20 Fun and Frugal ideas to create the Best Backyard Playground for your Kids this Summer

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By In The Playroom

Summer is here, and that means outdoor fun and lots of time spent in the garden. If you’re looking for ways to entertain your kids this summer, these awesome backyard ideas should give you some inspiration to create a play area that fun and frugal summer that memories are made of.

Cool features to add to your backyard this Summer

We have some amazing ideas here for kids of all ages. Let us walk you through the best backyard playgrounds that we could find. Both younger children and older kids will love these playful set ups! If you are interested in garden tools for your backyard click here

Lets take a closer look at these outdoor play equipment ideas. 

20 awesome features to add to your backyard this summer, all are cheap to make or even free. Great diy garden play ideas

With these ideas, you can have so much fun in your own backyard without even leaving your own garden.

Do you want to make your own rock wall, monkey bars or a trapeze bar?

There are so many simple ways you can turn your outside space into a playground for backyard discovery and physical activity.

make a backyard tightrope line

Set up a tightrope 

This idea from Kids Activities Blog is a great way for kids to work on their motor skills, practising balance and coordination – not to mention it’s a whole lot of fun!

You can set this at a lower height, close to the ground for young children and a little higher for older ones. 

make a mini water blob this summer for the garden

Make mini water blobs for your kids

This is so much fun for kids on a hot day, and works well even in small yards.

These are a great option for a relaxing backyard chill out zone. 

make a sea-saw from a tire

Build a tire sea-saw

Your old unwanted materials can go a long way – you’d be surprised at the different materials that you can use to create a fun play structure for your child!

This balance sea saw made from old tires is great for building core strength

make a tire swing

Or a tire swing

Make your own swing set by using tires for the swing seats. This is a classic and one of the most popular choices for creating backyard swing sets for the kids.

If your budget will not stretch to an expensive wooden swing set, give this a try!

make a skate board swing

Or how about a swing from a skate board?

This version is so unique and cool. So much more awesome than a basic swing – right?

make an outdoor magnet board

Set up an outdoor magnetic board

This is a fun way to bring learning into the outdoors, especially when paired with magnet letters or numbers. 

coloured tree stumps for outdoor play

Tree stumps are great for open ended play, it’s an easy way to create some stepping stones and these coloured ones are especially cool, for fun every step of the way

rainbow paver hop scotch

Or how about this rainbow hopscotch set. Also perfect for jumping and counting. 

make an outdoor music station

Your child will have fun helping to make this recycled outdoor music station. This is a great addition for a sensory element to your garden play area. 

summer fun in the garden, mud pie station

Let them get messy with a mud pie station

Mud kitchens have become really popular in the past few years and you can easily create your own version for pretend play. Getting outside in nature and expressing creativity is so good for kids mental health!

make a minibeast hotel in the garden

Or study creepy crawlies with a minibeast hotel

This is a great way to learn and discover and explore, and get in touch with nature. 

make an outdoor water wall summer fun activity for water play

Make your own recycled water wall

Use plastic bottles to create a recycled water wall, for tipping and pouring water fun.

This set offers lots of science learning opportunities and is amazing fun on a hot summer day!

make a sand wall in the backyard

Or sand wall

A sand wall is a fun alternative on the same theme, and is great addition to a sand pit play area, allowing the play to extend up vertically on the wall making the most of a smaller space. 

make pipe tunnels for cars outdoor summer play

Use PVC tubes to create tunnels for toy cars and trucks

This idea will definitely be a hit with vehicle loving kids! You can create this with a compact design if you’re short on space. 

outdoor games giant kerplunk game in the garden for summer

Make a giant kerplunk game

make an outdoor car track with stones

This one is lots of fun for the whole family for outdoor garden parties or family game nights

Use rocks to make a road

Kids can get creative and paint these themeselves – twice the fun of crafting and then playing. 

DIY outdoor train track

Or set up a train track outdoors

Make your own train track in the plant pot will spark so much curiosity and fun for imaginary play.

