We use this Mini Easter Garden craft to help children remember the garden tomb that the women visited early on Easter morning.


For each child, you’ll need

  • a shallow dish or tray;
  • garden soil;
  • moss,
  • cut grass or sand;
  • craft sticks;
  • glue;
  • a small pot;
  • a flat stone large enough to cover the mouth of the pot;
  • egg cups (or other small containers);
  • small flowers; and
  • gravel.

Preteen Easter Craft: Mini Easter Garden

First, fill the trays with soil, and arrange the soil to make a hill on one side of the tray and a flat area on the other. Cover the soil with moss, grass, or sand. Then make crosses with the craft sticks and glue. Then place them on the hilltop. Press the small pot into the “hillside” to make a cave or tomb, and place the stone over the mouth of the tomb. Press the egg cups into the soil around the flat “garden” area and fill them with the small flowers. Using the gravel, make a path coming from the tomb to show how the disciples ran there on Easter morning.

When the scenes are completed, gather children around the gardens and retell the Easter story. When the part of the story is read where the rock is rolled away, have children move back the stones from their tombs to show that they’re empty.

Susan Grover
Rancho Santa Margarita, California

Looking for even more great ideas for Easter? Check out all our Easter posts. For loads of great ideas in every issue, subscribe today to Children’s Ministry Magazine.

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We are very excited to celebrate another significant holiday with our family and church. Easter is right around the corner and conversations on the topic occur in our home naturally all the time. This year I suggested to my 5 yo Blossom to create an Easter Resurrection garden. My daughter was chuffed! After reading and discussing the story of resurrection we thought of elements that should be included in Easter garden – tomb, rock, cross and hill. Creating small worlds together with kids gives them perfect opportunity to think creatively. Children love playing with little world play scenes – it is a beautiful platform where they can use imagination to play and explore freely.

While working together on a project, it is essential to focus on process and not so much on the result. It is also necessary to remind children that we need to put the best effort in everything that we do. We talk about textures, discuss what’s coming next and brainstorm ways to complete the task.

With older children, it is great to start the whole project a bit earlier – plant seeds and watch the garden grow. We decided to speed up the process and went to a garden shop to choose plants for our Easter garden.

Materials we used to make an Easter garden:

  • ferns to cover the tomb
  • grass
  • white flowers
  • plastic bowl
  • two sticks to make a cross ( we just hammered them with nails, but wood glue or tying sticks together with a piece of string works too)
  • pot for a tomb
  • garden rock
  • garden tools
  • soil

Here is what we did:

  • picked a wide plastic bowl – something we had at our disposal. It worked like a charm because the grass had quite deep roots. Next time I plan to use something not so deep, probably a wide garden planter will do a great job – something we can use for feeding wild birds later on.
  • scooped plants out into the bowl and placed around tomb (a small plant pot).
  • filled gaps between plants with soil
  • made a cross with two sticks
  • decorated the garden with the rest of the elements – placed a cross on top of the hill and rock next to the tomb

We will make sure to water our garden daily and hopefully, it will last for some time. I find it very effective to combine story-telling with hands-on sensory experiences – activities that involve as many senses as possible.

We wish you a wonderful Easter!

Thank you for visiting. I would love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to leave your comment below. Please note that this post may contain affiliate links to products I use or recommend.

Last March, the kids and I started a spring tradition that I absolutely loved.
Planting an Easter Garden was one of my favorite projects of 2011 for a couple reasons. For one, most importantly, it taught my children about the true meaning of Easter. It walked us through the details, cementing truth into their little hearts through the visuals. Second, I actually love that our garden eventually fell into disarray – some plants died, the succulents got messy, and dead leaves covered the surface of our once-dreamy mini garden. I love that this year, we get to recreate it all over again.
But I do want to share with you my original post. The pictures represent it really well, still, and I link to the ones from whom I got the idea in the first place. Please enjoy, and please let me know if you plant an Easter Garden this year. When we recreate ours, I’ll be sure to share it with you as well. Now, check out our garden from last spring.
* * *
Last week, I tasted a bit of the holy.
Not often do we get those chances in life. But I tried a project, and it became so much more.
Immeasurably more.
It’s shocking that all I did was make one choice to step out. Try something new. A lot of times, my ideas don’t work. They don’t flesh out like I imagined. People are whining, hungry, fighting…you get the idea. Not exactly what was pictured on the magazine page where everyone is sitting so…very…still.
But on occasion, an idea becomes out-of-the-blue magical.
On one of my new favorite blogs, Contented Sparrow, I saw this idea for making an Easter Garden. Lo and behold, Megan lifted it from my favoritest Ann at A Holy Experience and this post from 2009. Ann called it a visual parable. I was mesmerized.
And my giant giant giant pot was empty.
After school pickup, we drove straight to the garden store. It was sprinkling, but under the umbrella, I had two helpers fluttering with excitement about making our garden. Everyone got to choose some miniature plants. Everyone anticipated the planting of something special.
Creating with hands in fresh soil brought focus, life coursing through little plants brought gentleness. Even the rock path was laid carefully.
Truth-planting and life planting all at once. All life hinging on truth. Life sustained by the very breath of truth.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
John 14:6
At first it seems that the way leads to emptiness. A tomb lies hungry for death. A prickly cactus at the end of the path reminds us of pain, the so very great cost.
But water in our pond reflects hope. 
“If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” John 4:10
The garden awaits.
On Palm Sunday, we’ll read the greatest story every told, we’ll light candles along the rock path, and wait for Him, eager and burdened with a debt we cannot pay.
On Good Friday, the candles will not be lit. We’ll read about the darkness and the earthquake. And His words.
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Luke 23:34
Jesus will be wrapped in a cloth and laid in the tomb. Men will stand guard, as if they could contain Life. Saturday too the path stays dark.
But Sunday, Easter Sunday, now that day makes all the difference.
The stone will be rolled away.
The cloth will lie vacant.
And we will celebrate freedom.
Looking at our Easter Garden every day as I walk past makes me long for Him. The empty scene is merely a reminder of my empty condition without Him. But a promise is also rooting deep.
For the next month, we’ll watch the thyme and succulents grow, and feel the promise of Life swell within our hearts.
“For God loved the world so much that He gave…”
John 3:16
ADDED: To see what happened in our Easter Garden one month later, on Good Friday 2011,
sharing here and here today

