Even though classic landscapes are pretty, they don’t have much to offer a kid who just wants to run around and burn energy in the backyard. When you’re designing a landscape, you should think about how everyone in the family is going to use the space—from infants to grandparents.
Include your kids in your backyard renovation planning so they feel just as involved as the adults.
When considering how to use your backyard space, prioritize features that will encourage your children to spend time outside. Think about your family and how your investment will allow these spaces to grow with them over time. If you get a tiny playhouse for your 4 year old, they will quickly outgrow it and it will become useless.
Now that the difficult questions have been answered, it’s time to have some fun by looking at some great backyard ideas for kids! In this text, the author gives backyard ideas that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and that can be created by those who are skilled in do-it-yourself projects. Get your kids to help you install something by getting your toolbox and teaching them! If you want to design a kid friendly space, our team can help you out. We love designing spaces that are fun and safe for kids to play in.
Backyard Ideas for Toddlers
If you’re looking to add a playground to your backyard for your toddler, you can’t go wrong with a swing. Swings are a fun activity that can be enjoyed by kids of all ages. They provide a great way to develop coordination and body strength, as well as being a fun way to spend time with friends. A toddler swing can either be hung from the branch of a mature tree or be a free-standing swing set. The best thing about swings is that you can replace the toddler seat with a bigger option as your child gets older.
It’s important for kids to have opportunities to express themselves artistically, but trying to scrub paint off the table gets old fast. Bring their artistic side outside with an outdoor chalkboard! This is an easy-to-install DIY outdoor kid’s project. You can either buy a premade chalkboard or make your own by painting a shed or fence with chalkboard paint. Your child can join in the fun by painting too. This planter can be placed on the side of your fence, shed or in a small side yard!
Playing with sand is essential for kids, and that makes a sandbox the perfect backyard play area idea for toddlers. There are many different things that children can do with sandboxes, such as building sandcastles and digging for buried treasure. If you want to keep your sandbox in good condition, it’s a good idea to get a cover for it so that animals can’t use it as a bathroom or play area when it’s not in use.
Natural Play Space
There is no need to bring in a ready-made playset for your children to enjoy themselves in your backyard when there are plenty of natural materials available. You can use your creativity to turn natural elements in your landscape into a playground. Your kids will merrily skip from one stump to the next, nimbly walk across a log balance beam, and scramble up big rocks like an experienced rock climber all without needing to be told what to do.
Place to Dig in the Dirt
Sometimes the most appealing part of the backyard for toddlers is the dirt. If you have kids who are always wanting to help with your gardening or playing in mud puddles, it can help to have a designated area for them to play in. This can help to avoid messes and stress for both you and your kids.
Backyard Ideas for Kids
Big Kid Swing
Let’s make those swing ideas for toddlers more advanced! As children grow older and improve their coordination, they can begin to engage in more complex types of play. If you want to stay classic, you can get a tire swing. If you want your athletes to be able to try more complex tricks, you can get a Swurfer. Replace your swingset’s baby seats with these more grown-up options, or hang them from a tree.
Ninja Warrior Course
If you’re like us, you probably get pulled into watching American Ninja Warrior for hours at a time. If your kids are like our kids, they are probably pretending to tackle the Log Grip while hanging off of every tree in the backyard. You can help them achieve their dreams by creating a few obstacles in your own backyard. You can make a smaller Warped Wall by hanging an obstacle-filled slackline between two trees in your yard.
Backyard zip lines are a ton of fun for kids and are a great way to get them outside and active. If a zip line is low to the ground and has a low slope, it can be kid-friendly. On the other hand, a longer line stretched down a big hill can be a high-speed thrillride for bigger kids. Choose a high-quality kit with easy-to-follow instructions if you plan to install it yourself. This will help ensure your safety.
Another great backyard kid’s play area idea is to add a climbing wall. Climbing is a great way for kids to develop coordination and confidence, as they very literally reach new heights. If you want to climb, you can either buy a pre-built wall, or get a bunch of holds that you can put up on any wall or tree in your yard. Your kid might just dedicate their first book to you after they achieve great things like Alex Honnold.
Creative Outdoor Birthday Party Ideas to Keep Kids Entertained
Hold a memorable party for your child with a number of outdoor games that will get them excited and moving. We came up with a few birthday party games that will make guests laugh for the entirety of the party, using only some household supplies and a bit of creativity.
Make art outside! You can turn a kiddie pool into a fun outdoor game for kids by covering the bottom with white paper, filling it with plastic balls, and adding tempera paint. Tape your paper to the bottom of a plastic kiddie pool so that it doesn’t float away. Dip the balls in paint and then drop them into the pool. Ask each artist to stir the pool of paint to create their design.
