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10 Outdoor Play Area Ideas Your Kids Will Adore

Small boy playing in garden

There are several articles online that encourage us to take out kids outside to play. We are encouraged to take them to the park and even swimming. However, for most busy parents you don’t always have the time to do this, or it is not always convenient.

For most, it’s more convenient to let their children play in the garden.

For that reason, most parents try to make their gardens into small play areas for their kids. It means they don’t need to plan, pack food, pack the car and bring enough clothes for every British season.

The idea is to keep them entertained from the comfort and convenience of your garden.

Here are a few ideas of play areas you can build for your kids.

DIY Ball Run

DIY ballrun

Image credit: Learning Through The Clutter

Items needed:

Large plastic bowl
Plastic piping like guttering
No nail glue
Plastic balls
Paint

If you’re feeling creative and you are good with your hands, then building a DIY ball run is a great idea for a play area and your kids will love it!

Before building it, you need to have a safe, secure area like the side of a fence or buy yourself some plywood or something similar.

Be sure to paint the guttering with nice bright colours and also the plastic bowl.

DIY Off The Ground Playhouse

DIY playhouse

Image credit: The Spruce Crafts

A lot of parents don’t think that they can have a treehouse in their garden because they don’t have a tree. However, there’s a pretty simple hack that you can do, even if you don’t have a tree. Build an off the ground playhouse.

Granted, this will probably be the most expensive out of ideas in this article (unless you can get hold of some reclaimed wood), but it’s certainly doable.

In essence, you’re building a structure on stilts (about 2-3ft off the ground). It will need a small step ladder for your children to climb and also a small slide which is a bonus.

DIY Upcycled Bookcase Color Block Sandbox

colour bookcase sandbox

Image credit: - The Homes I Have Made

Items needed:

Old bookcase
Sand
Plywood
Paint

This is repurposing an old bookcase. There’s no need to buy a new one unless you need to.

If you didn’t know this already, kids love sandboxes. The best thing is, these sandboxes will provide hours upon hours of fun without having to spend a lot of money.

It simply a case of tacking a piece of plywood to the bookcase and then painting it with nice colours and then add sand.

DIY Construction Site Gravel Pit

Items needed:

Old logs or boards
Gravel
Construction type toys

This is one of the easiest ones to build from this list ideas. The great thing about this idea is the fact that both boys and girls will be able to play with it.

Simply arrange your boards or logs in a circle, apply the gravel and place the toys in the gravel for your kids to play with.

You will be amazed at how long they will sit and play with this. That’s the amazing thing about kids imagination. It transports them off into a different world.

DIY Repurposed Tyre Seesaw

Items needed:

Old tractor tyre
A long plank of wood

Granted, you will need to get hold of an old tractor or big truck tyre. However, if you do, that’s half of what you will need for this seesaw.

It will need to be sawed in half with the plank placed on top. You can take it one step further and place handle at either end for you to hold onto if you like?

You will need quite a bit of space to play with this, but if you do will provide hours of endless fun.

Homemade Old Fashioned Tyre Swing

Items needed:

Old tractor tyre
Chains and hooks
A tree
Paint

This is one of the most popular outdoor play ideas that goes back generations. Before computers, televisions, radios and games consoles, people made tyre swings for their kids.

I think we can all remember those summer afternoons playing for hours on end on a tyre swing. They were great!

They are pretty easy to make. Again, using an old tractor tyre or truck tyre tie the chains around the hooks. Place the chains around a thick branch, and you are good to go.

DIY Tetherball

Items needed:

Giant tyre
Metal pole
Rubber Ball
Chain or string

I think we all loved playing Tetherball as kids and I’m sure your little ones would enjoy it too.

This is probably one of the easier projects listed here, and it won’t cost too much to make. Guess what? You will need another large tyre (again) as the base, a long metal pole, a ball and a piece of string.

Giant DIY Reclaimed Wood Blocks

Items needed:

Giant reclaimed wood (check with pallet mills in your area)
Water Paint

All you need for this outdoor activity is some giant blocks from reclaimed wood and some paint. The idea is for your kids to paint different colours on those pieces of wood.

The great thing is, you can use these pieces of wood multiple times since your kids can just paint over the wood the next day if they like. Again, they could spend hours doing this from the safety of your garden.

DIY Hopscotch Stepping Stones

Items needed:

Cheap small paving stones
Paint

Out of all of the ideas in this article. This has got to be the coolest one. Making coloured hopscotch stepping stones will not only get the kids out in the garden playing, but you’ll also find that a grown adult will get a lot of fun out of this too!

Either you can paint the stones or get the kids to paint them. You can choose multiple different colours if you like. However, if you want these stones to last, you might need to use outdoor or gloss paint, so it doesn’t disappear after a night of rain.

These are great when you are having a barbeque or having the family over. Everyone can get involved in for endless amounts of fun.

Cheap And Easy Hula Hoop Hideout

Items needed:

Hula hoop
Blanket
Sheet
String/cord/chain
Hook
Tree

This last one is one of my favourites. Not only is it cheap to make but it provides a little hideaway for kids to be themselves and have a space of their own.

Yes, kids love treehouses, slides, and swings, etc. However, just remember that they don’t always want to do something active. Sometimes that want to be alone with their thoughts and a little reflection.

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