A Grown Up’s Home Is… Their Children’s Castle

Before bringing children into your life, you might have thought that since you pay property taxes, you were the boss of your own home.

You were sorely mistaken.

You see, children don’t understand the concept of taxes, mortgages, or homeowner’s associations. But they do understand the concept of ownership… 

And that house they live in? It’s theirs.

Only since most of us have been inside for so long, that castle might start to feel like a prison. But it doesn’t have to!

Now that the weather is heating up, and we can spend more time outside, you may find that you’ve got some cobwebs to dust off. Hey, that’s no problem.

That sounds like a fun and engaging activity your kids can help with. It’s their castle, after all. They’ll probably want a say in designing it. 

Chances are, they haven’t even thought of all the cool things they can do to your outside space – whether it’s an acre of land in the country or a 60’ by 20’ backyard space in a city row home. 

Let’s catalog some ideas here…

Create an Eco-Friendly Garden

Meaning, create it out of eco-friendly materials!

And kids can participate in every step of this journey.

Starting with seeds, you can show them how to gently place seeds in a damp paper towel, then check back in a few days to see if the seeds have sprouted. That’s how you’ll know they’re good!

Or, you can get a wildflower seedling mix pack, line a metal or cardboard box with felt, fill that felt with high-quality soil, and simply toss the seedlings around! 

Or, you can save your egg cartons, egg shells, lemon and orange rings, or toilet paper rolls, and fill them with soil to plant fresh seedlings in. You can leave them on your window sill, or hang them up outside using a plant holder or something you already have laying around at home – like a shower organizer!

Set Up an Al Fresco Dining Station

Eating outside sounds so exotic and lovely… 

But if dinner’s already made, and then you have to set up a space to eat, you probably won’t end up doing it.

Bring a spare table and chairs outside! And if you don’t have a spare table, get yourself a giant sheet of plywood over two sawhorses. 

Break out some of your prettiest sheets, cloth, window curtains, whatever you’ve got. Those are your outside table cloths now.

No spare chairs? Grab old pillows from the house! Pluck some fresh mint from your herb garden (oh, you don’t have one? Sounds like a wonderful Castle Decoration!) and mash it up into a batch of sweet tea.

Make miniature versions of everyone’s favorite sandwiches.

String twinkle lights around your dining area.

Pull all those candles out of storage! Make your backyard restaurant smell like a tropical dream.

Take turns being the maitre d’, the honored guests, the proud chef.

And try to eat one meal every day outside!


You probably remember how to build a towel fort from your tenure on the playgrounds, right?

Well, if not, here’s a quick guide:

  1. Grab sheets, towels, curtains, table cloths, and clothespins and take them out to your backyard.
  2. Use your imagination.

That’s it! There’s no right or wrong way to build a fort, and the more creative you can be – like building teepee tunnels between various parts of the fort or changing elevation by utilizing deck space and chairs – the better.

Then, you can sweep the yard, gathering “gold” for your kingdom – daffodils, pine cones, cool walking sticks, fireflies in a mason jar, a whole bunch of mud and a pie dish to make a mud pie. 

Tell your kids to arrange them all neatly, and then give you a tour!

Make Moss Graffiti

That’s right. Moss graffiti.

The first step is definitely going to be find some moss. Several clumps, more if you can.

You’ll need a wall, too. Have a fence? Is your home made of brick? Is there a concrete wall at the end of your yard?

Perfect. You’ll also need a blender, a bowl or other receptacle, a paintbrush, and a spray bottle. 

Now here’s what you do: Toss your several clumps of moss, one whole can of beer, and ½ teaspoon of sugar into your blender. Blend until the consistency is smooth and creamy. Pour the mixture into your bowl or other receptacle.

Go outside, with your green goo, your paintbrush, and spray bottle, and find your shady wall spot.

Paint your names! Paint your new favorite word. Paint whatever you want!

That’s it! Water your wall moss a few times a week for the first month, and you should the moss start to form and root together.

Keep the edges trimmed, and it’ll stick around for a while.

Making quarantine safe and fun can also be creative, healthy, and green.

Remember, you are your childrens’ metric for what’s fun, what’s interesting, and what’s worth doing.

Your enthusiasm will go further than even the best idea! And if you’re struggling yourself, keep it simple. Just get out there and play!

If you’re looking for ways to keep your kids healthy and illness free, check out the Urban Monk Academy – Raising Healthy Kids course. It will be available here on May 25.

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Dr. Pedram Shojai

NY Times Best Selling author and film maker. Taoist Abbot and Qigong master. Husband and dad. I’m here to help you find your way and be healthy and happy. I don’t want to be your guru…just someone who’ll help point the way. If you’re looking for a real person who’s done the work, I’m your guy. I can light the path and walk along it with you but can’t walk for you.