Bringing a favourite toy to a new area or new part of the house can ignite a whole bunch of new ideas making it feel fresh and new for the kids again. 

make a fairy garden

Make Fairy Gardens

There are so many beautiful and cute varieties to set up a fairy garden outside with the kids. The making and the playing are both just as fun. 

diy outdoor chalkboard

An outdoor chalkboard is ideal for summer creativity. They are perfect for painting on with water, as well as chalk

loose parts play - playing with wooden bed slats, building for large scale construction play

And finally, don’t forget the fun that can be had with a few loose parts!

We hope you enjoyed out guide to some of the best playgrounds and backyard play sets that you can create in your own home.

If you are looking to buy a wooden play set for the backyard, check out this one from Wickey that we reviewed this summer.

Create your own backyard fun factory right there in your own yard – add in a few extras like a picnic table or a basket ball hoop and you have summer sorted.

With these ideas, your own backyard is a great place to spend time and enjoy the summer. 

fun backyard playground ideas for kids this summer

Please go ahead and share these ideas with friends and family, on social media or pin to your Pinterest boards!

More Summer Fun Ideas

Rainbow Sun Catcher Shadow Art

DIY Chalk Recipe

Flower Mandalas & Nature Art

Spring Nature Scavenger Hunt Printable

Exploring Sunography: Making Sun Prints

Perler Bead Popsicles Craft (Free Printable Templates)

Make Your Own Ice cream

Wet and Wonderful Summer Ideas for Kids | Powerful Mothering

Summer Flower Sensory Bin for Kids | Adventure in a Box

Summer nature art & craft ideas | Messy Little Monster

Summer acts of kindness for kids | Mum in the Mad House

Fantastic Summer Picnic Play Ideas | One Time Through

Low Stress Summer Fun for Kids | Mama Smiles

Summer STEM Activities for Kids | Kitchen Counter Chronicles

Top tips for creating a Summer fairy garden | The Gingerbread House

100 Budget Friendly Summer Activities | Something 2 Offer

How to Make Awesome Summer Juices for Kids | Witty Hoots

Ultimate Guide to Summer Sidewalk Chalk  | Cutting Tiny Bites
Ideas for Summer drawings | Hodge Podge Craft

Summer Alphabet Relay Obstacle Course – Mom Inspired Life

27 Simple Summer Science Experiments for Kids | Edventures with Kids

Summer Evenings – Family Fun Ideas with young kids | Rainy Day Mum

Summer Fun Activities For Toddlers | Adventures of Adam

35 Beach & Ocean Themed Sensory Play Ideas | Golden Reflections Blog

10 Summer Snacks for Kids to Make – Fun-A-Day!

Watermelon Healthy Summer Treats for Families | Little Bins for Little Hands

Summer Alphabet Activities– Growing Book by Book

Fun with Zoo Animals for Kids – My Bright Firefly

Website | + posts

Anna Marikar, mum of four and seasoned blogger, has spent over a decade sharing her parenting journey and passion for kid-friendly crafts and free printables.
Her easy-to-follow craft ideas and practical parenting advice have transformed In The Playroom into a cherished resource for parents.

21 thoughts on “20 Fun and Frugal ideas to create the Best Backyard Playground for your Kids this Summer”

  1. Wow, ingenious ideas you got there. I always love seeing creative ideas such as those of putting scrap tires into use. Fact has it that there are over 300 million tires that are just laying around us and if only we put them into such uses, is when we will be building a better eco-friendly world. Thanks for sharing the ideas.


  2. Wow!! great ideas!! and i love creative minds 🙂 Creative toy for children to develop their fine motor skills, and give them a sense of accomplishment upon completion of creative thinking activities are required to play with these toys.
    I think the things you covered through the post are quiet impressive, good job and great efforts. I found it very interesting and enjoyed reading all of it…keep it up, lovely job..

  3. I’m looking forward to trying out some of these ideas next summer. Now that the days are getting shorter and winter is approaching, do you have any ideas for wintertime fun in the backyard?

  4. Kids are naturally drawn to playing outside and there are numerous benefits of outdoor play: it allows them to explore their environment, develop muscle strength and coordination, and gain self-confidence. Playing actively outdoors also increases flexibility, fine and gross motor skills, and is related to the development of a wide variety of physical skills, including those involved in sports.

  5. The backyard can be decorated in different ways. It is an ideal place for children. All the play material you have written about has been amazing. I like the Outdoor magnetic board, rainbow hopscotch set.


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