20 backyard play space ideas for kids
Backyard 'Wipeout' course for kids
Test your kids’ athletic ability with this backyard "Wipeout" obstacle course. A perfect opportunity to cool off and get some exercise this summer, simply combine a few different common household items that will challenge your budding triathletes. You might start with a water slide, and then add a section of giant balls sitting in automobile tires (for stability) that your kids have to leapfrog on their way to the tricycle slalom course.
More on MSN Living: 18 DIY summer party decorations
DIY giant bubble
Remember how much fun you had blowing bubbles as a kid? Give your children a bigger and better experience by taking bubbles to the next level with this human-sized, giant bubble. All you need is a wading pool, a hula hoop and some homemade bubble solution. For even more fun, have one of the kids stand in the wading pool, in the center of the hula hoop, and have two others quickly raise the hula hoop over his head—to put the boy in the bubble. Have plenty of towels on hand -- this one could get messy.
Bing: Homemade bubble solution
DIY life-size Angry Birds game
Get your kids outdoors this summer with this fun idea for a DIY, life-sized Angry Birds game. Sure to be a backyard favorite for everyone in the family, this game can be easily put together with some bouncy balls, cardboard boxes and wood plans for the target wall.
DIY music wall
Start a little extra harmony in your backyard with this creative do-it-yourself music fence. It’s easy. Buy or build a short section of picket fencing that you can mount on a wall or between existing fence posts, and then attach to the fence a collection of things that kids can pound, pluck and use to make music. Pie pans, oven racks, wind chimes and keys from dismantled xylophones all work great for creating cool summer tunes.
More on MSN Living: 7 DIY outdoor crafts and decorating ideas
DIY outdoor chalkboard
Give your kids hours of fun by creating this giant do-it-yourself backyard chalkboard in your backyard. Paint a 4x8-foot plywood sheet with a mixture of outdoor paint and sanded grout in a dark color that looks like a traditional classroom chalkboard, and then mount the finished chalkboard on a fence, the side of your garage or between two posts. Buy a box or two of sidewalk chalk in multiple colors and set your kids free to write, draw and decorate to their hearts’ content. The whole project should cost less than $100.
Backyard Twister game
Take one of your favorite indoor games into the sunshine by creating a DIY, backyard Twister board. To get started, cut a 12-inch circle in stiff paper to use as a template, and then buy cans of spray paint in red, blue, yellow and green, and paint rows of colored circles a few inches apart on your lawn. We also love that this game's cleanup is incredibly easy -- mow the lawn once or twice, and no trace of Twister will remain.
More on MSN Living: Fabulous outdoor entertaining finds under $5
Backyard Scrabble game
Turn a section of your patio into a giant Scrabble game board that will delight your entire family. Build a 5-foot square wooden frame, and either fill it with concrete that you can score into 3 3/4-inch squares, and later paint with water-base concrete stains, or set with small ceramic tiles. Cut 100 3 1/4-inch square letter tiles from baseboard trim, add adhesive or hand-painted letters and scores, and seal with spray lacquer. Create your own racks for the letters and store all of the game pieces in a plastic bin or canvas bag.
DIY backyard sandbox
The sandbox has been a favorite backyard play area for generations of children, and building one is easy! Use low-cost lumber to build the box, the floor and some corner benches that provide extra stability as well as convenient places for your kids to sit. Paint the box in bright colors that will appeal to kids, and then buy a few bags of sand and use them to fill the box. For extra points, install short lengths of PVC pipe at each corner to serve as beach umbrella holders for those summer days when shade is a must for outdoor play.
DIY climbing space for kids
Create a backyard climbing wall by attaching handholds and toeholds to a vertical sheet of plywood, or combine pressure-treated fence posts and metal pipe to make a set of uniquely designed monkey bars.
Football passing game
Want to give your kids a head start on honing the skills that could take them to the NFL? Set up a backyard passing game that will help them learn to throw pinpoint accurate passes—and have fun doing it. Buy a water-resistant plastic tarp with grommets, measure and cut holes of different shapes and sizes in the tarp for targets, and bind the edges with colored duct tape. Use a permanent marker to indicate the number of points contestants will receive for throwing a football through each target. Then hang the tarp in your backyard and let the games begin.