Backyard Playground Ideas for Homeowners
One of the greatest reasons to have a backyard is to build a play area for your children. When children play, they are inspired by whatever is around them. A simple fort or jungle gym can turn into a King’s castle or a space station. A well-built backyard playground can also ensure that your children experience diverse and exciting exercise every time they spend time outdoors. Climbing, swinging, jumping, and sliding are all part of a full day of fun.
Of course, there are also hundreds of backyard playground ideas to choose from, and not all of them will be perfect for your kids and yard space. Here at Turf Factory Direct, we’ve helped create many wonderful play spaces, so we have more than a few ideas to share that we know your kids will love. Let’s dive into both the traditional and creative options for creating an amazing playground in your backyard.
1. Build a Swingset
No playground is complete without something to swing on. A sturdy wooden or steel swing set can provide your children with hours of entertainment and that wonderful “whoosh” sensation when you finally swing high. A spinning tire swing is an all-time favorite, while two or more classic swings welcome siblings and friends to play together.
Consider the ground stability in your yard and talk to your children about the type of swing set they would enjoy most. Don’t forget to plan for the future. Toddlers will quickly grow out of baby swings, but a larger swing set might create a favorite backyard activity even for teens.
2. Assemble a Play Castle
A play fort or castle can take many possible forms. From a secluded tree house hut to a multi-section jungle gym, a play fort can have slides, steering wheels, spinning blocks, view ports, climbing walls, and so much more. You can fashion it like a fantasy castle, a giant train, or the Swiss Family Robinson tree fort – to just name a few. There are several DIY play castle ideas and store-bought forts that you can anchor and assemble.
Whatever you choose, your children are likely to turn the play fort into Home Base and use it as the centerpiece for endless games filled with imagination and pretend.
3. Carve an Outdoor Board Game
Backyard board games are always a favorite. You might carve out a play table with boards for checkers, chess, tic-tac-toe, or any other family favorite. Carve or find pieces that are safe to knock around outdoors, and take time to play the backyard games as a family.
If you like life-sized board games, build an enormous chess board into the ground or carve a set of life-sized dominoes to set up and knock down.
4. Lay a Dry Pebble Creek
One of the most beautiful options for a backyard playground is to create a pebble-lined dry creek through the yard with a little bridge (or two) for elegant crossing. You might be amazed just how many adventures will start and center around the bridge. Children will pretend to swim or go fishing in the creek, turn it into the moat of a castle, or lurk like the bridge troll below. You might find a family of rubber ducks swimming down the pebbles, or toy boats having a race tournament.
A dry creek is also a great way to spice up a green or drought tolerant yard.
5. Lay Turf Instead of Sod
Every good playground needs a soft landing, but not every yard has perfectly fluffy grass. These days, it’s often considered more responsible to xeriscape (low-water gardening), but you don’t want your children scuffing their knees on pebbles or mulch chips. When enjoying their playground. One of the better options for preparing the ground under your backyard playground is artificial turf.
Turf is durable, soft, and is easily washed clean by rain or a quick rinse with the garden hose – without requiring a great deal of water or even weed chemicals to keep it soft and danger-free for children. Turf is particularly useful when you are preparing a play area for young children or especially rambunctious kids who are more likely to tumble and roll around with siblings and pets.
6. Set Up an Obstacle Course
Speaking of pets, if you are creating a backyard playground for both children and energetic animals, an obstacle course is the perfect play design for both. Things to jump over, climb, balance on, and bounce balls off of will always be a welcome addition to your playground design. An obstacle course is a great way to utilize that long stretch of yard or a fun way to surround your central fort and swing set.
7. Dig an In-Ground Trampoline
Children love trampolines, and they make wonderful additions to a backyard playground. The safest way to incorporate a trampoline into your children’s backyard playground is to bury it like an in-ground swimming pool. An in-ground trampoline puts the bouncy surface at ground-level for endless jumping fun, while a miss or flip will land your children safely on the bordering pad or in the soft turf just beyond.
8. Create an Outdoor ChalkBoard
If you want to encourage artistic expression, consider an outdoor chalkboard. Chalkboards are easy to create, all you need is the right kind of durable paint on any board in your playground design. In a sheltered area under the fort, the artwork won’t even wash away in the rain. Your children will go through endless boxes of colorful chalk, unlocking their artistic abilities and passing fun messages back and forth between play sessions.
One might draw a monster to fight, another might leave a poem, one might draw the dog. You never know what will appear on your backyard chalkboard, but it will always be a delight.
9. Add a Rock Climbing Wall
Any time you are building a vertical play structure, you have the opportunity to add a rock climbing wall. Really, children love almost any climbing structure, from rope nets and ladders to climbing poles and rock walls. In fact, adding intentional climbing features is the best way to distract your children from trying to scale the outside of the play fort to conquer its rooftop.
10. Include Rainy Day Play
Last but not least, don’t forget a little rainy-day design. Include rain cover and fun play features in your backyard playground design that can be enjoyed even when the weather isn’t sunny and bright.. With dry clothes waiting indoors, children can still enjoy outdoor playtime during warm summer rains, holing up under the play fort or in a cozy backyard shelter for little drizzles and rainy day imagination games.
Designing the Perfect Playground for Your Backyard
What type of playground design is the best for your children, family, and backyard? We would love to help you find out, and to make that playground a reality. Here at Turf Factory Direct, we are dedicated to helping parents set up fun playgrounds even in yards with a grass-free design. Turf gives your children a soft place to play and romp without requiring water or weed killer to keep the space green and welcoming every year.
Contact us today to explore the right playground turf options to create the perfect backyard play environment for your children and their friends.