Give the screens some heavy competition with these kid-approved Fun DIY Backyard Play Areas The Kids Will Love, guaranteed to provide hours of outdoor fun.
I know it’s still winter, but I’m looking forward to some warmer weather and outdoor playtime. Sometimes my kids will complain that there’s nothing to do, even when they’ve got a whole yard in front of them. Does this sound familiar?
Well, if you’re looking for some project ideas for the backyard, take a look at these Fun DIY Backyard Play Areas The Kids Will Love I’ve gathered up. Some are easy and can be put together with few materials and a little time, while others will require a bit of planning. Either way, I know you’ll find something here that your kids will love.
This post is full of real kids’ backyard play areas that you can make yourself. I intentionally looked for ideas that would engage kids’ imaginations. As you know, once they get wrapped up in their own worlds, you can’t tear them away from their play. They can look forward to hours of fun in these wonderful and creative backyard environments.
Once you get the kids excited about playing outside, you can join them and have a great time with some fun yard games for the whole family.
(This post contains affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you click a link and make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)
DIY Backyard Climbing Structures
I rarely meet a kid who doesn’t love to climb. My youngest daughter has always needed to climb everything in site, so we’ve had to constantly try to find appropriate outlets for that special energy. Here are several DIY climbing structures you can make at home. Just follow the links to see the instructions.
1. DIY Climbing Structure and Sand Box
The adventurous kids will love this awesome DIY Climbing Structure and Sand Box. This structure features a trapezoid design with a rock wall on one side and a more challenging rope and slat ladder on the other. Learn how to make it with this tutorial.
Learn more: Beauty and The Butch
2. Build A DIY Playset For Your Backyard
Fancy little challenge? Find out how to Build A DIY Playset For Your Backyard which is a higher quality and works out cheaper than premade versions. This tutorial will take you from designing your playset and choosing accessories, materials, tools and the build.
Learn more: The DIY Nuts
3. DIY Tire Tower for the Backyard
This fantastic DIY Tire Tower for the Backyard can be built on its own or added to an existing structure. Kids can have hours of fun climbing it either straight up from the outside or from the inside.
Learn more: Heather’s Handmade Life
4. Rope and Rock Climbing Tower
Treat your kids to this fun Rope and Rock Climbing Tower. This awesome climbing structure has a cargo net on one side and a rock wall on the other.
Learn more: Knock Off Decor
5. Tire Climbing Ladder
Give your old swing set a makeover with a fresh coat of paint and the addition of this amazing Tire Climbing Ladder. This cool structure will offer such a fun way for kids to climb up to the top of the swing.
Learn more: Exploring Domesticity
6. DIY Mound Slide
This DIY Mound Slide is a great use of space. If you’ve already got a sloping yard, take advantage of it by building up a mound and adding a slide. Slides are just as much for kids to climb up as they are to go down.
Learn more: The Empowered Educator
DIY Backyard Swings
Kids spend hours and hours on swings so why not DIY a simple swing for your backyard?
7. How To Make A Rustic Rope And Wood Tree Swing
If you have a strong tree in your yard it just calls for a swing. Learn how to make this beautiful Rustic Rope And Wood Tree Swing with the step-by-step instructions in this tutorial.
Learn more: Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom
8. How to Make a Homemade Tire Swing
Tire swings offer a lot of variation in how they can be used: kids can sit in them or on them, and even stand on them. Excited to find out how to make a Homemade Tire Swing for your backyard? Pick up a spent tire from your local Discount Tire and get swinging.
Learn more: Ella Claire & Co
9. DIY Wooden Swing
Most wooden swings are straight boards which can get a little uncomfortable. I love that this DIY Wooden Swing looks like it would be comfortable to sit on plus the design looks gorgeous too.
Learn more: Momtastic
Natural DIY Backyard Play Areas
Inspire your kids to play with nature with these wonderful natural play areas. Dirty hands mean the kids are having fun!