Gardening Activities for Kids

We can not wait to get outside & do as many activities as possible!
If that is also your goal then this list of gardening activities for kids will surely prove to be a great resource for you! There are so many fun ideas here deciding where to start might be the only challenge!
Follow us on Pinterest & Facebook and for all the best kids activities!


  • Up-cycle a few plastic bottles & turn them into these adorable planters.
  • Use eggshells to make a mini garden.
  • Take it a step further and make eggheads.
  • Turn an old toy truck into a mobile garden.
  • Explore science & grow a magic beanstalk.

  • Grow a garden using an egg carton.
  • Make Lego planters.
  • Turn your child’s old rain boots into a garden. My kids would love this!
  • Make a mini greenhouse.

  • Make newspaper pots with the kids & then plant them.
  • Make garden art from recycled cans.
  • Convert an old sandbox into a kids garden.
  • Turn old play dough containers into planters.
  • Create a fun hideout for the kids while also exploring how things grow with this DIY bean teepee.

  • Use recycled cans to make a tin can herb garden.
  • Use ice cream cones as planters. My kids found this hilarious for some reason.
  • Grow a grass house with the kids.
  • Get out the paint, & make garden markers using rocks.
  • Grow an adorable grass head friend.
  • Grow a colorful tin can garden.
  • Make & plant seed bombs with the kids.
  • Make a butterfly garden together.
  • Add a bit of cuteness to your garden & make a hungry caterpillar from rocks.
  • Make beaded garden markers.
  • Make Minion planters.
  • Grow a train garden together.
  • Make an egg carton greenhouse.
  • Turn old jeans into adorable planters.
  • Turn two-liter bottles into self watering planters.
  • Up-cycle favorite toys into planters, & then watch them grow!
  • Make .
  • Learn about how plants thrive with this water movement experiment.
  • Give your little one a place of their own with this adorable kids garden space.
  • Grow a seeded caterpillar.
  • Explore the science of seeds with this seed sprouting activity.
  • Make seed mosaics.
  • Explore plants while creating beautiful art and make a 3-D nature sun catcher.
  • Label your garden with these colorful kid made garden markers.
  • Make a grass growing pet.
  • Let kids make their own watering can from a milk jug; have them paint it for more fun.
  • Make bird feeders with the kids, and then hang them in your garden. You can find over 20 kid-made bird feeder ideas here.
  • Learn about plants & how they thrive with this fun flower experiment for kids.
  • Win coolest parent award & grow a sunflower fort.
  • Try growing a plant in a box.
  • Make a magical fairy garden.

Books about gardening with kids
(Click the photos to view the books)
Bird Feeder
Crafts for Kids
Kid Made
Wind Chimes

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  • 13 great gardening activities for kids

    Get gardening with your children these holidays. Here are some great gardening activities, projects, and ideas to get kids started. This should keep them busy for at least a few days!

    Getting out and about in the garden is a nice way to spend time with your children, and the school holidays give you a good chance to really get stuck in.

    Whether it’s planting a vegetable garden or growing flowers from seed, gardening provides kids with many valuable lessons. The practical aspects of gardening teach children basic maths and science, but gardening also teaches responsibility, encourages creativity, and provides a positive place for children to think, relax, and recharge.

    It doesn’t matter whether you have a big garden, small garden, or no garden at all; there are plenty of activities you can get started on no matter what your environment.

    These holidays, why not grab your shovel and trowel and get growing with your child. Here are some great ideas to get you started.

    8 great gardening activities for kids

    Source: Bringblessing.blogspot.com

    A sunflower house is something really spectacular, and definitely worth the time and effort.

