Backyard Party! 10 Ways to Have Fun with Your Kids

By Caroline Madden
Backyard fun for families. Try these 10 activities.

We’re halfway through summer break and you may be running out of ideas of things to do at home with your kids. Do not fret! We’ve compiled a list of some easy and fun games and activities you can do in your own backyard! And if you don’t have a big backyard, throw a neighborhood party at a local park!

Kid-Friendly Car Wash

Family cooling down with sprinkler in garden

My dad came up with this idea before the age of Pinterest and DIY blogs. A great birthday party idea, or just everyday activity, a DIY car wash can provide hours of entertainment. Head to your local hardware store and pick up PVC pipes to create the structure of the car wash. To make it even more fun, pick up some pool noodles and sponges to hang from the pipes. Invite your neighbors and friends over to cool off by running or riding through the car wash! It’s a great alternative to sprinklers and blow up pools and helps everyone to beat the heat.

Splash Pad

Afro girl and friends playing on a water slide

When you can’t get to the pool or beach, this is an easy way to stay cool on hot summer days. Pick up a tarp and some garden stakes and you can create your own splash pad. Put your sprinkler on top of the tarp and your little ones will be entertained for hours. It also saves your lawn from being drenched in the water!

Giant Jenga

Planning, risk and team strategy in business

Giant Jenga is a great way to turn a household game into a competitive outdoor activity. Open to all ages, this DIY project is easy and fun for the whole family. All it takes is a few 2×4 boards from your local lumber yard and a bit of paint.

Glow in the Dark Ring Toss

ring toss

A fun night time activity, glow in the dark ring toss can brighten up any summer night. Purchase glow in the dark necklaces and make them into rings, and use a tall stake to toss them onto. Easy and extremely affordable!

Nature Scavenger Hunt

Shown here are a mother (30 something) and her six-year-old son finding a hidden treasure while geocaching in the woods. Geocaching is a treasure hunting game where you use a GPS to hide and seek containers with other participants in the activity. All logos removed.

Use the tools at your disposal for a creative activity that is sure to entertain for hours! And you can make it a learning activity too! We found a great example with a printable sheet that you can laminate and use for years to come!

Backyard Obstacle Course

Family of three training on chin-up bar

Keep your kids active with a family obstacle course. Use old tires, tree stumps and other household items to create a challenging course that will create endless amounts of fun!

Outdoor Pictionary


This is a great DIY project for more than just Pictionary. An outdoor chalkboard can be used as a sign for outdoor parties and everyday coloring! Print the Pictionary instructions and get the fun started!

Glow in the Dark Outdoor Bowling


A great night time activity, glow in the dark outdoor bowling allows you to create lanes of fun in your own backyard! On the driveway, make lanes out of chalk, and break glow sticks into water bottles. Use any ball as a bowling ball to get the fun started!

Movie Under the Stars

Romantic movie night

You probably already have family movie night, so why not move the party to your backyard! Grab a queen or king sized white sheet, some twine and clothes pins, and you have the main ingredients to a homemade movie screen! You just need to find the perfect place to hang it.You can also create your own movie projector, with items right in your home. To create a twinkly atmosphere, wrap white Christmas lights around tree branches near the screen. You can also create a popcorn bar and have your kids make handmade movie tickets. Invite the neighbors for a night of adventure!

Nature Bingo

Adventure Time!

Have your kids collect sticks, rocks, and maybe even creepy crawlers (if they’re into bugs). Print a Nature Bingo Sheet or create your own and you’ll enjoy hours of discovery and adventure! Laminate the sheets so you can reuse them.

You can find these and other family activities on our Fun Family Crafts and Projects Pinterest Board.

Caroline Madden is a communications intern at National PTA.

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