You’ve been dreaming of warmer weather, and now it’s finally here. Whether you’re trying to entertain picky kids, wrangle the family together for some outdoor bonding, or looking to DIY a new backyard project, you’ve come to the right place. Let the good times roll with these fun outdoor activities.
By Lorena Romo of www.porch.com
Between video games, Tik Tok challenges, and a smorgasbord of binge-able TV shows, getting your kids outside can be a real struggle. Fear not – we’ve got ideas a-plenty for keeping your offspring outdoors and entertained.
Scavenger hunts build problem-solving skills, teach teamwork, and they’re easy to customize to your child’s age. Start by writing down clues, or use one of many free online scavenger hunt templates to get ideas if you’re stuck. Hide the clues and little treasures around the backyard. If you don’t have tiny treasures lying around the house, head to the dollar store for fun trinkets your child will have a blast hunting for.
Water games are a saving grace in the dog days of summer when it’s too hot for other outdoor activities. You can choose simple games — turn on the sprinkler and let your kids go ham, or load up on water balloons for an epic battle. For more challenging games, lay down a plastic sheet or tarp, and lay it under your sprinkler — the kids will love slipping and sliding and splashing around. Water limbo is another family favorite — have one person hold the hose while others shimmy underneath. If you feel a cold spray of water, you’re out ’til the next round.
Do you have a burgeoning actor or musician in your midst? Set up a summer stage where your young thespian or rock star can come up with one-acts, skits, or concerts. Don’t worry, you don’t have to pull out the wood planks and drill (unless you want to). Use a picnic blanket, flattened cardboard boxes, or interlocking foam tiles for the platform and sticks strung with Christmas lights to border the stage. Your kids can create their own backdrops using a large dry-erase board or by coloring on cardboard boxes.
We all remember the magic of playing in a fort. How markers, tape, and a sprinkle of imagination can turn a fine box into a fantastical wonderland filled with superheroes and villains. Playing make-believe is important for child development, and your kid will love exploring worlds in their new fort. Save all your boxes, and one day, when they’re bored as all get-out, have your kids take them outside and start taping them together. Help them make doorways and windows with a knife or scissors, then let them go wild with decorations. Solar-powered fairy lights, markers, crayons, paint — the possibilities are endless.
Kids love sandboxes, and it’s an activity that will keep them outdoors — and occupied — for hours. One trip to the hardware store is all it takes for an easy DIY sandbox. Fill up a kiddie pool — the sturdy plastic kind — with sand. How many bags you’ll need depends on the size of your sandbox, but make sure you get dust-free or non-silica sand, as they’re the safest types for your little one to play in.
If your kid loves playing with chalk but having a chalkboard wall indoors creates too much mess, consider building an outdoor chalkboard. All you need is a piece of plywood, some sandpaper, and a can of chalkboard paint to make a chalk wall where your child can draw to their heart’s content. Secure your chalk wall to a fence, the back of the garage, or lay it flat on the ground.
Kids love to climb and explore, so why not give them a place they can do it without ruining the furniture? An outdoor climbing wall is exactly what you need. Build a climbing wall by installing climbing handles on your fence, a blank wall, or a sturdy tree trunk then let your kids have at it.
Summertime means less time spent indoors and more time spent outside. If you’re in need of some outdoor inspiration, look no further. Level up your backyard game with these creative DIY activities for grown-ups only — as long as you get a babysitter, otherwise, the kids will want in on the fun.
Get out the cocktail umbrellas, make a pitcher of margaritas, and call your friends because things are about to get tropical. Want to build your own tiki bar? Bring a slice of paradise to your backyard using an online tutorial. If you’re looking to keep it simple, snag a few tiki torches and colorful string lights to deck out your patio, tiki-style. Plastic palm trees and Hawaiian shirts are optional but recommended.
