If the kids are already bored on summer vacation, put them to work! There are plenty of group projects you can work on together that will turn the space out back into a fun zone with minimal investment in time and materials. Keep summer vacation exciting with these fun backyard projects for you and your kids.
Set Up a Sandbox
Sandboxes are incredibly easy to build and a great place for little ones to explore their imaginations and creativity while exercising their bodies and developing their hand and eye coordination. Sandbox kits are available at stores and online, but if you pick up the wood, hardware, and landscape fabric yourself, you can turn it into a fun, day-long project that involves digging in the dirt, setting up the frame, and fastening it all together. You and your older kids can handle the actual assembly, but smaller children will enjoy helping in little ways, especially when digging a pit in the soil!
Build a Place for Your Pets
Have a four-legged friend who mostly stays indoors? There are dozens of projects for dogs, cats, lizards, gerbils, hamsters, turtles, and other furry and scaly companions. A classic doghouse can give your pupper a place to hang out and stay out of the sun. Turtle pens or ponds can give painted box turtles a place to hang out, explore, and munch on fruits and veggies. Reptile enclosures have simple, boxy designs combined with windows that allow your lizard, snake, or another scaly friend to enjoy the sun’s warmth without exposing them to predators.
Always a favorite with kids and easy to build, obstacle courses can range from incredibly simple to more complex set-ups. In general, and if you don’t want to fill up the backyard with too much stuff, pick up a few movable obstacles like tractor tires, buckets, and planters for a slalom course, concrete blocks for “the ground is lava” challenges, ropes suspended from tree branches for climbing opportunities, and long two by fours for balancing. If you have the DIY skills, there are multiple plans for climbing walls, tire jungle gyms, and the like online!
Water, Water, Everywhere
When planning fun backyard projects for you and your kids, remember to keep cool! There are plenty of water-based projects you can make. For little ones, an inflatable pool can be made extra fun with a plastic slide on one side and a slip and slide on the other. Buying a few yards of plastic sheeting and rolls of duct tape gives you all the materials you need to make a giant water blob (find the plans online). And, of course, sprinklers, pool noodles, and inflatable pools can turn your backyard into a waterpark. Stay cool and have fun!