Re: ATM: We have a deck and a backyard

1

Our roofline extends out over our deck and that helps us use it more because of shade, everything stays cleaner, etc.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:15 AM
horizontal rule
2

Swing. Trampoline, if you don't mind the risks (injury). Banish plastic toys out there (e.g. play kitchen, or a full play house). If it's flat-ish, a trike or other wheeled contraption.

Your kids are the best measure of what they will enjoy playing with, though. What do they do at playgrounds or in friends' yards?


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:16 AM
horizontal rule
3

Yeah, it drives me fucking nuts that our deck and beautiful windows are all southwestern-exposed. It gets hellaciously burny there. I don't know how to fix that, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:17 AM
horizontal rule
4

I eat breakfast most mornings on the deck, and often dinner in the summer. Outdoor eating is awesome. Chairs to sit and read in are great. Also an outdoor gas fireplace is super awesome. I'm not a big fan of huge swing sets, etc -- just some outdoor toys and space to run around seems to work fine as a lure, at this age.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:19 AM
horizontal rule
5

When I was a kid I loved sandboxes and dirt piles. Better than legos.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:19 AM
horizontal rule
6

So are swingsets and such actually well-used? And anyone use those trampolines with the sides so that my stomach isn't in knots, regardless of the safety of the regular kind? I'm faint of heart.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:19 AM
horizontal rule
7

We do have a play house out there that got a lot of use until it didn't and became the super creepy spider zone.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:20 AM
horizontal rule
8

Chairs to sit and read in are great.

If you don't mind being super specific, which kind? Something with cushions or something just hard? Something that can rust or something with that polished wicker hotel look? What ends up being pleasant?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:21 AM
horizontal rule
9

just some outdoor toys and space to run around seems to work fine as a lure, at this age.

The kids don't yet think so. They just get out there and look around and say "Can we go in yet?" Or rather, Hawaii does, which I think is her personality, and Pokey wants to stay with other people.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:22 AM
horizontal rule
10

It's fun to play in a hole.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:23 AM
horizontal rule
11

I'd think trampolines even with sides would get a little boring after a while even for a kid, but maybe that's just me.

My kid has a friend with a trampoline with sides but the parents have the most annoying rule ever -- no more than two kids at once on the trampoline. There are three siblings. So there's just an ongoing endless -- endless -- fight about who gets to go on the trampoline and for how long, especially if there's a party or more than just one guest at the house. If I were those parents I'd either say fuck it and take the risk of a mass kid pile-up or destroy that fucking trampoline and salt the earth where it stood.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:25 AM
horizontal rule
12

It gets hellaciously burny there. I don't know how to fix that, though.

Maybe some kind or awning or a pergola that you could use cover with Confederate Jasmine.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:27 AM
horizontal rule
13

8 -- we have teak outdoor adirondack-like chairs that were pretty cheap and are very comfortable without cushions. I love them.

We also have a couch with cushions that have some special outdoor fabric (I can look it up) but we end up not keeping the cushions outside when there aren't guests over because the army of neighborhood feral cats uses them as beds and they get completely covered with gross cat hair.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:29 AM
horizontal rule
14

You know Kahneman's thing about peak-end memories? That all you remember about an event is the most intense moment and how it ended? I'm definitely that way about trampolines. The two things I remember are:
1. Being the smallest of too many kids on a trampoline and getting launched super high
2. Old, cruddy, deteriorating trampolines with sagging perimeters which seemed to be the norm five years earlier than I wanted to stop jumping on them.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:29 AM
horizontal rule
15

Trampolines with sides are awesome. My brother's kids love theirs.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:30 AM
horizontal rule
16

12: Oh god that is perfect. We have a partial pergola, and I've vaguely wanted something to grow on it, but didn't know what.

OTOH, the pergola does not afford any shade in the summer afternoons, due to the southwest thing. OTOH, I'm long reconciled to writing off that portion of the year. It's not a year-round-outside place.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:31 AM
horizontal rule
17

we have teak outdoor adirondack-like chairs that were pretty cheap and are very comfortable without cushions

Ok. I could go for something like this.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:33 AM
horizontal rule
18

Sandbox with a cover. Actually, they make nice, wooden sandboxes with canvass roofs for shade.

Putting up a lattice wall on the short side (between the edge of the deck and the stairs) would provide shade from low angle sun, making it usable much earlier in the evening. Actually, you could make a 3-sided lattice structure (long wall by steps; short wall at SW corner; roof) that would create a small seating area that would be shaded from noon on.