    Start by marking out a square in your backyard which indicates the ‘walls’ of your house. Dig a garden trench along the walls, and plant sunflower seeds (or plants) along the trench. Don’t forget to leave a gap for the door so the kids can get in! As the sunflowers start to grow, steady the plants using bamboo stakes and before you know it, you will have walls of sunflowers – a vibrant blaze of yellow.

    Children love playing in their sunflower house, and it’s a fabulous place to host a garden party or teddy bears picnic.

    2. Plant a Vegetable Garden

    One of the great things about vegetable gardens is that children get to reap real rewards for their efforts, and you’ll be surprised by what they will eat if they’ve grown it themselves.

    Which vegetables you can plant will depend largely on the time of year, but there’s always something in planting season. Buy yourself a good gardening guide, and use your gardening adventure to grow food your child may not have tried before.

    You don’t need to make a huge garden; in fact, there are many vegetables you can grow in pots or planters. Cherry tomatoes, capsicums, and zucchinis are all easy to grow and provide some fairly quick results, or if you have the room, pumpkins grow with very little help.

    Your children will love the idea of actually producing something, and will get real joy in picking the fruits of their harvest.

    3. Herb Heaven

    If the idea of planting a vegetable garden seems a little ambitious, try making a herb garden instead. Herb plants are obviously available from garden centres, but most supermarkets also have a selection of herb plants and they only cost a few dollars.

    Everyday herbs like parsley, chives, and mint are easy to grow, and your child can start enjoying them instantly.

    Like vegetables, herbs can be grown in pots as well as gardens, so no matter where you live a herb garden is definitely attainable.

    4. Make a Hanging Basket

    Nothing says “instant gratification” like a hanging basket. You will need a wire basket, a basket liner (or some hay), potting mix, and a selection of small flowering annuals.

    Simply fill the basket with potting mix and plant your flowers in the top. To create a basket that is completely encased in flowers, cut slits in the basket liner and poke flower plants in from the sides and bottom.

    Hanging baskets don’t last forever, but it will give you something to replant every holidays, and the results are instant.

    5. All that Rubbish

    A compost heap may not sound all that glamorous, but setting one up is lots of fun, especially if your child likes the idea of mess and muck. You can make one in a bin, box, or just a heap, and there are several ways to get it started. A good garden guide will give you all your start-up options, or contact your local Environment Centre for some help.

    Once the compost is set-up, your child can take responsibility for making sure it is well fed. Have them decorate a bucket for food scraps, and let them be in charge of emptying it every day. You’ll be surprised how well they take on the chore, if they’ve been a part of the process right from the start.

    Turning your everyday compost into a worm farm is something that will make it even more interesting. The zero waste trust provides good worm farm instructions on their website.

    6. Seeds and Sprouts

    Young children love growing seeds and bulbs indoors, and you don’t need a lot to get started.

    Simply use an empty egg carton as your seed tray, fill each compartment with potting mix, and plant your seeds. Bean seeds and grass seeds grow quickly, so children get results before they lose interest.

    7. Make your own terrarium

    Large wide necked jars make cute glasshouses for children’s rooms. Simply line the base of the jar with small stones, or gravel, then ¼ fill the jar with potting mix, and put a few more decorative stones on top. Small white stones work really well.

    Plant a cactus or two in the bottom and it’s ready to go. If your child’s feeling really creative, they can make other garden ornaments to put inside the glasshouse as well.

    Inhabitat.com also suggest adding some charcoal granules to the lower layers. This helps reduce bacteria, fungi and odours.

    Source: Inhabitat.com

    Garden Crafting Ideas

    There are plenty of projects your child can make to use in the garden. You can adapt them all to suit any age group, and most can be made using everyday items. These ideas will start you thinking.

    8. Painted pots

    Paint and decorate plain terracotta pots, rocks, and pebbles. Old outdoor bowls also look great painted in bright colours for the garden. There really are no rules with this one, anything goes! You may want to spray, or coat, the finished product with sealant so it lasts outside. Find out all about painted rocks here.

    9. Mosaic pavers

    Mosaic rocks, pots and pavers. This is a more technical crafting project, and probably suitable for older kids. The basic idea though is to glue broken bits of glass and pottery in a design you like onto a paver or pot, let dry, then apply grout to the cracks, and wipe off the excess with a sponge.

    Check out this great video from Style.kiwi for inspiration:

    Source: Style.kiwi

    10. Make your own garden labels and signs

    Make garden labels and signs to identify all the plants in the garden.

    You can make garden signs from everyday materials, like icecream container lids and bits of old timber. Or you can get super-creative and make them out of flattened spoons, or even shells. Check out this great article by The Micro Gardener for inspiration.

    11. Make a garden mobile

    Thread shells, pumice, driftwood and other natural treasures onto fishing line to make a great garden mobile.

    You can hang these randomly from trees. Or join them together on a single piece of driftwood as a great looking garden mobile.

    These are easy and fun to make. And they require a trip to the beach for fossicking, which is always a great school holiday activity (especially when they kids are starting to crawl up the walls!).

