20 Super Cool Ideas for Backyard Fun for Kids!

Kids are getting outside less and less these days leaving many backyards empty. Getting your kids to play outside isn’t just fun — It’s good for them. It can sometimes be a challenge with easy access to video games, online chatting, etc, but experts report that getting kids outside has many benefits from improved attention span to reduced stress.  Check out these 20 ideas for backyard fun for kids, from games to crafts and more.

Looking for ideas for backyard fun? We've got 10 super cool activities to keep the entire family entertained. #backyard #family #games #outdoor #activities

This summer, I’m encouraging my kids to head outside more often. It’s a great way to connect as a family.

20 Ideas for Awesome Backyard Fun for Kids

A collage image of backyard fun for kids, including bocce, sidewalk chalk, and move nights

1. Dinosaur Hunt

This game is especially fun when we have younger cousins visiting, but my teens still get a kick out of it. It’s just like an Easter egg hunt, but one that you can have year-round with toy dinosaurs!  Hide ’em throughout the backyard, and when you say go – the kiddos run and try to collect as many as they can.  Kids get extra points if they can name the dinosaur type.

2. Side Walk Chalk Art Contest

I love that this simple and inexpensive activity is great for all ages. When relatives are visiting, we have an art contest with prizes given out for categories like most creative, most colorful, etc. This way, all ages can get a prize.

Looking for ideas for backyard fun? We've got 10 super cool activities to keep the entire family entertained. #backyard #family #games #outdoor #activities

3. Water Balloon Fights

Especially during hot days, water balloon fights are so much fun. Divide into teams, fill up buckets with the water balloons and have at it! A twist on this idea is a water balloon toss where you see if you and your partner can get the farthest from one another before the balloon bursts.

4. Bocce Ball with a Twist

If you’re not familiar with Bocce Ball, it’s like a ball version of horseshoes. Players try to get their balls closest to the “pallino” or jack in one direction and then switch directions. Up the backyard fun with our version of “around the house” Bocce. We throw the jack to a new spot in our yard each time until we make it all the way around the house.

Looking for ideas for backyard fun? We've got 10 super cool activities to keep the entire family entertained. #backyard #family #games #outdoor #activities

5. Croquet

We love to play croquet. We’ve had mini sets from when the kids were young to a full set today. It’s an easy game to teach kids and provides backyard fun for the entire family.

6. Backyard Scavenger Hunt

Whether you hide things throughout the backyard, or you aim for nature-based things to find – a scavenger hunt can be great backyard fun for kids.  Here are a few examples of things you could include in your scavenger hunt:

  • Four leaf clover
  • Different types of trees (oak, pine, etc).
  • A stalk of grass that’s a certain height (like above X inches – give ’em a ruler to measure!)
  • Ant
  • Spider
  • Different shaped leaves
  • Butterfly
  • Stick on the ground
  • Foot prints
  • Different color birds
  • Anything else you can think of!

7. Outdoor Movie Night

We love to pop popcorn and bring out the camping mattresses to create a fun outdoor movie night experience. My friend Kimberly showed us out to make a DIY movie screen. The projector was an investment, but it’s been worth every penny.  You can bring an air mattress outside for the kids to get nice and comfy on – perfect backyard fun for those warm summer nights.

Looking for ideas for backyard fun? We've got 10 super cool activities to keep the entire family entertained. #backyard #family #games #outdoor #activities

8. Cornhole

Whenever we go to a big outdoor event, there always seem to be cornhole games popping up – so why not bring ’em into your own backyard!  You can find sets these days at most sporting goods stores or online.  Cornhole is awesome because kids and adults alike can quickly learn how to play.

9. Trampoline

Obviously, this one is not for everyone – but man, it can be a fun one to add to your backyard if you’re comfortable with it.  There is just something so fun about bouncing up and down on a big ‘ol trampoline.  Moms, you might find yourself on there more than the kids. πŸ˜‰

10. Rock painting

We have saved rocks from past years and I use them to decorate our garden. It can be a fun activity for a backyard birthday party as well. I think I’ll try this adorable rock caterpillar idea from Nellie Bellie this year.