Your architect should have thought of that in the first place.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:42 AM
horizontal rule
19

Growing up we had a wooden sandbox with a fiberglass roof. It was very nice.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:43 AM
horizontal rule
20

I forget: did any backyard trees survive construction? A hammock under the shade of a tree is pretty damn sweet. Kids like to climb in with you, which is nice, too.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:43 AM
horizontal rule
21

We have a crappy plastic sandbox shaped like a turtle that was passed down to us, already brittle, and became infested with ants during August. Are we doing it right?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:44 AM
horizontal rule
22

Water. My kid's favorite backyard activity is to fill up a lot of buckets with a hose and play in/with various sandbox toys until she is completely soaked. (I remember a lot of sprinkler-jumping in my childhood too.) The waste of water and the wet/muddy clothes drive me barking mad, but man, she loves it. Part of the appeal is "precision" decanting of small bucket A into larger bucket B, or filling up watering cans and watering things, etc.

This infernal pastime was introduced by a grandparent, so if you do introduce something new and fun, it might be effective to have a trusted third party do the orientation.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:46 AM
horizontal rule
23

After construction, most of the backyard was overgrowth from the river and a drainage ditch. Last spring, the city filled in the ditch, removed all the growth, and built a fancy new rock ditch beyond our property. So the back yard is now much larger (and we fenced it in) but has no trees, and we lost a lot of shade from the trees that were removed for the new fancy ditch.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:46 AM
horizontal rule
24

The sideyard has some space for a hammock, though. Don't hammocks get gross, though? I think of them as something that gets gross, outdoors.

I'd been thinking mildly about those hammock chairs, to hang from the pergola, but again, I didn't want to invest without knowing if they'd be used.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:48 AM
horizontal rule
25

Putting up a lattice wall on the short side (between the edge of the deck and the stairs) would provide shade from low angle sun, making it usable much earlier in the evening. Actually, you could make a 3-sided lattice structure (long wall by steps; short wall at SW corner; roof)

Like the white woven fencing that I'm picturing in my mind? Or more like a pergola?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:50 AM
horizontal rule
26

You could plant some trees.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:50 AM
horizontal rule
27

But probably not on the deck.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:52 AM
horizontal rule
28

I think it'd be outrageously expensive to plant anything that would give shade on a deck five feet off the ground any time in the next ten years. Maybe bamboo?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:54 AM
horizontal rule
29

You could raise the ground around the deck?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:56 AM
horizontal rule
30

My parents (again, in your region) have a breezeway with a chimenea, which is a great implement in aid of sitting and relaxing in the winter.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:56 AM
horizontal rule
31

Or sink the deck. Whichever's easier. A subterranean deck would be cooler in the summer.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:58 AM
horizontal rule
32

Breezeways are really nice!

Do people like chimeneas? Do you smell like smoke, like you do around a campfire? I like the idea of them. How much clearance do you need? I suppose Minivet's parents are using them under a roof, but are they crazy?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 11:59 AM
horizontal rule
33

When I was a kid, we had a pool in the backyard. I remember skimming leaves out of a pool that was too cold to swim in much more than I remember actually swimming in the pool.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 12:01 PM
horizontal rule
34

The heat capacity of water: let me show you it.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 12:01 PM
horizontal rule
35

anything that would give shade on a deck five feet off the ground

Obviously, what you need is a small blimp.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 12:04 PM
horizontal rule
36

Hammock chairs are the best!


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 12:04 PM
horizontal rule
37

Do people like chimeneas?

Chimaeras? They aren't the best pets.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 12:04 PM
horizontal rule
38

A hole comes with built-in shade.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 12:05 PM
horizontal rule
39

This site recommends a 2.4m roof over a 1.25m chimenea, and for it to be placed near the edge of the roof, so I guess 4 feet is good clearance. But it specifically says not to put clay chimeneas on decks since they can crack, fall, and set them on fire.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 12:05 PM
horizontal rule
40

Actually my dad in his midlife enthusiasms is now using a new fire container instead of the chimenea - a metal contraption, low to the ground, sort of like a large brazier, with a grate that can be opened and closed with difficulty.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 12:07 PM
horizontal rule
41

Ah. We're anti-cracking, falling, and setting our deck on fire.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 12:08 PM
horizontal rule
42

You could line your deck with a thick layer of aluminum foil to stop the spread of fire.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 12:09 PM
horizontal rule
43

Then we could get rid of the grill and free up some extra space, too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 12:11 PM
horizontal rule
44

I have a patio, so I could get a chimenea.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 12:14 PM
horizontal rule
45

I'm starting to think "chimenea" might be a real word instead of a misspelling of "chimney".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 12:16 PM
horizontal rule
46

I'm afraid to google it because I'm at work.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 12:17 PM
horizontal rule
47

Like the white woven fencing that I'm picturing in my mind? Or more like a pergola?