    12. Painted gumboots

    Let your kids paint up their old gumboots and turn them into plant pots. Painting old gumboots is such a cool crafting idea. And it’s a good way to recycle your kid’s gumboots that no longer fit.

    You can use any acrylic paint, or sharpies, or gold and silver pens. But you will need to spray a few coats of clear sealant over the top. Just be careful using this around the kids, and make sure you have the proper masks, ventilation, etc.

    Source: doubleheels.blogspot.co.nz

    13. Make a bonsai tree

    Try making a bonsai tree. Your local Bonsai Club will be able to point you in the right direction. Lots of clubs offer short courses in bonsai care, and have resources for beginners to get you started.

    You can find bonsai pots, and tools, from more garden centres these days. This makes getting started a breeze. And it’s a very simple artform for kids to understand and try out, even though it can take many years to become truely efficient in the art.

    Source: http://www.japanculture-nyc.com/

    Above all else, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and have fun. If you’re inspired by one of these 13 great gardening activities for kids but don’t fancy yourself a ‘gardener’, just give it it a go. You may find a green thumb you never knew you had!

    For more great ideas for gardening with your kids, check out our Get gardening section.

    5 Crafts Kids Can Make for a Good Cause

    Chelsea Cavanaugh

    Cuddly Creatures

    The charity: Enchanted Makeovers works with women and children living in homeless shelters.

    The project: Transform colorful socks into a friendly creature for Enchanted Makeovers’ Doll Adoption program. Start by stuffing a new sock with quilt batting; close with glue or a rubber band. Then have your child cut out felt facial features, limbs, wings, and more. She can arrange the features and adhere them with tacky glue (like Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue, $2). Afterwards, a parent can further secure the felt features with hot glue or simple hand-stitching.

    How to donate: Send to: Enchanted Makeovers “Doll Adoption Project,” 12663 Hipp Street, Taylor, MI 48180

    Image zoom Chelsea Cavanaugh

    Printed Pillowcases

    The charity: Nonprofit Camp Dreamcatcher provides summer camp and more for HIV/AIDS-infected and/or -affected youth.

    The project: Brighten a camper’s stay with a homemade pillowcase. Cut shapes from ¼” craft foam, cover with acrylic fabric paint (Jacquard Neopaque, $5), and stamp onto a prewashed cotton pillowcase. Let dry and set. Launder and dry again. Bonus: If your kid can write, have her add a welcoming message with a fabric marker.

    How to donate: Send to: Camp Dreamcatcher, 148 West State Street, Suite 104, Kennett Square, PA 19348

    • RELATED: Kid Craft: No-Sew Superhero Capes

    Image zoom Chelsea Cavanaugh

    Adopt-Me Scarves

    The charity: The Anti-Cruelty Society strives to find permanent homes for lost and unwanted animals.

    The project: Give a rescue dog eye-catching style with a homemade bandanna to help it attract a new owner. Cut a 22-inch square of jersey fabric in half to create a triangle. Then have your child draw a design with fine-tip permanent marker. Help her use a large embroidery needle and yarn to stitch over the drawn design; knot at the ends to finish.

    How to donate: Mail to: The Anti-Cruelty Society, 157 West Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60654

    Image zoom Chelsea Cavanaugh

    No-Sew Throws

    The charity: Project Linus donates homemade blankets to children in need across the U.S.

    The project: Become a “blanketeer” by making one of these dreamy throws from sweatshirt material. Simply measure, cut, and knot following template directions.

    How to donate: Find your local Project Linus chapter and drop-off location.

    • RELATED: 5 Solar-Powered Crafts and Activities

    Image zoom Chelsea Cavanaugh

    Handwoven Bracelets

    The charity: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital treats and researches childhood cancer and other serious pediatric diseases.

    The project: Crafters can braid 1-inch-wide fabric strips into soft and cheerful bracelets for kids to wear in the hospital.

    How to donate: Because patients are often immune-compromised, these accessories must be made in a smoke- and pet-free environment with brand-new materials and packed individually in plastic ziptop bags. Send them to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, c/o Non-Monetary Gifts, 595 North Parkway, Memphis, TN 38105. Please don’t attach personal information.

    • By Crafts by Kiera Coffee

    21. Banzai Slide ‘N Soak Splash Park, $300, Kohl’s

    As the weather gets warmer and backyards begin to thaw, most parents can hardly wait to utter three fantastic words: “Go play outside.”

    It’ll be glorious at first. But it won’t be long until kids — who spent the winter cooped up inside, dreaming of sunshine — begin to complain about having nothing to do.

    If you’re dreading whiny voices saying, “I’m bored, Mom,” we’ve got your back.

    From backyard games to beach toys, we’ve rounded up some of the hottest warm weather toys for kids, with a major hat tip to Toy Insider mom Laurie Schacht who stopped by the show Friday.

    With everything from scooters to craft sets, kids will beg to stay outside long after the sun starts to set.

