Enticing kids away from electronics to enjoy the great outdoors is a challenge most parents can understand. With the right backyard activities for kids of all ages, you can keep toddlers, preschoolers, and even teens entertained for hours.
Turn your backyard into the place to be, with these activity ideas that transform your yard into a fun zone. Your kids will love having something new to do, and you will enjoy the opportunity to make memories outside with the family.
Make the Backyard a Blast for Kids of All Ages
Finding activities that appeal to both a toddler and a teen can be tricky, but it’s possible! Get hesitant teens and older kids involved by encouraging them to assist younger children with projects and games. Not only will you be helping them build teamwork skills, but the right activities will enable the kids to make sibling memories together that they will remember for years.
Giving teens and older children the task of keeping the younger ones engaged will provide them with a sense of responsibility. Once you get the ball rolling, you may be surprised to see older siblings take ownership and think of new ways to create family fun in the backyard.
Backyard Activities for Toddlers
Toddlers love to be busy. Focus on finding activities that will keep their bodies moving and their brains stimulated.
Here are some of our favorite outdoor play ideas for toddlers:
- Draw with chalk or ice. If you have a backyard patio or sidewalk, toddlers will enjoy creating artwork with colorful sidewalk chalk or even ice cubes. Little ones will be intrigued by the watermarks they can make with ice as it melts on the surface. Let toddlers free-draw, or show them some of your artistic skills and watch them re-create their own versions.
- Go on a treasure hunt. Guide toddlers on a backyard hunt for easy-to-find items such as leaves, rocks, a dandelion or flower, and bugs.
- Create a kiddie pool full of fun. Fill a plastic kiddie pool or large bin with sand, water, or gravel along with fun sensory items like plastic shovels, bowls, small balls, and toys.
- Play with a ball. Kicking a ball around the yard is an excellent way for toddlers to expend their energy and enhance motor development.
Backyard Activities for Preschoolers
Like toddlers, preschoolers enjoy activities that allow them to move their bodies. They also benefit from activities that provide an outlet for them to create and explore.
Here are backyard play ideas for children in that 3-5-year-old range:
- Make yard art. Tape a large poster board or paper to a fence and bring out markers and finger paints to let your preschooler beautify the backyard. Clean-up is easy, and your child will take pride in making an outdoor masterpiece.
- Wash cars, bikes, and toys. Adding water to any outdoor activity increases the fun factor for preschoolers. Fill a bucket with water and some tear-free baby shampoo and let your child use sponges or rags to clean your car or even their own scooters, tricycles, and other outdoor toys. Let them rinse everything off with a hose and show them how to dry with clean towels.
- Create an obstacle course. Help preschoolers to work on gross motor skill development, like jumping, running, kicking, and throwing, by setting up an obstacle course. Include steps such as kicking a ball through a hoop, jumping off a step, hopping on one foot down a path, and throwing a ball into a bucket.
- Make giant bubbles. Fill a kiddie pool or plastic bin with a homemade bubble solution made with a gallon of warm water, one cup of dishwashing soap, and two tablespoons of glycerin. Create bubble wands out of bendable wire hangers, fly swatters, and pipe cleaners. Let children experiment to find out which wand-type makes the biggest bubbles.
Backyard Activities for Older Kids and Teens
Worried your older kids and teens might think playing outside is for babies? With these activities, they will rediscover a love for the backyard:
- Have a water balloon fight. It’s a classic backyard game that older kids will love. Fill water balloons with an outdoor hose. Supply each kid with an equal number of water balloons and see who has the most accurate throw and who gets the wettest.
- Set up a cornhole game. Whether you decide to create a DIY version or purchase one from the store, this beanbag-toss game is a hit with older kids and teens.
- Play giant Jenga. You can build a giant Jenga game out of 2x4s or purchase one online, but this is a game that will bring hours of entertainment for one or two older kids or even a small group.
- Invest in a trampoline. Trampolines with a security net are a great way to tire out kids of all ages while they have a blast!
Backyard Fun for the Whole Family
Getting the entire family outside to enjoy the backyard together is a dream for most parents. Here are some family-friendly ideas you can try to engage all of your family members:
- Play a game of chalk Pictionary. Split into teams and play Pictionary outside. Instead of using a piece of paper and pencil-like in the traditional board game, use the patio or sidewalk and chalk to draw the images. Working in teams means even the younger kids can play with assistance from older siblings and parents.
- Set up a team scavenger hunt. A scavenger hunt is a blast when the whole family is in on the hunt together. Create a list of items—some easy to find and some more challenging to find—and work in pairs to find them.
- Have an outdoor movie night. Throw a white sheet up on an outdoor building or tall ladders and use a projector to put your favorite family movie up for everyone to enjoy. Bring out blankets and lawn chairs for seating, and serve your families’ favorite movie snacks to make it a night to remember.
Make Sure Your Backyard Fun Is Mosquito-Free
Are you worried mosquitoes might put a damper on your backyard family fun? Let your local Mosquito Joe keep pests, including mosquitoes, ticks, and flees, away with effective lawn barrier treatments. Call 1-855-275-2563 or connect with us online to schedule expert mosquito control services designed to keep your backyard activities bite-free.
You don’t want your kids running around on a busted deck. Contact your local Mr. Handyman for help repairing your deck or building a new one. Like Mosquito Joe, Mr. Handyman is a member of the Neighborly® family of trusted home service brands.