Backyard Activities for Kids

If you’re looking for ways to keep your kids entertained this summer, look no further! Here are some fun backyard activities that will keep them entertained for hours. From playing tag to making a chalk mural, there’s something here for everyone. Get outside and have fun! Here are some favorite backyard activities for kids.

Backyard Activities for Younger Kids

Summertime means playing in the sun. However, most parents are aware that summer means hearing things like, “I’m bored!” What can parents do to keep their children occupied for those summer days at home? For hours on end, these simple outdoor adventures will keep your little ones engaged!

Outdoor Water Fun

One of the most classic backyard activities is a water play.. This is perfect for a hot day, and it’s always a lot of fun.

Try water balloons. You can have a fight or just toss it back and forth. You can either have each person stand in their own designated area, or you can have everyone gather in one spot to drench each other. All you need are water balloons and water. Make sure your kids are wearing something you don’t mind getting wet in and have plenty of towels on hand. Keep in mind, the play area for water balloon fights is best if the ground is clear and grassy.

No water balloons? No problem – grab some old plastic bags and fill them up with water. Try tossing them back and forth. If they break you will get super wet!

Another fun activity with water balloons is a water balloon pinata. Water balloon piñata’s are perfect for a birthday party or any other celebration. You can make your own water balloon pinata. Fill it with water balloons and hang it from a tree. Then, take turns trying to break open the pinata. The person who breaks it open will get wet, but everyone else will also get soaked in the fun. Kids will have a great time racing to grab any unbroken balloons on the ground to throw at each other. It’s the perfect way to cool off during warm weather.

We have even just hung a HUGE study plastic bag filled with water from the swing set. Grab a bat and start swinging! It takes a lot longer to break it open than you might think!

Water Table Play 

Younger kids might enjoy playing with a water table. A water table can keep kids entertained for hours on end. You can buy a water table or make your own. All you need is a plastic bin, some PVC pipe, and a few plastic containers. Cut the PVC pipe to fit inside the bin and drill holes in the containers. Then, fill the bin with water and place the containers in it.

Kids will love playing with the different shaped containers and watching the water flow through the pipes. This is one of the outdoor games you would need to supervise closely, since even a small amount of standing water can be unsafe for small children.

If you have a fence in your backyard you can create a water wall. Just drill holes in the bottom of a few plastic containers –or use a small laundry basket– and fill with water. Then, place the containers against the fence and let the kids play! You can also make one with peg boards from your local hardware store. This one is perfect for young kids  because it will keep them entertained for hours. We have done this with recycled plastic water bottles! 

Backyard Camping:

Camping in your backyard is a fun way to spend a summer day. Set up a tent, roast marshmallows, and tell stories around the campfire. Go on a bear hunt, sing campfire songs, and pretend to go on a hike to a far-off place in the woods.

If the weather is miserable no need to cancel. Head indoors for a camping indoor party

Making Mud Pies

This may not seem like the most exciting backyard activity, but kids love making mud pies! All you need is some soil, water, and a few containers to put the mud in. Don’t forget some small shovels.

Just put on some old clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty and when they are done they can run through the sprinkler to help wash off some of that mud.

Bubble Fun

A fun way to get your toddlers moving and active are blowing bubbles. All you need is some bubble solution and a few bubble wands. Have the kids run around trying to catch as many bubbles as they can. Make your own bubble wands or raid your kitchen drawer! 

Backyard Activities for Older Kids

It can be tough finding things for older kids to do that are fun and challenging. Not to mention, outdoor activities are a great way for them to get some exercise. Here are some ideas for fun outdoor activities for your older kids. Keep in mind that the difficulty of these activities can be adjusted to fit your child’s age and abilities.

Backyard Obstacle Course

This is another classic backyard activity that kids love. You can make a course with items like a picnic table, chairs, trees, hula hoop, and even a trampoline. You can set up different obstacles for your kids to go through, or you can have them race each other. This is a great way to get them moving and active. Add in water obstacles for even more fun! 

For younger kids, you can make an outdoor obstacle course by drawing on the sidewalk with chalk. Sidewalk chalk obstacle courses have recently become popular. A few ideas you can use are: 

  • Walk on a bridge
  • Spin in a circle
  • Hopscotch
  • Walk along all the letters in the alphabet
  • Read giant letters on the ground
  • Jump the “stepping stones”
  • Stomp in the small footprint- shaped like a Dino or animal
  • Pretend to walk a tight-rope.

Check out this Sidewalk Chalk Obstacle Course in action.

Try having an art contest with the sidewalk chalk. Mix things up and play this version of Draw Something with the chalk. 

Scavenger Hunt

This is a pastime that may be done at any age. You may make a list of things to look for in the backyard or a list of items to bring back from outside with your kids. You could make them a bingo card with different photos on them to mark off and find. Try finding different colors in the backyard. Can you collect one things from all the colors of the rainbow?

 Make Art from Nature

Even if you have a small backyard there are plenty of fun things for older kids to do. Why not make some art from nature? Make a pinecone bird feeder or a fun fairy garden with things you can find in your own backyard .

Running Bases

If you have a group of kids, this game is a classic! You just need two trees or bases and a ball. Read how to play running bases here.


Starting a small garden is a wonderful activity for older and younger kids. If you do not have much space, growing lettuce is super easy. Read about all the benefits of gardening for kids.

Ball Games

Grab a ball and start playing kickball or soccer. Wiffle ball is super fun to play in the backyard.  

We hope these tips help you have a fun summer. Outdoor activities are a great way to get exercise and spend time with your family

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