    Summer is just around the corner! Whether you plan to hit the pool, the beach, or the city park — there are plenty of new toys that will keep the kiddos busy this summer. Here’s a look at some of our top picks:

    1. Step2 Spill & Splash Kids Water Toy Play Table Set, $66, Amazon

    Endless summer fun for tots await! This water toy play set even comes with an umbrella to keep cool while having a splashing good time.

    2. HABA Tractor Shaped Play Tent, $90, Amazon

    Play farm all day! This HABA tractor tent can easily move from the backyard to the playroom. Great for days when mother nature isn’t cooperating.

    3. Playmobil Family Beach Day, $22, Amazon

    Grab your shovel and pail! Even on rainy days, kids can feel like they are at the beach with this set from Playmobil. Set includes two figures, one baby figure, and a sandy setting with accessories. (Ages 4+)

    4. Learning Resources Sand & Water Set, $13, Amazon

    Toddlers can use a spinner, wavy dropper, scooper and squeezy bottle to have fun with sand and water — building fine motor skills along the way.

    5. Haba Sand Toy Basic Set, $19, Amazon

    Whether at the beach or in the sand box, this set is a must!

    6. Melissa & Doug Seaside Sidekicks Baking Set, $14, Target

    Sand cake, anyone?

    7. Playmobil Ice Cream Shop Sand Bucket Play Set, $16, Nordstrom Rack

    This set comes with everything your little gal or guy needs to create sand cones. (Ages 2+)

    8. YIZI Bubble Machine, $10, Amazon

    Bubbles! Parents can sit back and relax while this automatic bubble maker does the work. Batteries required.

    9. Educational Insights GeoSafar Underwater Explorer, $15, Amazon

    Science toy for the pond, pool, even the tub! This kid-sized boat has a clear, magnified floor that gives mini marine biologists a look beneath the water’s surface. A kid-friendly version of a serious scientific tool! (Ages 3+)

    10. Nerf Fortnite Super Soaker Water Blaster, $20, Target

    Can’t forget about Fortnite! This water blaster is inspired by the popular video game. Prepare to get soaked. (Ages 6+)

    11. Toy Story Slinky Dog Swimming Pool Water Blaster, $15, Swimways

    Does your child love the Toy Story movies? If so, check out this slinky dog that sprays water.

    12. Barbie Dreamtopia Rainbow Lights Mermaid Doll, $25, Amazon

    Even Barbie needs a dip! Watch her mermaid tail glimmer with colorful lights under water.

    13. Little Tikes Triple Play Splash T-Ball Set, $25, Amazon

    Your slugger can smack the baseball while it’s floating on a stream of water! Now, that’s cool. Also, a favorite of the Toy Insider.

    14. SwimWays Toypedo Bandits, $5, Amazon

    Let’s go diving! Kids can strengthen their swimming skills with this four-pack of dive toys from SwimWays. Glides underwater up to 20 feet.

    15. Water Slide Playset with Exclusive Mermal Magic Hatchimals CollEGGtible, $8, Walmart

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    Just add water and let your Hatchimals ride the waterslide and splash around!

    16. aGreatLife Huge Rainbow Kite, $11, Amazon

    An excuse to get outside on a windy day! Hit the park and watch this kite soar towards the clouds.

    17. Aeromax Junior Space Explorer Inflatable Space Shuttle, $24, Amazon

    Your little astronaut will feel out of this world in this inflatable space shuttle!

    18. SwimWays Huggables Sloth Float, $35, Amazon

    Huggables are the all-new oversized and fun pool floats that will “hug” you. Other animals are available. (Ages 5+)

    19. Peg Perego John Deere 6V Power Pull Tractor, $180, Target

    After a day of swimming, the kids can take turns riding around the lawn in this John Deer tractor. Just like the real thing!

    20. Minnie Mouse Hot Rod Coupe Ride-On, $279, Walmart

    Beep beep! Look cool taking a ride around the block in this convertible 12-volt ride-on from Kid Trax.

    No pool, no problem. Just unfold, inflate and add water!

    22. Super Wubble Ball With Pump, $20, Walmart

    This tear-resistant ball provides endless hours of playtime. Kick it, whack it, bounce it, throw it, even sit on it! The only limits are your imagination.

    23. Gazillion Bubble Cycle Bubble Toy, $15, Amazon

    Fill your summer with bubbles with the Bubble Cycle! Light-weight and easy to push, it can be used pretty much anywhere, and the no-leak bubble chamber means no lost bubble solution. It includes an 8-ounce bottle of the brand’s bubble solution, giving you a great start.

    24. Minnie Light and Sound Bubble Wand, $8, Walmart

    Light up those summer nights with this bubble wand. With battery-operated lights, sounds and continuous bubbles, the fun never has to stop. It comes with a beginner 4-ounce bottle of bubble solution.

    25. Bestway Sea Life Inflatable Play Center, $46, Amazon

    Take a beach trip in your backyard with this inflatable play center. Including a slide, toys, and games, there’s plenty to do. The built-in water sprayer can be easily attached to a garden house, and an inflatable cushion on the pool floor provides extra comfort.