This relay race game is easy to play and can accommodate any number of players. We think the game is most fun when there are four to eight players.
You’ll need to make two pairs of shoe cups. Use a pushpin to make holes in the bottom of clear plastic cups. Use a wide rubber band and thread it through the holes to create a strap.
Have one team stand at one end of the room, and have the other team line up behind them. Split the guests into two teams and have one team stand at one end of the room and the other team line up behind them. The first player puts cups on their shoes and fills them with popped popcorn from a bag at the starting line. The player jogs to the basket on the other end of the lawn. The next player takes their turn after the first player finishes theirs.
When one of the bags of popcorn is empty, the race is over. Count the popcorn in the baskets to see which team got the most.
Bubble Wrap Hopscotch
Save your bubble wrap and get hopping! Kids—and adults!—will love popping the bubbles and playing outside. Cut bubble wrap into nine rectangles. Write the numbers 1-9 on a piece of paper using a permanent marker.
- One player tosses a small stone or object into one of the blocks. If the stone lies outside of a box, the turn is skipped.
- Once the stone is landed, the child is allowed to step in every available space except the one taken by the stone, being careful not to touch an outside line.
- Where two numbers are side-by-side—such as 5-6—the child must jump using both feet at the same time.
- Once the number 10 is reached, the child must turn around and return to start.
- The first one to finish the course 10 times wins hopscotch!
Make your kids’ next birthday party one to remember by playing a game of tug-of-war that’s been elevated for older kids. Players stand on upended milk cartons placed 6 to 12 feet apart. The game is to knock over the opposing player’s carton by hitting it with a small, softball-sized, cushiony ball. Players will take turn either pulling or relaxing a rope in an attempt to force their opponent off of a crate. Add a few gym mats for safety.
Outdoor Word Game
This party game is F-U-N! Engage kids with this challenging outdoor spelling game.
- For a 72-piece game set, purchase a 4×8-foot sheet of Masonite from a home improvement store. At the store, have it cut into 8-inch squares.
- Apply a letter to each square—you’ll repeat the alphabet twice except for letters Q and X.
To play, each player gets 10 letters. The first player spells a word on the ground. The next player must build off that word. The player with the least amount of letters at the end of the game is the winner!
Take aim and toss! This party game can be played with a cardboard box and is suitable for all ages.
Cut a rectangular hole on the top and bottom of a cardboard box. The hole you dig should be large enough to comfortably fit your Frisbee. Decorate the box with colorful tape, paper, or paint. Grab a bunch of Frisbees, and off you go! To get the most Frisbees in the box, aim for the hole.
Silly Sack Race
Kids want to move! This game is perfect for kids who have a lot of energy and want to have some fun. It is also great for getting some laughs.
Burlap potato sacks can be decorated with felt cutouts that match the party theme. Attach the shapes to the sacks using fabric glue or fusible webbing and an iron.
Give each child a potato sack. Line the kids up in a grassy area. At the starting signal, have kids travel down a marked path—which could include a few curves to add a challenge—to the finish line. Keep the path clear to prevent injuries.
This birthday party game is a combination of playground tag and flag football. Let each child decorate a clothespin by gluing on colorful pieces of paper, adding googly eyes, and drawing a happy face with a black marker. Attach the decorated pins to the back of each child’s shirt. When you give the signal, the kids can try to take other clothespins from other players without losing their own. The child who has the most clothespins at the end of the round wins.
Supersize tic-tac-toe is perfect for an outdoor birthday party. A fast and easy party game for kids can be created by using flying disks and a shower curtain. Use duct tape to create a grid on a shower curtain liner. You can use more tape to mark which disks are Xs, or you can use color to divide the teams. Players must stand behind the throw line and follow the rules of tic-tac-toe in order to play the game. If the disk doesn’t land on the board or in an unoccupied square, the player gets to throw again.
Wooden Block Stacking Game
A classic party game that is perfect for older kids and small groups, this simple stacking set is a great way to have fun.
- Cut 2×4-foot boards into a total of 54 pieces that are 10 ½-inches inches long.
- After all the pieces are cut, sand the edges of each until smooth.
- Stack the blocks in alternating directions, and you’re ready!
Every step must be strategic in order not to disturb the delicate balance and cause the tower to come crashing down. The game ends when the tower falls.
Pool Prize Search
The best party games on hot summer days involve water to help keep everyone cool. This game is wet and wild and gives kids a great excuse to get soaked. Fill an inflatable pool with water. You can hide a weighted ring or other treasures at the bottom of the pool. To make it difficult to see the bottom of the pool, fill it with inflatable balls and toys. Get a few kids to splash around in the pool to look for the treasure. Make the activity more challenging by only allowing them to use their feet instead of providing them with goggles.