Got Kids? Looking to make your Yard a FUN place to play? These Back yard Ideas and backyard landscape DIY projects are full of adventure – and most are done-in-a-weekend projects! Have you been stuck in a rut with your back yard? Try out one of these 24 adventurous back yard ideas to shake things up.

Back Yard Ideas. Not everyone can Build a tree house. (<–Those are amazing!)  Not everyone lives on a large acreage. But that does not mean you need to have a boring yard! Just a few landscape changes can make all the difference, turning a boring lawn into a neighborhood destination. Just think of it as  backyard makeovers. The options are limitless. Your kids and their friends will be begging to hang out in your backyard.

These back yards are full of fun and adventure!

Backyard Fun - kids climbing over obstacle course, playing in sand, drawing on a chalkboard. Sandbox .

Backyard Landscaping Ideas to turn it into a Creative Play Zone

These are the ideas we dream of! Imagine the hours of fun your kids will have as they use their imagination, creativity and sense of adventure, all the while developing their gross motor skills and letting off extra energy. It is so important for kids to have a place to play and explore, a place for our kiddos to just live a little. And what better place to do that than in your own backyard.

Consider these questions as you begin to imagine your dream:

  • What kind of adventures do you want to create for your kiddos right in your own backyard?
  • How much space do we have available for these adventures?  No matter what the size, it would be great to have activities to help your kids explore and imagine and discover new ideas and skills.
  • What can we create to encourage play and physical development for my kids? It is so great to see our kids play and and at the same time develop their gross motor and fine motor skills, their cognitive thinking and planning skills, and even their executive function skills. All they need is a space to do it in!

So, let’s make it happen! How many of these backyard ideas can you create?

1. Create a Compost Pile

Yes, really! What kid wouldn’t want to be backyard superheroes and improve the green space at your house? This science idea of creating compost soup will not only feed your yard, it will also feed your soul!  You don’t even need a full vegetable garden full of growing vegetables to get benefits from your new compost pile.  You can use it for planters and flower beds too!

2. Create an Outdoor Space Obstacle Course

You can use items from your garden shed for them to climb over and under and around. Or, if you have a lot of trees in your backyard this obstacle course is a MUST for your little adventurers.

3. Transform an old bookcase into a sandbox for you kiddos!

The good ol’ sandbox play is still one of the top backyard adventure choices for kids of all ages.  When kids are little their outdoor living space can be their primary place of play when it is the most fun.  Getting them outside for fresh air and hands on play.

4. Make your fence into an art canvas

Create an outdoor chalkboard for your kiddos to draw on! Did you know that there is great physical benefit for children to draw on a vertical surface?  I love how to turns your fence into an integral part of the outdoor living room.

5. Let your kids get muddy

Give your kids a digging zone in your back yard. Filling their sensory tanks is an important part of childhood and for some kiddos even essential.  When I was a kid, we considered this digging space an outdoor kitchen for mud pies!

Backyard Fun -Collage of rocker boards made of tires, zipline and sensory water mat

Weekend Project Back Yard Ideas

All you need are some weekend project ideas to get your backyard ready for the fun! Take inventory of what could go where, gather some supplies and get ready for the weekend adventure.

6. There are so many things you can do with recycled tires! 

Create this fun tire rocker for them to sit or stand on for great balancing fun or build a classic tire swing for hours of vestibular fun.

7. Use cut off trees to add fun and adventure to your backyard

Build a dry river bed sandbox or use a tree trunk to edge your sandbox or create a tic tac toe game with painted rocks and slab of tree.

8. Create a huge water sensory mat

Your kids will love to jump, slide and explore on this sensory mat ! Add water for a great summer activity. Awaken their senses and have fun with homemade water features.

9. Your back yard can become a place of soaring heights and adventures!

If your kids are old enough, consider adding a low-hanging zipline for your kids to swing across! A zipline is a great way for kids to burn up some of that excess energy.

Child climbing on a climbing wall

More Involved Back Yard Ideas

Sometimes project ideas just grow into bigger project ideas which means more fun all around. These ideas may spark new ideas or may be just what you were looking for. Let the fun begin!

10. Nothing beats the fun of a back yard tree house

Take a tree house tour, and have a blast playing and exploring with your kids. Treehouse guests have so  much fun entering the in real life pretend world! These are the adventures that childhood is made of.  Find plans created by a treehouse architecture expert for the best results.

11. Make a climbing wall

Got a kid who loves to climb? This DIY climbing wall is perfect! Just add plastic climbing rocks and some support to your existing climbing structure and voila! The bonus is if it is strategically placed, it can create shade too.

