This time of year, everyone is ready to open the windows and doors and head outside to enjoy the fresh spring breeze and flowers! As soon as a hint of warm weather is in the air, I start heading outside to sip my morning cup of coffee and evening glass of wine or hot tea. The only problem is all the work that goes into recovering those lovely outdoor spaces from their winter breaks. Porches, patios, decks and lawns are all in need of some serious TLC after winter weather and lack of use.
Tackling all of that work can be a really daunting task, especially if you have little ones underfoot. I get most of my indoor chores done while my toddler is napping but can’t really go outside the house while he is sleeping, so the outside work has to be done with him by my side. I do hire a guy to come by every two weeks to do the serious heavy lifting like grass, weeds and edging. Even so, there is a lot of weekly maintenance involved with keeping up a lovely outdoor living area.
These are a few simple tips that have helped me take care of the raking, sweeping, washing, planting and weeding required to create and maintain a clean and relaxing outdoor space to enjoy this spring and summer, even with a tiny wandering mess maker following me around!
1. Invest in some tiny tools – He absolutely loves this rake that is just his size. I keep it hanging on the wall beside mine, and he asks for it as soon as we walk outside every day. I think it makes him feel really “big” to be able to do exactly what I am doing out there.
2. Take them shopping – Going to the nursery or garden center has become one of his favorite activities! He likes to look at all the plants, tools and garden ornaments. It is also a great teaching opportunity since I am able to show him different plants and explain the process of taking something home, planting it, caring for it and watching it grow.
3. Give them ownership – Filling bags with sticks, straw and pine cones is one of my least favorite outdoor chores, but putting him in charge of carrying and holding the bag made him think it was the most awesome thing ever!
4. Get wet! – After all those cold winter months where the only water he saw was in the bathtub, this little man is all about any outdoor activity that involves splashing and spraying! Cleaning outdoor furniture, watering plants and even washing windows all turned out to be loads of fun when I let him get soaked while we worked!
5. Set up a small station just for them – While I was doing some things that I really needed to just do myself, I set up a small planting station with pots, dirt and a kid sized shovel and just let him do whatever he wanted. More dirt ended up on the deck than in the pot, but he had a blast while I finished the more adult chores.
I hope you are enjoying some lovely weather and outdoor time this month too!
Have a great weekend!