For walls, the woven stuff (not nec. white). For roof, I'd go more pergola, although that's pricier.

Don't hammocks get gross, though? I think of them as something that gets gross, outdoors.

Depends on what kind you get, and how long you leave it outside. The rope kind doesn't collect water, and therefore doesn't moulder. My dad has one of those canvassey ones, and as long as he doesn't leave it out for wet weeks at a time, it seems to be fine. IOW, it can get wet without ill effect, but if it's going to be rainy all week, you should bring it in (stow it under the house?).

If you hang anything heavy off the sunshade, attach it more or less directly beneath the cables. The material won't support weight at any distance from the cable points (if it were really important, you could rig up something separate that spans from cape point to cable point, and then hang a chair from that.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 12:18 PM
horizontal rule
48

You need to use your time machine to go back and plant a tree 20-30 years ago.
Or you could put up a trellis and let some vast climbing vine populate it. Is that what the jasmine thing is like?
We have some cheap soccer nets that encourage the kids spend time in the yard with balls. We also have a swingset/climbing structure that's pretty heavily used, similar to this configuration. They held some picnics up on the platform.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 12:20 PM
horizontal rule
49

You should get some of those combination outdoor fireplaces/collapsible silk lantern doohickies: Chinese chimera chimeneas.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 12:22 PM
horizontal rule
50

Radical option: Extend the SE and SW corner posts of the deck upwards, and run sunshade fabric from those posts to the roof overhang. You'd want it to be something that comes down in milder seasons.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 12:22 PM
horizontal rule
51

Radical option: Extend the SE and SW corner posts of the deck upwards, and run sunshade fabric from those posts to the roof overhang. You'd want it to be something that comes down in milder seasons.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 12:22 PM
horizontal rule
52

We had a rope hammock that didn't get especially gross over time. I think we had it for five or six years before it mildewed. Taking it inside to store for the winter without letting it dry was a poor decision. It was lovely, though, and I spent lots of time reading in it on nice days.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 12:26 PM
horizontal rule
53

I like the lattice/jasmine/hammock/adirondack ideas. These all sound lovely. It sounds like "Get me out there and the kids will follow." Which, sure.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 12:37 PM
horizontal rule
54

We have a trampoline with no sides, and a 1 person (or two if you're doing something together rather than just bouncing randomly) and be fucking careful rule. We still have it because it can't be grown out of but it's not been the most favourite garden toy. The climbing frame and slide did get loads and loads of use until they got too big. Also the plastic playhouse was used long after no one fitted inside it, because they would sit/climb/play on top of it. And obviously, paddling pool - though maybe less necessary with the river right there.

We have a massive parasol too, so maybe something like that for shade? We just get camping chairs out when we want them, but my mum and dad have several nice chairs - some metal and mesh ones that can be left outside, and some plastic 'wicker' ones that look nice and have cushions that they just chuck in the garage when it might rain.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 12:38 PM
horizontal rule
55

Do you have enough space to try and recreate Action Park?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 12:46 PM
horizontal rule
56

I have the motivation.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 12:47 PM
horizontal rule
57

We had a swingset and loved it. Mostly, though, we did our weird Star Trek proto-LARP that I think I have spoken of.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 12:49 PM
horizontal rule
58

It's not the motivation you need, it's the snakes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 12:49 PM
horizontal rule
59

Oh yeah, the thing I most remember doing on my friend's swingset when I was like 5 was playing Star Wars. (Isn't childhood mostly just a long series of proto-LARPs?)


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 12:55 PM
horizontal rule
60

(And then you hit puberty and you're LARPing for real?)


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 12:55 PM
horizontal rule
61

I'm starting to think "chimenea" might be a real word instead of a misspelling of "chimney".

Chimbley!


