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Spring Has Sprung: Backyard Activities Edition!

Spring Has Sprung: Backyard Activities Edition!

Warmer days are just around the corner, and what could be better than spending time outdoors. Easy answer—absolutely nothing. Need some ideas for a fun-filled day in the sun? I got you covered.


Here are a few of my favorite springtime activities to do with my partner, Taylor, and our two best friends, Brook and River. Brook is a Great Pyrenees pup. She thrives in the winter months, but you should know in advance that she will most likely be ready for nap time in the A/C before we even get through the first activity on the list. I should also give you the lowdown on River. He is an Australian Shepherd mix with more than enough energy for a full day of outdoor activities, but if we are not careful, he will throw out this list when we are not looking and change it to fetch, fetch, and more fetch.


Now let’s get to those activities!

Backyard Barbecue:

The first activity on the list is a good, old-fashioned BBQ lunch. Lately, we have been trying to follow a plant-based diet, so our BBQ menu this spring will consist of things like grilled plant-based patties, veggie kabobs and asparagus, as well as baked sweet potatoes and a colorful springtime salad on the side.


Taylor is the chef of the house, so while he starts up the fire and begins to grill, I spend some quality time playing with the pups. As you already know, River’s favorite game is fetch. He is happy to play with any type of ball, but he is partial to the tennis balls Taylor brings home after playing a few sets of tennis. Meanwhile, Brook loves a good game of hide-n-seek. Don’t tell her I said this, but she is not very good at the hiding part, which is understandable considering her size. Spring days really fly by when you are having fun in the sun, and before you know it, lunch has been devoured and everyone is ready for Brook’s favorite activity—a nice nap. Although Brook tires out quickly, I think the real reason she loves napping inside is because she gets to enjoy it with her best friend, our cat Winston.


Cornhole:


Next on the list is my personal favorite—cornhole. To play, you will need a cornhole set, which consists of eight 16oz sandbags and two cornhole boards. Sporting goods stores usually have cornhole sets for sale, but if you are handy, you might enjoy building a set of your own. A cornhole board is typically 48 inches long and 24 inches wide, and 12 inch legs connected at the back of the board allow for it to slope down from back to front. Cornhole boards each have one round hole with a 6 inch diameter toward the back of the board.


The rules of cornhole are pretty simple: The two cornhole boards should be set about 24 feet apart so that each board is sloping down toward the center. The game can be played one on one or with teams. To start, each player or team stands at the cornhole board opposite of their target and takes turns tossing their sandbags to their target board. The ultimate goal is to land your sandbag into the hole, which earns you three points per bag, but you also get one point for each sandbag that lands and stays on the top of the board. The first player or team to reach 21 points wins.


You might be wondering why the game is called “cornhole.” Originally, cornhole was played with bags filled with corn rather than sand. It was coined “cornhole” because the point of game was quite literally to toss corn into the hole. This classic game is still a great game to play for when with family and friends, and you can make it as competitive or relaxing as you would like!


Backyard Camping:


Next up is backyard camping. Sometimes backyard camping can be even better than camping in the wilderness, but I have to admit that backyard camping at our house can be better characterized as “glamping” than actual camping. The best part about backyard camping is that you never actually leave your house! More importantly, with backyard camping you always have access to your own clean bathrooms.


I love camping but am also a home-body, so backyard camping is a win-win. Make sure to pitch your tent before the sun sets, so that you have enough light in your backyard. I learned that the hard way. Once your tent is set up, you can enjoy the sunset and later stargazing with your family from the comfort and convenience of your own backyard. We like to pull out our telescope when camping out in our backyard to get a closer look at constellations and planets. Backyard camping is a great way to escape technology and daily stressors and just enjoy the beautiful night sky and peaceful sounds of nature. Be sure to keep a lookout for shooting stars!


Campfire:


A campfire can be fun as its own activity or as an addition to backyard camping. You didn’t think I would leave a nice, warm campfire out of this list, did you? So long as you live in an area that is not prone to forest fires and have enough space, a backyard campfire is the perfect springtime activity, especially on nights in early spring when there is still a chill lingering in the air from winter.


We have a pretty small backyard, so we use a fire pit to keep our campfires safe from spreading. However, if you do not have a fire pit, here are a few tips to safely make your own campfire. First, always make sure to follow your city’s precautions and regulations. Start out by gathering or buying bricks or stones. Set the bricks or stones out in a circle. The circle can be as big as you like. The purpose is to contain the campfire. Next, gather some firewood, and stack the wood to form a tower. It is usually best to place larger pieces of wood down first leaving the smallest pieces for the top. Once your wood is stacked, light the fire with a match or lighter, and you’ve got yourself a campfire!


Do you have a sweet tooth? Don’t forget to add graham crackers, marshmallows, and your favorite chocolate bar to your shopping list before your campfire, so that you can make fresh s’mores! Finish the night off with some campfire songs or spooky campfire stories.


And what do all these activities have in common? It would not be a sunny Spring day without those pesky pests that love us so much this time of year. Be sure to keep your family protected from those pests with our Flea & Tick Spray for Pets + Home, Insect Repellent, and outdoor yard sprays.


We hope you’ve enjoyed these fun outdoor activities and hope you can do them with your family, in your own backyard! 

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Jp’s Bio:

I love running, strength training, and pretty much anything outdoors. Summers in Austin, TX are my favorite. So much to do, so much to see, including my favorite activity of all—paddleboarding on Lady Bird Lake. If you see me out anywhere, I am usually always with my partner in crime, Taylor, and my two pups, Brook and River. I also have a kitty named Winston, but he doesn't get out much.

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