Looking for ideas for backyard fun? We've got 10 super cool activities to keep the entire family entertained. #backyard #family #games #outdoor #activities
Photo credit: NellieBellie.com

11. Nature collage (or wreath)

This one is especially fun to do in the summer and fall.  You can have the kids grab different nature items from around the backyard – think blooming flowers, dandelions, sticks, changing color leaves, etc.  (Quick tip – if you have any areas with poison ivy, give ’em a warning not to grab that.)  They can then glue them onto either a sheet of construction paper, a canvas, or one of those inexpensive wreath bases that you can get from the dollar store.  It’s a fun way of letting them get creative with a new kind of art medium.

12. Homemade bird feeders

Did you ever make those homemade bird feeders back in elementary school?  I have fond memories of making them as a kid, using a toilet paper roll, peanut butter, and birdseed.  Try making them with your kiddos too!  You can find a great tutorial on homemade bird feeders here.

13. DIY Slip and Slide

If your backyard is pretty grassy without many rocks or sticks, this could be a good backyard fun idea.  Roll out some industrial trash bags (these are thicker than normal ones) or a heavy duty tarp along the grass.  Add some liquid soap and some water, and your kids will be ready to hurl themselves down!  You can also add sprinklers on either side so they get an extra splash of water as they go through.

DIY slip and slide

14.  No-hands donut contest

OK, not the healthiest backyard activity out there – but hilarious to watch.  Hang donuts on a string from a tree so they’re about the height of your kids’ mouths.  Then challenge them to eat it without using their hands – or letting any part of the donut fall on the ground.  It’s a game we used to do every year at summer camp.  The string moves, so it’s harder than it sounds – and super funny to watch.  Moms, you can play too!

PS – Powdered donuts are the best because you naturally get the powder all over your face and it makes for silly photos afterward!

15. Bubbles

This one’s for the younger kiddos.  Is there anything more simple and fun than just blowing tons of bubbles together?!  You can get different types of wands or bubble guns for added fun.  You can also make simple bubbles out of dish soap and water if you’ve run out of the store-bought ones.

16. Backyard camp out

While we love going camping in New England, sometimes we don’t always have the time to go away for a full weekend to a campsite.  But we can still get the family time and outdoor fix by simply setting up the tent in the backyard!  Play outdoor games, grill dinner, roast smores – all the best parts of camping.  (But without having to use the bathroom in the woods – a major bonus to being right next to your house!)

17. Create (and maintain) a garden

Gardening has so many benefits – not only does it give you and the kids something to do together in the backyard, but it also teaches them about where they’re food comes from and about the plant lifecycle.  And if you’re lucky, you’ll end up with a delicious bounty of produce in the summer to cook with.  One of the easiest ways to start with gardening is using container gardening or a square foot garden.

Check out this post with some good gardening books for kids to get them interested in this idea!

A young girl gardening

18. DIY Obstacle Course

Create your own backyard version of an obstacle course!  Don’t worry, you don’t need a ton of expensive fancy equipment.  You can build a fun obstacle course with things like a few big boxes to climb over, a ladder flat on the grass to hop through, cones to run between, and anything else you can think of that would be fun.

19. “Car” Wash

If you’ve got little kiddos, have them do their own “car wash” with their little bikes, scooters, cozy coupes, or whatever other “vehicles” they have lying around.  Get out the soapy buckets and hose and let ’em go crazy.

20. Tire Swing

If you’ve got the space and a good tree for hanging, you can make a tire swing for the kids.  No matter what age they are, I think they’ll enjoy this classic activity!  If you’ve got young ones, you can also make it a big deal to paint and decorate the tire before you hang it up.

Check out this post too: Summer Fun – 10 Ways to make it great!


Jenn Mitchell is a proud mom, wife and adventure seeker. She’s traveled either solo or with family to 20 countries and 36 U.S. states so far. A former personal trainer, Jenn looks for ways to keep her family fit and active both at home and on the road. Her goal is to inspire other moms and families to live happy and healthy lives.

This Post Has 100 Comments

  1. Amy

    I was able to enjoy a Mosquito Joe service and love it! I would definitely consider another spray before the end of the season!

  2. Felicita Moncada

    Outdoor movie night sounds fun! We do have a projector so they is being added to our bucket list for the Summer!

