Liven up outdoor birthday parties, barbecues, and weekends in the sunshine with some family-friendly and kid-approved DIY projects.
Not only will your children put down their video games and get out into the fresh air, but your garden will become the most exciting place to be all summer long!
From oversized classic family games and secret hideaways to exciting kid-friendly sports and toddler-themed activities, this list of 30 garden DIYs is sure to feature something that’s just right for your family.
This fun game can be played with family and friends all summer long. Personalize your board and bags with any message or pictures you like and enjoy hours of fun.
This no-sew teepee costs just $60 to construct and can stay out year-round. It’s also collapsible for easy storage – but you’ll never want to put this secret hideout away!
Liven up plain wall or fencing – and give the little ones an outlet for their creativity – with a supersized chalkboard that lasts for years. You’ll need wooden boards, chalkboard paint, screws, and a tube of liquid nails.
A challenging family game, the goal of this jumbo ker-plunk is to remove all the sticks without any balls falling out! Made with simple materials like wood, wire mesh, and lightweight balls, it’s both affordable and easy to put together.
This sturdy and colorful treehouse is actually placed atop a stump, rather than in a full-grown tree – but it still looks incredible! With plenty of space for sitting or playing, this house is an absolute bargain which can be made for just $300 – beating pre-made rivals hands-down.
If you don’t have a tree, or even a stump, this playhouse is a fantastic alternative. This fun, functional and structurally sound home looks as good as a real house thanks to the addition of a porch, garden bench, and plenty of flowers.
Sandboxes are great fun, but they always need a lid. This DIY creation is especially impressive as the cover doubles up as seating.
This slip and slide is far better than any store bought version out there, yet can be put together for just $30. It requires plastic roll, eight pool noodles, double sided tape, wooden beams, and metal stakes.
Screening movies outdoors during the summer months is a novelty no child can resist! It also creates the perfect opportunity for the whole family to enjoy their favorite movie together while still taking in the fresh air. This is a relatively simple project – requiring a projector, white sheet, laptop, speakers, and lots of comfy chairs or cushions.
A comfortable and safe swing is a must for any toddler – and this homemade swing fits the bill. It’s quite stylish looking too! If you have a little sewing experience and some knowledge of basic woodworking, this project should only take a few hours.
Perfect for gardens large or small, this climbing wall can be built on the side of a garage, concrete shed or brick wall. Measuring seven feet tall and with rubber mulching underneath, it’s short enough for safe use yet is guaranteed to entertain all year round.
12. Skateboard Swing
Tire swings are old news – this year, build the kids a skateboard swing! It’s also a great way to repurpose an old, broken, or outgrown skateboard.
Calming, mystifying, and completely captivating, giant bubbles – large enough to stand in – are easier to make than you’d think! They require a hula hoop, flat plastic container, water, and dish soap.
14. Tic-Tac-Toe Set
One of the easiest DIYs on the list, this tic-tac-toe set is colorful, fun and durable. The kids will be entertained collecting and painting the rocks needed, and that’s before the games even begin!
15. Puppet Theatre
Smaller children will be enthralled with their own, at-home Punch and Judy show. This impressive looking project is surprisingly easy to make using a fabric drop cloth, a yard or so of colorful fabric, some felt bunting, and a sewing machine.
16. Hopscotch Pavers
Leftover pavers after a remodel can be put to good use in this classic children’s game. Simply spray paint and number the pavers, and position them on the grass. You don’t even need to secure them, as they’ll soon settle into the soft ground.
Foam pool noodles can be put to so many uses in the garden. One of the best has to be this obstacle course – which is simple to make and can be modified depending on the ages of the children. Little ones will be encouraged to crawl through the hoops, while older kids can practice their ball skills. Rows of noodles can serve as a fun obstacle course which must be ducked under or jumped over…the possibilities are endless!
So easy that even a novice wood worker can build it in a couple of hours, this pretty see-saw is a great addition to any toddler’s backyard. A full shopping list, wood cut list and how-to tutorial make this project a cinch.
Book worms will relish the opportunity to get lost in a fairytale whilst sitting on their very own toadstool, tucked away in a quiet corner of the garden. Spray paint large wooden bowls in a classic red color with white spots, and fix them on to some wood stumps – easy!
20. Backyard Beach
Even if you couldn’t be further from the ocean, this cute backyard idea will ensure your kids have their very own beach haven. Fill a large box with sand, add a canopy and a kiddie’s pool. Don’t forget to jazz it up with buckets, spades, beach balls, bunting, and a mini deck chair.
21. Lawn Dominoes
Take your summer game-nights to the next level with this oversized version of a classic game. Paint your DIY dominoes in bright colors, get the neighbors over, and you’ll soon have found a new weekend favorite!
Water blobs have been a firm favorite with children lately. Although they provide seemingly endless entertainment, they tend to leak quite a bit. Not this fantastic version though! Best of all, assembling it requires just 20 minutes of your time, an iron and board, parchment paper, and plastic sheeting.
23. Race Car Track
For some good clean outdoor fun, go back to basics with a simple cemented race car track. With ‘real’ road markings, safety barriers, finish-line flags, and more, this authentic backyard toy is as fun to make as it is to use.
Improve hand-eye coordination and provide endless days of fun with this mini outdoor bowling lane. With some wooden bowling pins, scrap lumber, paint, and tools, you can make this project for a mere $30!
25. Viking Play Tent
This brilliant Viking play tent offers infinite possibilities for adventure, along with shade from the sun, and a base for all manner of imaginative games. For a truly authentic feel, dress it up with faux sheepskin rugs, toy spears and weapons, wicker baskets, and wooden logs.
Raise a reclaimed wooden pallet up on legs and you’ve got a useful table and secret hideaway in one. To make nap times extra special, and to provide respite from the sun’s rays, add a hammock underneath – the perfect place to hang out!
Teach kids to think strategically, whilst enjoying some quality family time, with this oversized four-in-a-row game. Thanks to a detailed tutorial, it’s easier than it looks to construct, although it requires a little patience. Once the kids go to bed, invite the neighbors over for a cocktail and a friendly challenge.
Little ones will spend hours digging, splashing, building, and soaking with this beautifully constructed sand and water table. An in-built ledge houses all sand- and water-related toys, while a hinged lid keeps everything nice and clean while not in use.
29. Play Kitchen
A simple wooden shelving unit can be transformed into this colorful play kitchen for making mud pies. Complete with a sink bowl, knobs, pots, pans, and dishes, it’s sure to get little imaginations running wild.
30. Lawn Twister
An easy project that will keep kids, teens, tweens, and even adults occupied, this outdoor twister game can be set-up in just five minutes using a circular stencil and different colored spray paints. Make your own Twister board or simply use the pre-made one that came with your indoor game.