Ideas & Inspiration

Backyard Ideas for Kids

Playground Sets
Children playing on a wood playset.

Fully loaded playground sets with more than a dozen play features might be the grandest of all backyard ideas for kids. Multiple swing seats, monkey bars, a climbing wall and a slide on the ground level give your children and their friends little reason to be bored but there’s even more fun up above. A clubhouse on the upper deck has plenty of room to play and after they’re worn out from all of the activity, they can relax in the shade on a bench swing hanging below. Earn some bonus points from the kids by adding solar powered motion sensor lights to the structure to let playtime extend when dusk comes.

Wood Swing Sets
Children playing on a wood swing set.

Introduce some architectural character in your backyard ideas for kids with wood swing sets. Your new addition can have the aesthetically pleasing look of a wood roof with dormers and still have fun activities like multiple swings, trapeze rings and a sandbox. Other features like bench seating, a telescope and ship steering wheel high above the ground let children keep an eye on their play kingdom. With so many play features, your kids are sure to enjoy their outdoor swing set for years to come.

Children playing with a playhouse.

Among the best kids backyard ideas is a playhouse for younger children who love imaginary play. Even small playhouses can have opening doors and windows to let breezes flow through an interior filled with the essentials needed for endless hours of fun. Whether it’s a quaint storybook style, cozy cabin or created with your own home as a model, a great playhouse is something the whole gang will love.

Bounce Houses
Children playing on an inflatable bounce house.

Backyard ideas for small yards aren’t limited to smaller versions of playground equipment. Kids will have tons of fun jumping and running around a colorful inflatable bounce house that can be stored away as easily as it is assembled. Use an electric pump to fill it with air for a birthday party or whenever children visit and deflate it for convenient storage when it’s not in use. Some types of bounce houses are small enough for indoor use while others are big enough for a neighborhood party.

Swing Sets
Children playing on a swing set.

Encourage the kids to have fun playing outdoors with classic swing sets. They can swing until their heart’s content with a couple of swing seats, get some exercise using a trapeze bar or monkey bars for a more acrobatic style of play and enjoy a slide on one end. Having adjustable chains can accommodate kids of different heights to ensure that everyone can have a good time as they grow.

Children playing on a wooden playset.

Think about playsets when looking at backyard ideas for small yards. Even if there’s not room enough for a swing beam, a small footprint leaves no shortage of accessories. Play stations on upper levels can help ensure that many favorite activities are available – and rope ladders or rock climbing walls make reaching the higher deck part of the fun.

Outdoor Games
Children playing with a croquet set.

Fun backyards for kids can also provide enjoyment for the entire family – without requiring permanent installation of equipment. An assortment of outdoor games such as cornhole bean bag toss, disc golf, croquet, horseshoes and lawn bowling can be enjoyed at any age, even if it requires bending the rules a little for younger players.

Children playing on a seesaw.

Seesaws or teeter-totters are great backyard ideas for kids, whether the addition is a standalone activity or an accessory to an existing playset. Seesaws promote balance and coordination skills in growing children. There are models that also have spinning action in addition to the up-and-down movement. If the nostalgic standard variety seesaw would suit your needs, add it to your growing list of DIY playground ideas and build your own.

Children playing in a sandbox.

A sandbox can be an outdoor destination for children to get outside and work on their imaginative thinking with safe, tactile play. Even sandboxes large enough for siblings and friends could top the list of backyard ideas for small yards. The addition of a canopy can provide cooling shade and keep direct sunlight off of exposed skin.

Children playing on a trampoline.

A trampoline can bring a lot of bouncing fun to your backyard. Many have sturdy mesh netting around the enclosure to help prevent bouncers from tumbling out of the trampoline. Sizes vary depending on the amount of space in the outdoor play areas for kids and can be disassembled for storage out of the elements during cold winters.

Chalkboard Wall
A child drawing on a chalkboard.

Use a fence to your advantage when thinking of kids backyard ideas. If the outdoor space is defined by a fence, make a giant chalkboard for budding artists to create their art. While chalkboard paint isn’t recommended for outdoor use, an exterior flat latex enamel variety can often provide enough texture for typical sidewalk chalk to rub off onto.

A treehouse in a backyard.

Building a backyard treehouse is often top of the list of DIY playground ideas. Designs can range from a simple platform perch to a custom-built fort on a full-size raised patio. The elevated play area creates a shaded space underneath that is suitable for a sandbox or picnic table. Many children would agree it’s a good backyard for kids if there’s a treehouse in it.

Be aware of local building codes and ordinances as well as restrictions imposed by homeowner associations when considering backyard ideas for kids.