10. Backyard Nature Trail for Kids
Kids will love having adventures on their new Backyard Nature Trail. And if you have space in your backyard this is a great project you can get creative with. Explore the many ideas in this post.
Learn more: Home Road
11. Tree Trunk Fairy Garden
I remember creating fairy gardens when I was a little girl and this magical Tree Trunk Fairy Garden offers so much inspiration. It was a winner of the 2014 Fairy Garden Contest and I’m not at all surprised, it’s truly enchanting.
Learn more: The Magic Onions
12. How to Make a Natural Sand Play Area
Your sandbox doesn’t have to be confined to a “box”. Learn the step-by-step process of how to create a Natural Sand Play Area for your backyard and give your kids plenty more space to play.
Learn more: Artful Parent
13. Play Garden
This Play Garden incorporates elements like a table and chairs made out of found wood stumps, a hopscotch pathway through the middle, a pot for digging, and a little kettle for a tea party for children to have a little play in their new secret garden.
Learn more: Garden Therapy
DIY Backyard Creative Play Spaces
The best kid spaces will inspire hours of creative play. Here are some unique creative space ideas for your backyard.
14. DIY Backyard Sound Wall
This fantastic DIY Backyard Sound Wall provides a rich auditory experience for children and allows for a lot of experimentation with sound making. Plus, it’s also really easy to make.
Learn more: Fun at Home with Kids
15. DIY Mud Kitchen
The three main things you need for your backyard DIY Mud Kitchen are dirt, water, and vessels. Dirt and water, obviously for making the mud. And vessels such as cups, pots, pans, ladles, etc. for all of the creations your kids will come up with. Kids will love getting messy in their mud kitchen.
Learn more: Hands on as We Grow
16. DIY Rustic Pallet Playhouse
This DIY Rustic Pallet Playhouse for kids has been built out of eight pallets. With a nature-inspired look, this playhouse offers lots of imaginative play and is a perfect place for kids’ treasures and nature finds.
Learn more: House Mix
17. Play Castle
This Play Castle is a pretty basic play structure, but the little details such as the uneven wood slats, tall posts, and shields turn the simple platform structure into a beautiful backyard play castle.
Learn more: Hometalk
18. DIY Acrylic Backyard Painting Stand
I love this project and here’s why: Kids love to paint. I love for my kids to paint. Kids painting at the table always ends up a royal pain and a huge mess. This DIY Acrylic Backyard Painting Stand is a great way to let little ones have at it and know that you can just hose everything down at the end of the day.
Learn more: Meri Cherry
DIY Backyard Water Play
Water can hold the attention of a preschooler like nothing else I’ve ever seen. Between splashing, pouring, and dumping (and sometimes drinking), they will spend so much time exploring this natural element. The DIY backyard play areas below provide an outlet for kids’ water exploration. And there are also some water play spaces for bigger kids here, too.
19. DIY Water Wall
Find out how to repurpose some recycled plastic bottles to make this brilliant DIY Water Wall for backyard water play. It’s such an easy fun idea to keep kids busy during those hot summer days.
Learn more: Tinkerlab
20. DIY Water Table With Fountains And Sprayers
This DIY Water Table With Fountains And Sprayers is simply made with a plastic storage tub, a fountain pump and some PVC pipe. You can put this fun water table together in under an hour. If you need help head to this tutorial.
Learn more: Practically Functional
21. Make a River
I adore this simple idea to Make a River in the sandpit. Kids will have fun digging a narrow trench across the length of the sandpit, collecting nature things and water animal toys to place around and filling their river with water.
Learn more: Picklebums
22. DIY Water Blasters
Beat the summer heat with these amazing DIY Water Blasters. These pool noodles can shoot water over 30 feet! Find out how to build your spray park and these fun blasters by following this tutorial.
Learn more: Mom Endeavors
23. How To Make Mini Water Blobs
These Mini Water Blobs are the perfect summer water activity for some awesome water fun. These mini ones are a fun twist on the more common large water blobs. Find out how to make them with some plastic sheeting and water in this tutorial.
