35 Fun Backyard Playground Ideas for Kids

Kids love time in the backyard. From summer barbecues to pool parties with friends, it may feel like your kids live in this area of the home. While having a pool, games, and other fun outdoor activities is pretty awesome for your children, nothing is more exciting than a playground.

Are you thinking of building an outdoor jungle gym? Or how about a kids outdoor fort? Whether you hire a professional team to build a playground paradise, or you try to tackle a DIY project, there are many backyard playground ideas to consider.

Keep reading as we list 35 backyard playground ideas to help you design the outdoor space your kids will love:

But first, here is a small gist of the backyard playground ideas for your kids have fun with:

  • Small Rock Climbing Wall
  • DIY Backyard Slide
  • Giant Jenga Set
  • Outdoor Reading Nook
  • Tire Tunnel
  • DIY Seesaw
  • Vertical Climbing Rope
  • Swinging Ropes
  • Carousel
  • And more!

Small Rock Climbing Wall

A lot of kids love rock climbing. And they’re usually really good at it too! This is a very exciting and safe sport if you do it properly. Building a small DIY backyard rock climbing wall is easy! All you need to do is build a structure made out of wood, screw in the rock holds, and you’re all set. Once you build the wall, try painting a fun art mural with your kids. This is a great way to get them involved in the building process, and they can also show off their awesome art skills!

Kid rock climbing on a wall

Sailboat Sandbox

Most kids love playing in the sand. That said, a DIY sandbox project is a great backyard solution! One unique idea that looks amazing is building a sandbox that looks just like a sailboat. This outdoor play structure should be a small, rectangular shape; around 3 feet by 6 feet. Then, all you have to do is find a beach-inspired shade sail to drape over the top. Not only does the final product look incredible, but the structure also protects your kids from the harsh sun.

Sailboat themed Sandbox

Plastic, Colored Backyard Jungle Gym

One simple outdoor playground solution is a colored, plastic backyard jungle gym. You can find tons of these options online or at your local outdoor store. These come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. Colored, outdoor playsets can add a nice vibrant pop to your backyard space, and these structures can also bring tons of fun for your kids!

DIY Backyard Slide

Another easy DIY playground idea is a DIY backyard slide. These amazing playsets can be built within a few hours and cost barely anything! It’s also very easy to customize your setup however you wish. You can even have the backyard slide running down a small hill, or these can be built as a standalone outdoor play structure.

Kids playing on a yellow slide

Large Dice

Some homeowners don’t have the ability to build large structures in their yards. In that case, you may want to get creative with some fun outdoor games. One way to achieve this is by building large dice for your children to play with. Not only can this help to stimulate their brains, but it can also be super fun!

Large Dice Backyard playset

Simple, Log-Style Structure

If you want something rustic and less noticeable, you may choose to build a simple wooden structure made out of logs. This can include a swing, wall to climb, and anything else! This method involves connecting logs vertically and horizontally to create a simple structure that can provide tons of excitement in a backyard space.

Giant Jenga Set

Although this is one of the easier outdoor play equipment ideas, building a DIY Jenga set can bring tons of excitement for the whole family! As seen in the example above, this idea is brought to life by simply cutting pieces of wood.

Giant Jenga logs

Outdoor Reading Nook

Want your kids to read more? If so, go ahead and build them an awesome outdoor reading nook! These can cost under $200 for all of the building materials, and you can customize these nooks however you wish! Focus on adding a nice shaded area, including comfort items like pillows and blankets.

Cornhole

Do your children love a good game of cornhole? If so, it’s super easy to bring this excitement to your own backyard! A cornhole setup can be built within an hour or two, and the results can look amazing in your backyard space.

Carriage-Style Outdoor Play Structure

This incredible carriage-style backyard playground idea can take your home to another level! This unique project can take some time to put together, but the final look can be amazing! Just like the example above, play around with different colors and try maintaining a theme.

Carriage style outdoor play structure

Tire Tunnel

Have a bunch of tires lying around? If so, these can be used as exciting outdoor play equipment! All you have to do is dig a long hole, place your tires together in the dirt, and bury them right in place. You could even paint these tires to create a fun and unique DIY project!

Tire Tunnel

DIY Seesaw

One of the most popular playground structures ever invented is a seesaw. Kids have been enjoying these for years, and now you can bring one to your own backyard! Just like in the picture above, you can easily build this with a big log and a few other materials.

Wooden Swing Set

While there are many DIY playground ideas, DIY swing sets are among the most popular. After all, who doesn’t love to swing? These play structures take very few materials and barely any time to put up. For a simple yet effective setup, go for something like this:

Wooden swing set

Tire Dome

Another exceptional way to use tires is to build a tire dome! This is an easy DIY project that only takes a few hours to put together, depending on how many tires you have. Kids love these play structures, and you can even paint them for an added touch.

Tire Dome

Wooden Bridge

If you have an existing outdoor play structure or you’re thinking about building a new one, try adding a bridge! There are many DIY bridge ideas to consider, but the example above shows one of the more popular options. Kids love trying to keep their balance on these structures while hopping from one piece of wood to the next.

Kid standing on a wooden bridge

Outdoor DIY Kitchen

If you know children, you know they always want to be just like mom and dad. That being said, build them an outdoor kitchen that looks just like the real thing! This can be a super fun and easy backyard DIY project that can lead to awesome results.

