8 Ways to Create a Backyard Kid’s Playground Paradise

With playgrounds closed and social distancing in effect for the foreseeable future, parents are making the most of what’s in their own backyard…literally. Judging from my local moms groups and what I’m seeing on Facebook Marketplace, if you’ve ever wanted to unload that old swing set now is the time. From water tables to play equipment, parents are creating their own playgrounds to entertain their kids. Here are a few easy ideas to create a fun kid friendly outdoor space without breaking the bank.

1)Mud Kitchen

I stole this idea from another mom Aimee who created an amazing area for her boys to go crazy in the dirt. She created a designated corner of the yard to be a mud zone and set up a kitchen. It included an actual play kitchen (mine is currently in the basement after not getting as much use any more upstairs) and old pots, bowls, and muffin tins. Lots of water helps them create explore various textures created with dirt and water and of course make mud cakes!

2)Music Wall

If your neighbors won’t mind, you could also use your old pots and pans to create a sound wall. Let the kids bang away creating the sounds of the summer. This won’t be one I’ll be trying out.

3)Sand Box

Check out your local facebook groups for someone getting rid of one. If you have an old kiddie pool that works just as well! Sandboxes are endless fun. I like hiding a few things in the sand and then giving my son a treasure hunt list of the items to find.

4)Gravel Pit

My son is obsessed with construction equipment. I now have Truck Tunes on repeat in my house and I have learned the different between a Road Roller and a Skid Steerer…from my 2 year old. You can create a mini gravel pit by blocking off an area with larger rocks and filling it with rocks or pebbles all to scale for their mini excavators and dump trucks.

5)Ball Run

My friend Courtney made one of these in her playroom using paper towel rolls. I was so impressed! She pointed me to pinterest where I found outdoor versions make from old pieces of painted gutters. Smaller kids will love this!

6)Sensory Buckets

This isn’t something that can live outside forever but is a fun cheap activity. My son’s nursery teacher suggested having him practice scissor cutting in a big bucket of cooked spaghetti. How fun is that?! My friend Tracey created a sensory bucket with uncooked rice You can also use uncooked pasta or dried beans. If you can’t get your hands on a water table, using totes or shallow 2 inch tray pans work great. Honestly if you give my son water in a tote and a colander, he’s occupied for at least 30 mins.

7)Sidewalk chalk

It’s very cheap. I bought large tub and we now create hopscotchs, silly walks where you create different activities for different lengths of the road or driveway such as Run, Skip, Twirl and Dance. Each activity has a different color and drawing.

8)DIY Jungle Gym

You are a quick internet search away from DIY tutorials for see-saws, tire swings, balance beams, stepping stones, and even zip lines.

From my experience, kids crave variety and your enthusiasm is contagious. It doesn’t have to be perfect or pretty. Something new and different that you get excited about will inspire them. Whatever you do make sure you enjoy it too. It’s amazing how relaxing playing with kids can be.

About Rebecca Romo

Rebecca Romo hosts Feel Good Mornings weekday mornings from 6-10 am on 99.9 The Q. Originally from New Orleans, she moved to Cape to be with her husband a second generation Cape Codder.

737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
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