create your own personal roller coaster in your own backyard!

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Now I guess I should go get to work on that yard!!