Refreshing ideas for backyard fun

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BBhammockWebBy Allison Eatough

Vivian Moeglein's 5-year-old son, Alec, loves to be outside.

But his backyard fun options are limited in their Odenton townhouse community.

"We don't have a lot of yard space," Moeglein says.

So almost three years ago, Moeglein and her father, Roger Curry, a general contractor, came up with a plan to keep Alec entertained all summer long: a fort in the back yard.

Starting with sturdy wooden posts for support, Curry built the fort 6 feet off the ground. He designed it to match Moeglein's townhouse. The fort's shingles are the same color and texture as the shingles on the house. The plywood sides are painted tan to match the townhouse siding.

The fort also has a ladder, a curved slide, a trap door and a bucket attached to a pulley – enough to keep Alec and his friends occupied for hours.

"He has a blast back there," Moeglein says. "It's their secret little hideout."

The backyards that beckon so many children at the start of summer can become bland or routine within just a few weeks. Sometimes, a change is all it takes to bust through the boredom and create new backyard fun.

Read on for ideas to keep children enjoying the outdoors through fall.

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