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 12:59 PM
horizontal rule
62

Our hammock was a Pawleys Island style. It even had a little metal plaque. It was something my father had dreamed of owning for years and years (my family, they are simple folk with simple dreams). He'd go out and nap on Sunday afternoons after dinner.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 1:00 PM
horizontal rule
63

Because we were 1) in Kentucky and 2) a little odd, this proto-LARP demanded that there be horses on the Enterprise. Enter swingset.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 1:00 PM
horizontal rule
64

You anticipated the holodeck.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 1:02 PM
horizontal rule
65

||

Outdoors tangent: Cassowaries will attack people terrifying nature fact.

|>


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 1:02 PM
horizontal rule
66

Whoops, cassowary image


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 1:03 PM
horizontal rule
67

You should stop terrifying nature then, lw.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 1:06 PM
horizontal rule
68

I can't figure what's that hanging from the edge of his shield.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 1:06 PM
horizontal rule
69

The big draws in our back garden are:

- the swing
- the gravel from the path, excellent for throwing
- the paved driveway, excellent for riding scooters in circles around and around and around on
- the hose

Well, right now the big draw is the snow, but in happier times, the above.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 1:08 PM
horizontal rule
70

It looks like some sort of adjustable clamp. Maybe his shield is actually a workbench.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 1:09 PM
horizontal rule
71

Could be. I like the sword is a plowshare metaphor better.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 1:11 PM
horizontal rule
72

Do you ever wonder what you and your significant other would have made of each other if you had known each other when you were kids? I just had this funny glimpse of the fact that we would have been pals, though at some point he would have been like "why are there horses on your starship?"


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 1:11 PM
horizontal rule
73

So it sounds like it may be worth buying some sort of structure with swings and ladders and platforms and slides off platforms.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 1:12 PM
horizontal rule
74

Do you ever wonder what you and your significant other would have made of each other if you had known each other when you were kids?

Jammies and I would have detested each other, I'm pretty sure. He would have been impatient and annoyed with my arguing and silliness, and I would have been impatient and annoyed with his anxiety and rules-following.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 1:14 PM
horizontal rule
75

I always felt that there was too much potential for accidents (i.e. the littlest being kicked in the head by one of her siblings) with swings. But other people seem to manage. Something to climb up and sit on, lording it over those on the ground, is excellent.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 1:18 PM
horizontal rule
76

The thing that is going to make kids want to be outside is you and Jammies being outside.If you're outside, they'll occupy themselves close to you or butt into what you are doing. I'd be impressed with something that was so compelling that you could chuck them outside and not have them want to return to the room you are in promptly.

What would draw you outside? Craft table on deck? Gardening in raised beds?

Alternate suggestion: I have twice now seen kids use a stage far more than I would expect (like, near daily use that draws a neighborhood crowd). Ten foot by ten foot platform, maybe a foot off the ground, and give them a proscenium if you are feeling lavish.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 1:37 PM
horizontal rule
77

I assume a proscenium is some sort of gladiatorial weapon.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 1:41 PM
horizontal rule
78

Don't be ridiculous. It's a fake nose.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 1:43 PM
horizontal rule
79

65,66: When I was in Australia, I recall seeing a number of "Beware: cassowaries will f*ck you up" warning signs.

To the OP: Clearly you should let your backyard grow wild and introduce cassowaries.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 1:51 PM
horizontal rule
80

It's okay, you can say "fuck" here.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 1:52 PM
horizontal rule
81

Star jasmine is great stuff. It has a fantastic fragrance.

I like JRoth's ideas. It's like he can refer to plans and everything.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 2:14 PM
horizontal rule
82

The thing that is going to make kids want to be outside is you and Jammies being outside.If you're outside, they'll occupy themselves close to you or butt into what you are doing. I'd be impressed with something that was so compelling that you could chuck them outside and not have them want to return to the room you are in promptly.

My kids generally couldn't give a shit where I was when they were little. They probably follow me around more now. If there were two of them to play together, they would stay in the garden (or a bedroom, or wherever) for ages until I went looking for them. People would comment to me when I was pregnant with #4 about how I'd have my hands full and so on, and I used to feel like a fraud because I would barely see them.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 2:30 PM
horizontal rule
83

We had a big outdoor swingset when we were little. It gave us hours and hours of self-sufficient good times.

Then, when we got a little older and became obsessed with Olympic gymnastics, my dad detached the swings so that we just had a long high bar to hang off of. This turned out to be super dangerous because 1) the bar was not designed for bar gymnastics at all, since it was really thick, and had holes in it for screws; 2) my dad left us unsupervised all the time; 3) the ground beneath the bar was hard packed dirt, and my mom's vegetable garden started just a foot or two behind, and was edged with raised, red-brick scallop edging; and 4) we were idiots.