Outdoor DIY kitchen

Splash Pad

Most children love playing in water, so building an outdoor splash pad can be the perfect backyard solution! This DIY project can be as simple as lying down a concrete slab and adding some water. This will keep your kids splashing around for hours!

Kid splashing water

Vertical Climbing Rope

Do you have some young climbers in the family? If so, why not build them a vertical backyard climbing rope?! These can be thrown together within a few minutes and the fun can last all day long! These ropes can easily be added to existing outdoor structures or built as a standalone backyard feature.

Check out these Top Sellers on Amazon:

Green Climbing Rope for Kids Disc Swing

Red Climbing Rope for Kids Disc Swing

Kid playing with a vertical climbing rope

Treehouse-Style Jungle Gym

If you want something to take your outdoor playground to another level, you could design a treehouse-style jungle gym! This backyard idea should be left to the professionals, but a DIY project is possible. A treehouse jungle gym can provide fun for many years to come!

Treehouse style jungle gym

Hopscotch

Hopscotch is a classic game that’s been around forever. To get your kids active, this easy DIY playground idea can be brought to your own backyard in as little as a few minutes! This project is also a great opportunity to have your kids help out with the painting process.

Hopscotch patterns

Baby DIY Swing Sets

Want to build backyard playground sets for a small child? If so, a great idea is a DIY baby swing! All you need is some wood, a little bit of rope, and a few screws. This is the perfect way to get your baby to love the outdoors and have some fun!

Baby in a swing

Wooden Play Tunnel

Another fun idea is to build a wooden tunnel. These come in various shapes and sizes, and you can even build a few of them for added excitement! To add a few added features your kids will love, carve holes inside these tunnels and connect them together.

Kid squatting a wooden tunnel

Tire Outdoor Swing Sets

Another useful way to utilize those tires you never use is to make a tire swing! These outdoor swing sets will never go out of style. They’re easy to install, are a great way to recycle old tires, and they’re extremly fun to use!

Girl on a tire swing

Triangle Play Structure

If you’re looking for a multi-use outdoor play area, a triangular-shaped backyard jungle gym can do the trick! Whether it’s small or massive, kids love the activities this outdoor play equipment can provide. As an added tip, try building a rock climbing wall on one of the sides!

Rope Outdoor Playsets

You probably know by now that kids love to climb. That said, another perfect outdoor playground idea is to build a rope structure! Not only is this equipment exciting for your kids, but it also helps them get stronger and work on their balance. Homeowners typically build these structures as climbing walls or bridges.

Small Wooden Playsets

Instead of building a massive, elaborate playset, sometimes the best solution is to create a few small wooden structures. These can be built within days and the results can blend well in your outdoor space.

Check out this example that shows simple structures that perfectly match the surroundings:

Wooden playsets

Swinging Ropes

Putting these swing ropes together takes some skill, but it is very possible; even if you aren’t the best builder in the world. Instructions for these DIY projects are found across the internet, making this idea even easier to execute. These ropes work great in an existing setup or as their own standalone structure.

Carousel

Kids really love carousels. Rather than going to the fair, now you can bring the magic to your own backyard! Many professional outdoor builders can easily throw together a carousel, but it can also be a simple DIY project. Try adding some pop to this outdoor play equipment by painting in some color.

DIY Pole Swing

If you’re searching for a more unconventional swing set, shoot for a pole swing! This DIY project can be put together in just a few hours, and they’ll keep your kids playing for hours on end.

Tire Wall

Another awesome way to use those tires is to build a wall! This project can easily be accomplished by simply stacking some tires, connecting them together, and attaching them to a few wooden poles for support.

Tire Wall

DIY Wooden Boat

To let your kids’ imaginable shine, build them a wooden pirate boat! We’re not talking about a real boat, but even a simple DIY make-believe boat can provide tons of magic for your children. This DIY project can be built very quickly and the final result can look just like the real thing!

Wooden boat

Kids Table

Now your children can really feel like grownups at this fun outdoor table! Just some wood and screws are needed for this DIY project, or hire a professional team for a polished look. This can provide the perfect area for your kids to relax, maybe while reading a book or enjoying some lunch.

Kids table

Poles and Rings

To really get your kid’s brain moving, build them outdoor games with rings and poles! This can be a perfect opportunity for your children to learn and educate themselves, all while having fun in the great outdoors!

Kid playing with poles and rings

Ball Pit

Does your child absolutely love those massive ball pits at indoor playgrounds? Well now you can bring the excitement to your own backyard! All you have to do is build a pit, purchase the colored balls, and throw them in! Your children will absolutely love this outdoor play equipment, and some of the adults might jump in too!

Kid in a ball pit

Basketball Hoop

Tons of kids love shooting hoops. To get in on the action, a basketball hoop can be a great addition to your backyard space. To make this area even more fun, try installing a flat concrete slab for your kids to dribble and run around. This space could also be used for hopscotch, using chalk, and other fun activities!

Give Your Children the Backyard of Their Dreams!

Are you an outside-of-the-box thinker? Want to build something your kids will cherish forever? Well, now you can with any one of the ideas you see in this post! By using a little creativity, including some sweat, you can give your kids the backyard of their dreams!

About The Author

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Zach Richter

Writer

Zach has a passion for the outdoors. Whether it's hiking up a steep mountain or enjoying a poolside barbecue, you can count him in. Zach is an experienced freelance writer who enjoys sharing his enthusiasm for backyard living.