  3. Jamie Yonash

    I love getting new ideas for outdoor family fun…the rock painting has me excited. Lessoning exposure to mosquitos is always a good thing too!

  4. Claudia Krusch

    Love your ideas! So many awesome things to do! Can’t wait to use some next weekend!

  5. Lisa Joy Thompson

    I’ll have to see if we have a Mosquito Joe’s in my area. We have a pool in our backyard and back on a lake and we’ve had a ton of mosquitos lately. It would be awesome to enjoy our backyard with less bugs.

  6. I so need Mosquito Joe to come to my home! We live on a lake and the mosquito’s get bad! I wonder if they have a location in my area.

  7. Emily

    I grew up playing bocce ball and looooved it! I’d love to introduce my kids! Mosquitoes are the worst and I had no idea there was a solution like this! So cool.

  8. Rachel

    I really want to get a movie projector so we can do movie nights outside. It is on my parenting to do list.

  9. Reesa Lewandowski

    Oh this sounds like something that I really need to look into! The mosquitoes can really ruin a good time!

  10. Amy

    I noticed that this services lasted a good 2 weeks to keep my yard mosquito free. I would use it again!!

  11. Sherry

    I swear my teenage son lives in his room. I need to get him outside more but in the evening the mosquitoes can get bad.

  12. krystal

    Mosquito Joe would be so awesome in my area – we are in Florida and have so many bugs!

  13. Dawn Lopez

    These look like creative ways to get outside. I love the movie idea because it sounds like so much fun for the whole family.

  14. Dr Kevin Pangisa

    Mosquito Joe really saved my pets it’s really worth it and I also tried this system brain training for dogs it helped my Dog to be behave and be more obedient just a thought,comment.https://bit.ly/2NESjwC

  15. Shannon citrino

    We just got a small pool for the family. It’s nice to have in the yard for the kids.

  16. Kristen

    I love taking summer road trips.

  17. Natalie

    I love to go on boat rides and water ski in the summer!

  18. Nerlande

    I like to take summer vacations

  19. Ashley Chassereau Parks

    We love to go to the beach and the pool in summer time!!

  20. shelly peterson

    I like to bbq and go to the lake

  21. Calvin

    I like staying home and fixing things. Also the occasional picnic at the beach .

    1. AuntySuzany

      I like bbq s and the beach!

  22. Victoria Alexander

    Hang out by the pool and jump in every now and then πŸ™‚

  23. Barrie

    In the summer, I like to travel and visit family. This year, we’ll be at home enjoying our garden and each other!

  24. Darlene Owen

    My favorite thing to do in the summer is to go camping.

  25. Sherry

    I love to go swimming with my family.

  26. chelsea w

    I love going swimming in our pool, and we have cornhole boards set up nearby, so that’s fun too!

  27. Ann Fantom

    I like to go on family bike rides in the summer

  28. kimberly Zais

    My favorite summer activity would definitely be swimming. I have rheumatoid arthritis and swimming helps so much with my pain, stiffness, mobility, movement, muscle building and more!

  29. rochelle haynes

    Staying home with my kids

  30. Dana Rodriguez

    We enjoy going boating at the lake with friends!

  31. Tara L

    I love to go to the beach or go camping. It’s so relaxing.

  32. Lindsay A.

    I love getting creative with summer recipes & eating my way through all the delicious summer produce!

  33. Robin M

    Go to the beach

  34. Nancy

    I love to buy farmer’s market fruits and vegetables in the summer and use them in our meals and snacks.

  35. Kim Pincombe-Cole

    I love anything that has to do with water in the summer. Swimming (pool or beach), boating – you name it!

  36. Alex

    I like to garden!

  37. Daniela

    I like going to the beach

  38. Colette Sears

    In the summer we love to sit outside under the cool trees and just relax.

  39. bn100


  40. Debbie P

    Going to outdoor concerts and going camping.

  41. Clem

    Relaxing in a cool place.

  42. Sandy Klocinski

    Eat S’mores around a campfire

  43. Jan Lee

    Favoorite thing to do in smmer is to stay inside in air conditioning,:)

  44. Jennylyn Gross

    go swimming

  45. Del

    I enjoy being with family at the beach or park.