    26. SwimWays Blow Up Blaster, $17, Amazon

    Prepare for the ultimate water fight with these blow up blasters! Inflatable up to 2 feet long, these toys are easy to carry and operate. When used in the pool, their unique design allows for endless water supply, meaning the fun never has to end!

    27. NERF Fortnite RI Super Soaker Water Blaster, $18, Amazon

    These replica water blasters bring video-game fun into the real world. With a huge tank that holds 9.3 ounces of water and an easy-to-operate refill system, the water fights can go on for hours.

    28. H2OGO POP Llama Ride-On Pool Float, $50, Amazon

    This bold, supersized pool float is sure to catch every eye. Three air chambers leave it consistently balanced (and help it inflate faster!) and the heavy-duty handgrips mean you’ll never have trouble climbing aboard.

    29. H20GO POP Rhino Ride-On Pool Float, $40, Amazon

    This colorful, eye-popping float is covered in endless patterns and colors. With a built-in seat, it’s easy to lounge on, and the six air chambers give it perfect balance on the water.

    30. Tiny Pong Table Tennis Electronic Handheld Game, $20, Amazon

    Bring the action of a pingpong game into the palm of your hand with this tiny court! Start off slow with “Beginner” mode, and then kick it up a notch into “Expert” level. With lights and sounds, it’s sure to keep players engaged for hours.

    31. Giant Games Giant Kick Croquet, $25, Dick’s Sporting Goods

    Kids will have a ball with this jumbo-sized croquet set! Guide a giant, blow-up ball through the seven-wicket course. Make it as hard or as simple as you’d like, and let the game begin!

    32. Rollplay 12 Volt Nighthawk Ride On Toy, $150, Amazon

    Reaching speeds of six miles per hour, this fun ride gives kids the speed boost they’re craving, while giving parents peace of mind. The speed is easily controlled with accelerator and brake pedals, and side hand grips keep small fingers safe. A rear safety flag means you’ll always be able to easily spot them, and the easy charge means the fun almost never has to stop.

    33. Rollors Outdoor Game, $50, Amazon

    This wooden game can be played on any flat surface — from the backyard to the beach — and family members of all ages can get in on the fun. Players take turns rolling wooden disks toward goal posts and score points based on where the disks land.

    • 13. Stephen Joseph Beach Tote With Sand Toys, $21, Amazon

    Available in a variety of characters from pirate alligators to pink flamingos, these adorable totes come with a set of sand toys and provide plenty of room for additional beach necessities like sunscreen or snacks.

    • 14. Mandala Paint Your Own Rock Art, $5 (usually $8), Amazon

    Inspire some warm weather creativity by sending kids outside to paint with this mandala rock painting set. The box includes everything kids need to paint rocks: paint brushes, acrylic and puffy paint and 2 pounds of smooth rocks.

    • 15. RazorX Cruiser Electric Skateboard, $149 (usually $180), Amazon

    This electric skateboard from Razor is a great way for kids to zip around the neighborhood on sunny days. Controlled with a handheld remote, the board travels up to 10 miles per hour and runs for approximately 40 minutes with each recharge of the lithium-ion battery.

    • 16. Aerobie 10′ Sprint Ring, $7 (usually $11), Amazon

    An Aerobie Pro flying ring was once used to set a Guinness World Record for the farthest throw. Whether your kids are playing a backyard game of catch or trying to beat the 1,333-foot record themselves, this colorful disc makes a fun outdoor toy.

    • 17. SwimWays Star Wars Bocce Ball, $71, Amazon

    Not only does this bocce ball set come with beautiful, laser-etched balls featuring “Star Wars” characters, but the game also comes in a carrying case that makes it easy to transport to barbecues or picnics in the park.

    • 18. SwimWays Baby Spring Float Sun Canopy, $19 (usually $30), Amazon

    Your smallest family members can get in on the outdoor fun with this SwimWays baby float that comes with a sun canopy to keep baby’s skin from catching too many rays.

    • 19. Fin Fun Mermaid Tail, $70+, Amazon

    Warm weather makes us all want to be mermaids. These mermaid tails with swim fins are perfect additions to summer playtime. And tails and fins come in adult sizes, too, in case Mom wants to get in on the fun.

    • 20. Coop Sport Scatter Dodgeball, $18, Amazon

    A new twist on the classic game of dodgeball, this game set by Coop accommodates up to six players and involves collecting hit players’ colored wristbands in order to win.

    • 21. Creative Roots Paint Your Own Unicorn Set, $13, Amazon

    Who needs a fairy garden when you can make a unicorn pasture? Send your kids outside to paint their very own resin unicorn, then let them create their own garden space for their colorful friend to rest in.

    • 22. SwimWays Eaten Alive Shark Pool Float, $22, Amazon

    Shark attack! With these SwimWays Eaten Alive pool floats — available in shark oralligator styles — kids can float on their choice of water predator. The float is large enough for parents, too, and has a drink holder for those long afternoons watching kids splash around.

