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Make the Most of Your Outdoor Spaces for Back-to-School Season 

All across St. Louis, the kids are back to school and parents are breathing a bit easier. We love summer here in the Lou, with river floats and baseball games and live music. But it can be tough juggling it all during the hottest months of the year. There’s family time, travel plans, kid’s activities, social events, and all the things that don’t go away just because it’s summer (like, you know, work). With school back in session, the calendar might fill up with school events but the daily routine gets simpler. It’s a great time to organize and update your yard and outdoor spaces for the remaining warm days and the transition to cooler temps, perfect for patio time and backyard games. 

Set up an outdoor homework space

You might not think of the deck as the perfect spot for getting those math worksheets done, but why not? As the daylight hours get shorter and the temps get cooler, we want to soak up all the outside time we can. Since kids are spending a large portion of the day at school, help them get in more sunshine and fresh air with outdoor homework spaces. 

Here are a few ideas to keep in mind: 

  • Look for a shady spot to avoid glare from the sun or and keep kids from getting a little too warm (it’s not fall yet!). 
  • Set up a portable fan that kids can adjust to keep a cool breeze going and discourage insects. 
  • Move a table into the area so kids can spread out books and work on a stable surface. 
  • Collect a few good-sized, pretty rocks to use as paperweights. Leave them nearby in a bowl or basket.
  • Shop end-of-summer sales to grab a few fun items (bubbles, outdoor chalk, outdoor games) for homework breaks or “all done” reward time. 

Clean and organize sports equipment

Back to school season might mean fall sports for your family. If so, take the time now to collect all the sports equipment and get it organized. You’ll save frustration every time you’re running out the door. Clean up the equipment and collect it in a storage bin or shelves. 

And, as the weather cools, make it easy to play in the yard. Gather up bats and balls, gloves and nets, and all the gear that you’ll need for favorite sports activities. Having things ready to use reduces one of the big obstacles to spending time outside. If you know it’s all right there, it takes no time to grab some gear and get in a few minutes of play before dinner. 

Get ready for after-school time with friends

On a school schedule, the afternoons are prime time for hanging out with friends. 

No matter how old your kids are, you can make things easier and encourage quality time with a few simple moves:

  • Use the garage fridge, or purchase a small dorm-sized refrigerator to put in the garage or near the back door. Fill it with drinks and easy snacks. 
  • Customize a few outdoor areas for fun. This will mean different things for different age groups. Young children might like art supplies or outdoor games. Teens will appreciate a shady area with comfortable seats. 
  • Get some color-changing string lights in place around the “kid zones.” It won’t be long before the sun is setting while kids are still out playing. Colorful, programmable lights are a great way to set apart the kid-friendly customized spaces. 

Create a cozy adults-only spot

If the kids get their own hang-out spot, the adults should, too! With earlier school bedtimes, you’ll have a little more time to relax and enjoy the evening. Set aside a cozy area, throw down an outdoor rug, and move a couple of comfortable seats in. Tuck outdoor pillows and a blanket into a storage chest nearby. Fill a few planters with cold-hardy annuals. Then take a good look to see if you might need to add privacy with a screen, tapestry, or lattice. Complete the area with a small table to hold beverages. Think about lighting, too! Bistro lights add to the ambiance, and a few strategically placed spotlights can show off the best landscape features nearby. 

Looking for help with your outdoor lighting? We’re the go-to outdoor lighting pros for homeowners and business owners in the St. Louis area. Get in touch today for a free consultation. Let’s get your outdoor spaces refreshed for back-to-school season. 

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