  46. Kisaan

    Wow, such an amazing idea. I’m sure my kids are gonna be happy if they see the backyard like this.Thank you for sharing some awesome ideas. I would like to revisit this site.

  47. Cindy Peterson

    We enjoy spending times in the mountains at the cabin.

  48. angie lilly

    My favorite thing to do in the summer is to soak in my swimming hole with my hubby and enjoy the naturalized surroundings of our backyard!

  49. Sonya Cocherell

    My favorite thing to do in the summer- sit outside and soak up (just a tad bit) of sun while watching my dogs play.

  50. nicole c

    My favorite thing to do in the summer is go swimming.

  51. beth shepherd

    I like to go kayaking with the kids. Thank you

  52. Erin Diane

    I love spending time with my family anywhere near water. wading in the creek, going to the beach, fishing, all of it!

  53. Dee Parker

    I live in Phoenix – I hate summer. I stay inside in the A/C!

  54. jeanette h sheets

    i love working in my garden and flower beds,

  55. Cynthia C

    I enjoy going to the beach in the summer.

  56. Erika P.

    I enjoy gardening my summer vegetables.

  57. Dorothy Boucher

    One of my favorite things to do in the summer is take my grandchildren camping.

  58. JanD

    My favorite thing to do in the summer is eat ice cream.

  59. Edye

    I like getting a tan!

  60. Shayna Brookman


  61. Barbara Montag

    During the summer I love fishing in a boat.

  62. Victoria Scott

    Hiking with my kids!

  63. Susan Smith

    My favorite thing I love to do in the Summer is swim.

  64. Nina Lewis

    My favorite thing is going to the beach but we won’t be able to do that right now so we are spending our days at the pool in our backyard! πŸ™‚

  65. L. Emmaline

    I like to enjoy the nice weather while relaxing in the shade.

  66. Kim Avery

    I love to spend lazy days sitting at the lake.

  67. Gabrielle Kinman

    I love to go swimming and tanning.

  68. BookLady

    I enjoy going to the beach in the summer.

  69. Linda Walker

    I love working in the garden.

  70. Tiffany S

    My favorite thing to do in summer is go camping.

  71. Mishelle G

    I like the odd day of freedom I get in the summer… when all the families go off and I have no one to take care of and total freedom. Get everyone up and flee to some place not here or a nice drive to see a new place in NS the kids haven’t seen.


  72. heather

    I so love to go to the beach during the summer and swim and also lay out in the sun.

  73. latanya

    We enjoy going to the beach

  74. LB

    Sit inside in the a/c and read lol I am not a summer person

  75. sandra

    watch the summer blockbusters

  76. Amanda

    go to the beach

  77. Sunnymay

    My favorite thing to do in the summer is go to the beach or for walks in the park.

  78. Danielle Day

    Just love being outside. Love the sun shining down.

  79. Jillian Too

    I love spending the day at the beach.

  80. I like to go on Nature “Day Trips” and rides with my sweet hubby. Thanks and God bless!

  81. Daniel M

    go mountain biking

  82. Jeanna Massman

    I love taking my grandson to the pool in the summer.

  83. Molli Taylor

    summer hikes are the best! love getting out in nature!

  84. Janie McGaugh

    My favorite thing to do is read, preferably inside in the air conditioning.

  85. Rajee Pandi

    Going to beach to relax and swim

  86. rita leonard

    Normally we love to go to the beach

  87. nyfoodhistorian

    My favorite thing to do in the Summer is Historical reenactments – camp cooking as they did it a century ago.

  88. Hesper Fry

    I like taking a walk outside in the morning before it gets too hot.

  89. April

    I love taking my kids to the beach!

  90. Shirley Emitt

    We like to go fishing and camping.

  91. Hannah Chase

    In the summer, I love camping and going to the beach.

  92. Sarah Gibbs

    My favorite thing to do in summer is swim

  93. Charity Cram

    I love going on a road trip with friends or family.

  94. Ann

    In the summer I enjoy going to local farmer’s markets, using our little grill in the backyard, and hanging out on the porch.

  95. Tabathia B

    to read by the beach

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