Drinking beer with the neighbors or roasting marshmallows and telling ghost stories just aren’t the same without a fire pit. You can buy a fire pit or build one yourself — there’s a world of options no matter which way you choose to go. The simplest way to DIY a fire pit is to dig a hole, lay down some quick-setting concrete, and surround it with a wall of cement blocks. Check your city’s ordinances to make sure they don’t have any special rules or regulations for fire pits then go forth and burn, baby, burn.
Is there anything better than a relaxing soak in your backyard hot tub? Hot tubs are the pinnacle of luxury and a delightful way to unwind after a long day. They come in tons of shapes and sizes so no matter what your backyard situation is, there’s a hot tub for you. The best part is that you can enjoy your hot tub all year round. Hang lights around your tub — or make night lamps (below) — to create a cozy seating area, and have a hot tub party.
Make use of your up-cycled jar collection and line your patio or sidewalk with DIY night lamps when you entertain. Decorate the jars with paint or decoupage tissue paper, then fill them with LED tea lights or a string of fairy lights. These are fun and easy project that the whole family can participate in.
Picture yourself lounging in a colorful woven hammock, reading a book, and sipping lemonade in the sunshine. Feeling relaxed? Us, too. Adding a hammock (or two) will transform your backyard into an oasis and you’ll find yourself wondering how you ever spent a summer without one.
Looking for a way to get the whole family involved? Make your backyard entertainment a family affair and create new memories that’ll last a lifetime with these fun outdoor activities.
Underground trampolines are more aesthetically pleasing than above-ground trampolines, and they’re easier for kids (and adults) to get onto and off of. Whether you choose to DIY your underground trampoline or have a company install it is up to you. Either way, trampolines are a fun and wonderful way to encourage your kids to get outside and get some exercise.
Lights, camera, action! Why pay to go to the movies when you can create a movie theater in your own backyard? Pull out the red carpet (or a picnic blanket, whatever you have on hand) and make some snacks for a summer screening experience the whole family will enjoy. Use your laptop to stream a movie outside, or grab your projector and a large white sheet to create the ultimate outdoor movie night.
Get out the tent and sleeping bags for a backyard camping trip. Your kids will love this idea, and you may find that it becomes a regular summer activity. Backyard camping gives you the best of both worlds – you get to make s’mores, tell spooky stories, and stargaze — all without having to dig a hole just to go to the bathroom. And if it rains in the middle of the night, a safe, dry haven is just feet away.
Having dinner on the patio a few nights a week is a simple way to enjoy the outdoors from the comfort of your backyard. Fire up the grill, and make all the summer favorites — ribs, corn on the cob, hot dogs charred to perfection — and savor them against a backdrop of sunsets and flowers in full bloom.
There’s no better way to spend a beautiful day than by having a picnic. You don’t even need to leave your house to enjoy this outdoor activity. Prepare an array of tasty treats and take them outside for a backyard feast. Make an afternoon of it by bringing a board game and a few pillows to lounge on in the shade.
Take a “bath” in the sounds of Mother Nature. Forest bathing is a soothing Japanese practice to balance and recenter yourself. Venturing out into the forest isn’t necessary to take a forest bath — simply lay out a blanket in the yard, and allow your mind and body to be still as you take in the sounds of nature through your senses. If you live in a very urban area, you can still forest bathe — just focus on the sounds of birds and the wind, and feel your body relax in the fresh air, relaxing your mind and reinvigorating your spirit.
Bring the playground to your backyard with a swing set. Swing sets come in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges so you’re sure to find something that suits your family’s needs. Swing sets aren’t just for kids, though. Create a romantic getaway on your patio with gorgeous macrame swings that’ll leave you feeling like you’re on a tropical retreat, or sit a spell on a porch swing, just like an old-timey date.
Butterflies, bees, and birds, oh my! Become a modern-day Snow White by setting up wildlife feeders in your backyard. Birdbaths, hummingbird feeders, butterfly puddling stations, bee gardens – research the animals native to your area and decide which ones you’d like to attract. Building feeders is an easy project that your kids will love, too.