12.  Plans to build your back yard play ground

Some of us would like to have some detailed plans for our back yard play ground  We want to have the ideas as well as the details. This book has step-by-step instructions so you can create a variety of spaces.

Collage of images - mud pie station, trampoline swing, wooden xylophone

DIY Back Yard Play Spaces

Want to add one new play space to your back yard? These ideas are perfect do -it-yourself add-ons to what you already have. Your back yard will soon become your child’s favourite place to be.

13. Create a back mud kitchen

Get muddy and get cooking with this back yard mud kitchen for kids. Your kids are going to love this mud pie station! Isn’t this what childhood is made of? 

14. Turn a mini trampoline into a swing

Swinging on a swing just shouts summer time! Here’s a cool idea. Turn an old trampoline into this DIY outdoor swing for the kiddos. Hours of swinging and singing in store. 

15. Create a backyard music station

Got some musical talent in your family? Create a backyard music  station or a large xylophone out of recycled materials. This works great on a patio surrounded by a comfortable seating area.

16. Outdoor games ready for any occasion

Sometimes all it takes to inspire play is to introduce some novelty! Have a collection of Outdoor Games ready and waiting for your kids to enjoy in the elements.

Outdoor Play Space

Inspiring creativity right in your own backyard

We want to inspire our kiddos to get outside and play. All it takes is some materials, some inspiration and some time and they are off and running! Providing these creative opportunities can spur on more ideas and inventions. Who knows what they’ll come up with next!

Perhaps these backyard ideas will spark their imagination:

17. These Imagiplanks are brilliant!

There are so many different ways you can assemble these backyard toys  When kids can create their own fun, they entertain themselves. They are sure to keep kids entertained for hours!

18. A raised playhouse will spark creativity!

Picture this raised playhouse under your back yard tree or in the corner of your fenced in yard. Imagine the hours of fun as your kiddos become the parents of their babies and take them on wonderful adventures. And the best part is..all   the instructions you need, including a materials list is included.  I love how the finished deck looks!

19. Quick activities to fire up your kids imaginations

Sometimes you just need quick access to some simple activities to get their imaginations fired up. And then, they’re off and running. Check out this kids activities for outside

20. Build a willow house fort

Take plants beyond planters and pots of plants. What kid doesn’t like building and playing in a fort? This is a super cool – use live shrubbery to create a place to hide and scheme. Make a willow house or a willow pergola.

21. Construct a walkway or bridge out of pallets

Watch as your kiddos turn this pallet walkway into a huge bridge spanning a mighty chasm with their imaginations. This backyard weekend project is one your kids can do. It’s great for them and great opportunity to extend your back yard and beautify the landscape.

Hula hoops and sheets make up this super cool hideaway.Make your own backyard hideout.

Backyard Fun -Collage of rocker boards made of tires, zipline and sensory water mat
DIY Hula Hoop & Sheet Backyard Hideout from Alanna George

How to involve your kids in creating your back yard space

The best way to get your kids involved with the back yard is to let them personalize it! Make a list and then, pare it down. Draw an outline and plan it out. Measure out your space. Yes, the weekend project might grow, but the memories created will be so worth the effort.

Imagine the look on their faces when you give them permission to make a mess with the mud, or write on the chalkboard fence. Imagine the look on their faces when you tell them you are going to create a tire swing or a zip line!  

Along with all of these wonderful back yard ideas already listed, here’s a couple more to get your children’s imagination working and add that certain something else to your back yard.

22. Create Back Yard Artist Stations

Use reclaimed wood and some chalkboard paint to create artist stations throughout your garden where your kids can draw their own additions! Flowers, fairies, superheroes, you name it! There is no limit to how often they can change up the style and theme of your back yard with their own chalks! And a swipe of a wet rag or the rain will wash away and give them blank slates to start all over. You can keep chalk at each station by cleaning up a plastic ice cream container (make sure it has a tight lid) and paint it. You can partially bury it next to the artist station or simply set it out as part of the decorations!

23. Mold and decorate stepping stones

Have your children make their very own stepping stones as a fun back yard idea. Pick up some quick-set concrete, petroleum jelly and some plastic molds and let the creative flow! Add in some mosaic tiles, rhinestones, or any other flat decoration to go along with their names, hand prints, or foot prints. When they’re dry, your kids can set them around the back yard as their own personalized touch!

24. It will be worth the effort!

Sit down on a bench and plan this out with your family. Your kids will thank you for including them in the planning and creating of all your back yard ideas. Your kids will be entertained for hours at a time. Your kids will have their own space to discover, reflect and explore. What a gift!

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