Because it was so thick, the bar served both as our high bar and our balance beam, and we were constantly trying to best each other by performing increasingly stupid and dangerous tricks. This culminated in my sister's "Olympic finals" routine which in theory ended in hands-free side splits, but in actuality ended, of course, with a trip to the emergency room.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 2:42 PM
horizontal rule
84

The neighborhood trampoline (with sides) is a huge draw for kids from 1 to 13. The sandbox and playhouse ( with play kitchen, etc.) are used constantly. A wading pool (and buckets and cups) are great even for kids too big to really fit in the pool.


Posted by: Mama Bear | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 2:44 PM
horizontal rule
85

Growing up the tire swing was a big hit, both on lazy afternoons and at birthday parties. Ours was hung to lay parallel to the ground though most are perpendicular.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 2:51 PM
horizontal rule
86

Further to 22: Slip and slide!


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 2:53 PM
horizontal rule
87

We put the end of the slide in the paddling pool which was cool. Also had hours, nay days, nay weeks! of fun with the slide going onto a rubbery groundsheet and the hose fixed at the top. You only need a trickle of water.

Lawn, what lawn?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 3:14 PM
horizontal rule
88

I'd be impressed with something that was so compelling that you could chuck them outside and not have them want to return to the room you are in promptly.

Iris was like this, Kai not. It was kind of shocking to realize that, at age 2, he'd happily occupy himself for hours completely out of our sight. This has held up through 5 1/2.

That said, the odds of kids contentedly outside surely go up if you, yourselves, are there as well. I guess ideally they'd learn to amuse themselves outside such that your presence could come and go. Like, they may or may not accept being pushed out the back door, but they're happy to spend hours out there as long as grownups spend some time hanging out as well. On gardening days, Kai will spend 6 hours basically amusing himself (which includes "helping out") outside. If no one else is outdoors, it's more hit and miss.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 4:05 PM
horizontal rule
89

83 is impressively reckless.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 4:06 PM
horizontal rule
90

83 is impressively reckless.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 4:06 PM
horizontal rule
91

89, 90: not THAT reckless


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 4:25 PM
horizontal rule
92

We have a pool and a pond.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 4:47 PM
horizontal rule
93

92 comments and nobody said "lawn darts?!"


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 4:50 PM
horizontal rule
94

Pace 10: I remember with vivid fondness the day my friend and I dug a 4 ft deep hole in the back yard. Not so fondly do I remember the time that another friend and I, about 6 then, got into the 55 gallon drum of used crankcase oil that the previous owners had left in the garage. Parents: Don't allow attractive nuisances, like barrels of toxic waste, to accumulate on your property!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 4:55 PM
horizontal rule
95

94.1: My middle brothers did that and then used the hole to keep my youngest contained while they had to babysit him.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 5:08 PM
horizontal rule
96

92 comments and nobody said "lawn darts?!"

Or cornhole?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 5:12 PM
horizontal rule
97

92: Caddyshack reference or factual description?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 5:18 PM
horizontal rule
98

I'd been thinking mildly about those hammock chairs, to hang from the pergola

I'm sitting in one of those right now. Is alright, but not as good as a real hammock. Its more wobbly and you have to find something to rest your feet on, because your legs really need to be a bit elevated.

Its true that the old-school, rope-based hammocks do get gross over time, though that may be less of a problem in a dry climate. The best hammocking I've experienced is with a hammock made out of parachute nylon. Here's one which even has a cup holder.

Those things are marketed as "camping hammocks" but I think they can be so much more than that. Cozier than rope, and will probably last longer. I'm planning on getting one for our new summer place. Seriously! A cup holder!


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 5:55 PM
horizontal rule
99

Based on my own childhood experience, I recommend a chain-link dog kennel positioned next to the garage for easy roof access when Mom and Dad aren't looking.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 6:42 PM
horizontal rule
100

Growing up next to big tracts of undeveloped forests was pretty swell, all in all.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 7:14 PM
horizontal rule
101

Though it would be a lot of work to put a forest in your back yard.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 7:16 PM
horizontal rule
102

Awww. So sad to hear that the turtle sandbox of my childhood did not hold up. When I was little and we were still well off, the big beautiful house with the backyard that was my toddler empire had, before it was foreclosed upon, TWO shaded patios, a covered green turtle sandbox, a vegetable garden, a swing set, and plenty of room to run around in. The only friend whose yard I envied had a clubhouse---basically a treehouse, but set on a rock outcrop, not a tree.