    • 23. RampShot Game Set, $58, Amazon

    This four-player outdoor game features plastic ramps and racquetball-sized balls that can easily be taken on the beach or in the grass. Players toss balls toward their opponents’ ramp, and points are awarded based on whether the balls are caught by the opposing team or make it into the net.

    • 24. Razor Turbo Jetts Electric Heel Wheels, $74 (usually $130), Amazon

    What travels 10 miles per hour on the heels of its feet? Your kid when he tries these turbo heel jets from Razor. The rechargeable heel wheels get 30 minutes of continuous use per charge and fit the feet of kids ages 9 to adult — meaning dad can try his luck on the battery-powered wheels as well.

    • 25. Fin Fun Shark Fin, $30, Amazon

    Little brothers who are jealous of sister’s mermaid fin can try their luck as a shark with this Fin Fun Shark Fin. The fin is worn like a backpack with a waist strap to hold it in place, and can turn any little one into a pool predator.

    • 26. Glove-A-Bubble, $10 (4-Pack), Amazon

    Elephants, lions and bunnies — oh, my! These animal-themed gloves hold bubble solution and make lots of bubbles when kids wave their hands.

    • 27. Playmobil Sand Excavator Building Set, $12, Amazon

    This Playmobil sand toy is a cool addition to your backyard sandbox or beach vacation. Removable parts on the toy turn into sand toys like shovels and castle molds, making the truck a multitasking toy.

    • 28. Watermelon Smash Game, $8 (usually $20), Target

    This messy game comes with a spinner that tells each player the number of times they should press the water-filled watermelon on their heads. The unlucky player who triggers watermelon to crack open gets soaked! An indoor version of the game — with plastic watermelon seeds — can also be played.

    • 29. Playmobil Aquarium Building Set, $49 (usually $60), Amazon

    This aquarium set by Playmobil is perfect for building outside on a warm day. Why? Because the tank can be filled with water once assembled, allowing kids to splash — and get messy — with seals, dolphins and fish as they play.

    • 30. BuddyPhones Wireless Bluetooth Headphones for Kids, $55, Amazon

    These headphones from BuddyPhones can be wireless or wired, and hold a single battery charge for 10 days. But what really makes them a great outdoor option is they’re waterproof, ensuring that whatever warm weather activity your child engages in, they won’t get water damaged.

    • 31. Grand Trunk Junior Parachute Nylon Hammock, $45, Amazon

    Because relaxing outdoors can be as much fun as playing, this kid-sized Grand Trunk junior hammock is the perfect place for your kid to curl up with a book or hide out with a favorite toy. And, if a family-sized hammock is what you need, Grand Trunk makes those as well.

    • 32. Razor Spark Scooter, $59, Amazon

    This cool take on the traditional Razor scooter makes sparks fly when your child steps on the rear flint pad; it also has light-up wheels for nighttime visibility.

    • 33. Zing Metaltek Ball, $11, Amazon

    This unique high-bounce ball comes in an assortment of metallic colors, making it a hit with kids of all ages.

    • 34. Springfree Trampoline, $1,745, Amazon

    Springfree trampolines were invented by a dad who wanted to protect his toddler from spring-related injuries while she played on her trampoline. The trampolines are available in several shapes and sizes, making it simple for parents to find a model that fits their backyard space perfectly.

    For more toy suggestions, check out:

    • The best gifts for 1-year-olds, according to child development experts
    • The best gifts for 2-year-olds, according to child development experts
    • The best gifts for 3-year-olds, according to child development experts
    • The best gifts for 4-year-olds, according to child development experts

    To discover more deals, shopping tips and budget-friendly product recommendations, and subscribe to our Stuff We Love newsletter!

    Summer Gardening Projects for Kids

    When I was a kid, the end of school meant the beginning of a magical period of long lazy days, catching fireflies at night, camping out in the backyard and playing with my sisters, cousins and friends all day. Although, I sometimes long for those days of summer, what I look forward to now is making memories with my grandchildren and what better way than playing outside in the dirt?

    Getting children involved in gardening is a fun way to sneak in a little summer education and exercise. Gardening teaches kids about nature, ecosystems, and healthy eating. It also teaches them the benefits of putting work into something and seeing the reward at the end. Making garden crafts lets kids be creative and gives them some ownership of what is going on in the landscape.

    Here are just a few summer gardening project ideas for kids:

    • Make bird feeders out of tin cans by painting the cans with acrylic or spray paint. Glue a wooden dowel to the inside of the can leaving at least 6 inches extending from the can to create a perch. Tie a colorful ribbon around the can to hang the bird feeder from a branch. Add birdseed.
    • Create a butterfly garden with your kids. Talk to them about the life cycle of the butterfly and the relationship between plants and wildlife. Plants like plumbago, frogfruit and autumn sage attract butterflies and are well suited to our semi-arid climate. Milkweed is especially important to any garden because monarch butterflies use it exclusively to lay their eggs.
    • Make a fairy garden using a fanciful container and plants of different heights, colors and textures that will stay small with minimal maintenance. Succulents work particularly well for fairy gardens. Complete your fairy garden by putting in colorful stones, tiny dishware or furniture from a child’s playhouse or make benches and swings using twigs.