Learn more: Hello Wonderful
24. DIY Marble Run And Water Wall
Kids will have hours of interactive fun with this amazing DIY Marble Run And Water Wall. In this project, a magnet board is used as both, a ball run with marbles and water beads and as a water wall featuring several different connecting tracks and ball valves with water to control where the water and marbles go.
Learn more: Penlights to Pacifiers
25. How to Make a DIY Splash Pad in 30 Minutes
DIY Splash Pad is a perfect solution when you’re looking for a safe option for kids to cool down and splash around without the water being too deep. Find out how to make it in 30 minutes with this tutorial.
Learn more: Taming Little Monsters
DIY Backyard Balance Structures
There are lots of ways to incorporate a balance structure into your DIY backyard play areas. If you can find a long log and put it in your backyard, I guarantee the kids will be out there walking all over and finding games that incorporate it. Take a look at the ideas below for a few more interesting ways you can provide a balance experience for your children’s play.
26. Wood and Stumps Balance Beam
Here’s one of the most classic balance beam ideas created with a few big log pieces and wood planks. Kids can get creative and build their own Wood and Stumps Balance Beam in several different combinations. Let their imagination soar!
Learn more: How We Learn
27. DIY Backyard Tightrope
Kids will have a blast with this amazing DIY Backyard Tightrope. Learn how to use a simple ratchet strap to create a challenging tightrope in this guide. This will be one of their favorite summer activity!
Learn more: Bigger Than The Three Of Us
28. Backyard Sensory Path
Get inspired on how to create a Backyard Sensory Path that is perfect for toddlers. The different textures provide a rich sensory experience for their feet, plus the varied and uneven surfaces will allow them to develop their sense of balance.
Learn more: Play at Home Teacher
DIY Backyard Race Tracks
Both boys and girls will enjoy hours of fun creating and playing with their DIY garden race tracks. Scroll below for some great ideas to get started.
29. DIY Garden Racetrack For Toy Cars
Kids love being outside and playing in nature and building a DIY Garden Racetrack For Toy Cars is the perfect activity for them. This tutorial will take you through a step-by-step process of how to create this amazing track for their toy cars and trucks.
Learn more: Tamara Camera Blog
30. Backyard R/C Track
If you have any RC (remote controlled) car enthusiasts in your home then you should take a look at this fabulous Backyard R/C Track. A track like this isn’t too difficult to make and provides so much fun for kids and their friends to zoom their cars around and race each other.
Learn more: Instructables
31. DIY Backyard Racetrack
You don’t need much space in your backyard to build this fantastic DIY Backyard Racetrack for toy cars. Pick a rustic terrain and add some small marble chips or river stones to give your racetrack extra character.
Learn more: Engineer Mommy
Backyard Play Delivered to You
For those of you who love these ideas, but don’t necessarily love the thought of making something yourself, I also pulled together some more backyard play items you can order from Amazon and have delivered straight to your door:
Kids love playing in this outdoor play kitchen that includes a water table and sand table built-in. The canopy feature is wonderful to have for shade.
This inflatable water slide is like having a water park in your backyard. Plus, it gets consistently great reviews, which is hard to find with backyard inflatables.
Kids love spinning and swinging in this 40″ saucer swing. If you have a tree you can hang it from a sturdy branch, or you can hang it from a swing set.
You can turn any little corner of your backyard into a fairy garden with a few tiny fairy accessories.
Making Your DIY Backyard Play Areas
No matter what your budget is, you can create outdoor play areas that are fun and engaging for your kids. Logs, stumps, sticks, dirt, rocks, acorns, pinecones… all of these become catalysts for imaginative play when kids have the opportunity to freely play and explore them.
One of the most wonderful things about our kids is their imagination and ability to create play from whatever they have around them. Sometimes, the hard part is working past the boredom to get their imaginations working. Joining kids in the backyard to play with them is a great way to stay connected. And, inviting your kids’ friends over for some backyard playtime will bring a whole new element to their backyard play.
I hope you were able to find some ideas to help you create an outdoor environment that is just right for your kids!