How about a gazebo (for shade?), a swing set, and a soccer goal?


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 9:02 PM
horizontal rule
103

The yard at our new place is asphalt. I'm pretty sure Zardoz is going to love it just how it is. Maybe I'll find her an old tire. Not for a swing or anything.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 9:10 PM
horizontal rule
104

Remember, don't put the sandbox next to the wasp's nest.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-10-14 4:17 AM
horizontal rule
105

We had a reasonable sized garden growing up, but absolutely nothing in it for kids. You could hop over the back fence and there was fields, with horses. And all the houses in our street faced into an open grassy area with a children's playpark in the centre [the so-called 'wee park'], so we could all go and play on the swings and climbing frames [over asphalt, so everyone got horrifically injured at least once] while being in sight of the house.

For braver older kids, there was the 'big park' nearby which had a proper insane cast iron slide which was about 30ft high, with a ladder to the top and an enclosed wooden 'cabin' at the top. I don't think they make slides like that anymore, or they build them against a hillside or slope so that if you fall off, it's not a 25ft drop. It also had swings that the more enterprising older kids could do full 360 loops on [at least one broken wrist just in my little group of friends].

Googling it's really hard to find pictures of old school death trap playground equipment. But:

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/04/17/article-2130923-12A2048D000005DC-241_964x669.jpg

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/04/17/article-2130923-12A2023C000005DC-395_964x632.jpg

Imaging that and then double it.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-10-14 5:10 AM
horizontal rule
106

We also had a couple of full sized trees in our garden [60-70ft ish] so mad climbing feats were also common. More my sister than me, though, as I was basically a total coward about heights. I'd go up about 20ft and then stop, in a near panic. She's scale up to the bendy branches right up at the top.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-10-14 5:13 AM
horizontal rule
107

Growing up the tire swing was a big hit, both on lazy afternoons and at birthday parties. Ours was hung to lay parallel to the ground though most are perpendicular.

Easy to do as long as you have the ability to change the direction of the Earth's gravitational pull by 90 degrees. Try a GravBenda (TM).


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-10-14 5:31 AM
horizontal rule
108

105. Also swings hung on rigid metal rods that you (though emphatically not me) could take "over the top".


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-10-14 5:45 AM
horizontal rule
109

87: Ah, so you're the "people who let the plastic pool kill the grass." (One of Erma Bombeck's mythical neighbors.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-10-14 5:55 AM
horizontal rule
110

I think a soccer ball would work nicely.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-10-14 5:56 AM
horizontal rule
111

I recently got two recycled plastic adirondack chairs that I really love.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-10-14 5:59 AM
horizontal rule
112

When we bought our house, it had a sturdy swingset badly in need of repair in the backyard.

We decided to tear it down. It would be years before we needed a swingset, if at all, and we could use the space for other things. The set had been set in concrete, so it would have been hard to remove.

But shortly after we moved in, some friends came to visit, and they had small children. So shiv fixed up the swingset, because you can't really have a swingset in the backyard and tell a four-year-old that she can't play on it.

Okay, now it should come down, we agreed. I joked that we shouldn't wait too long, because we were eventually going to have a kid, and then we'd never be rid of the thing. How funny, we laughed, to think that we'd have a swingset in the backyard, waiting for a baby.

Two and a half years later, I have an old swingset in the yard and an eight-month-old. Now we're trying to find out where to buy some damned bucket seats....


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-10-14 7:03 AM
horizontal rule
113

103: Invite some smokers over to stomp out their cigarettes on the asphalt. Crawling babies looove cigarette butts! (They really do, unfortunately.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-10-14 7:04 AM
horizontal rule
114

I don't think they make slides like that anymore

Around here, you can still sometimes find them in outlying towns that straddle the line between "so poor the playground equipment is just gone" and "wealthy enough to replace all the old equipment." I haven't seen one as insanely tall as you describe, but I was happy to find a '70s relic in a park in Beaver, PA.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-10-14 8:15 AM
horizontal rule
115

The yard at our new place is asphalt.

You know what would be a great toy for a yahd like that? A boxful of pigeon masks.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 01-10-14 8:58 AM
horizontal rule