    The projects you can do are limited only by your imagination, but then again that’s why you have us! For even more inspiration, check out our Kids Garden Projects Pinterest board.

    Follow Garden Style San Antonio’s board Kids Garden Projects on Pinterest.

    14 ideas for kid-friendly back yards

    Spring is almost here and we can finally go outside again! Hurrah! Here are 14 kid friendly garden ideas to turn your backyard into a fun, creative and beautiful place to play. Brought to you by Australian Outdoor Living.

    1. Tyre swing

    There’s nothing more old-school than a tyre swing. If you have a sturdy, shaded tree it’s the perfect spot for swinging the day away. Add an old tyre and some rope or chain and this old-fashioned play equipment won’t break the bank.

    2. Cubby House (or tent)

    If you have room for a cubby house, then it’s a prime investment! A cubby will be used day-in-day-out during the warmer months for pretend play – everything from shops to cafes to mums-and-dads or even used as a knight’s castle or superhero lair. But if you don’t have space for a permanent structure, don’t despair. A play tent or tepee filled with pillows does the job just as well and can be brought inside when the sun sets.

    3. Veggie patch

    Devoting a portion of your garden to veggies is a treat for the kids as well as you. The family gets fresh home-grown food and the children will love planting, watering and getting their hands dirty. If you’re worried about them pulling up your prized produce, assign them a plot of their own and fill with easy-to-grow veggies.

    4. Artificial grass

    Artificial grass is especially good for providing a soft play surface under trampolines and play equipment, without the maintenance and water issues. There’s also no mud when it rains and no weeds or bindis! It also allows you to get creative with shapes and playful ideas, so you can create a dream-like backyard wonderland.

    5. Sandpit

    A built-in sandpit is amazing for kids but can take up a lot of room and leaves them exposed to the sun. How about building a portable sandbox on wheels? Or covering your sandpit with a pergola. You could even have a ‘lid’ built for the sandpit so the pergola area can be used for other activities (even grown-up alfresco drinks when the kids are in bed).

    6. Outdoor blackboard

    Outdoor blackboards are a fun and easy way to unleash (temporary) creativity outdoors. They go perfectly in a corner with a sandpit or can be attached to any fence. We love the colour and personality it adds to the yard once covered with the kids’ technicolour scribbles.

    7. Fairy gardens and safari parks

    When it comes to small space ideas for outdoor play, this one’s a winner. Call it container gardening for kids. Take a pot or large basin and plant up a miniature fairy garden, using tiny pebbles for a path, moss for grass and little decorative fairy objects. Or use mini ferns, rocks and wooden offcuts to make a tiny safari park for plastic animals to play.

    8. Race track

    Get car-loving kids outside by giving them a permanent built-in race track! Get instructions for creating your own mini Formula 1 track from Better Homes & Gardens.

    9. Water play

    Water play is the ultimate backyard activity! Whether its running through the sprinklers, splashing around in buckets or wading in the paddling pool. Why not create a dedicated water play area with an elevated water table, or create your own play pond for toy boats with this tutorial from Lowe’s.

    10. Outdoor kitchen

    Play kitchens are a big hit indoors and even better when they are outside and Mum and Dad will let you make a MESS! A mud pie kitchen can draw on lots of the elements we’ve already mentioned here (outdoor blackboard, sand and water play) to create a corner of the garden devoted to fabulous fun. This one was built out of pallets, but you could build a more permanent structure in the garden that could double as a potting bench or garden storage when the kids grow up.

    11. Garden art studio

    If you have a fence that’s not too high, attach a long roll of butchers paper with pegs or spring clamps, and hang plastic cups full of washable pant. Then let your little Jackson Pollocks go crazy!

    12. Rock climbing wall

    Little climbers will be very happy when you turn a corner of your garden in to an awesome climbing wall! Just make sure it’s sturdy and safe and you have a soft surface below. Or build a smaller, angled A-frame for little ones.

    13. Outdoor toy storage

    With all this outdoor play you’re going to need a creative place to store all those balls, buckets, spades and more. Look for places to build in storage including under seats, inside benches, under stairs and decks, attached to walls, or even in the walls of a play house!

    14. Keep it safe

    Australian Outdoor Living has put together a handy guide to creating a garden that’s safe and fun. for advice on what ground coverings and shading to choose as well as top tips for making your garden safe and welcoming for kids.

    Australian Outdoor Living helps Australians improve their lifestyles and build the dream outdoor home environment they’ve always wanted. Their range of outdoor cafe blinds, roller shutters, artificial grass, pergolas, verandahs, decking, pools and more can help you to create that perfect outdoor space for your family. Find out more at australianoutdoorliving.com.au

    When you have kids, you know that having something for them to do is important. If you fail to provide activities for these youngsters, the famous “I’m bored” will be heard before you know it. Summer is just around the corner, so to help keep their minds active, I came up with some unique and exciting DIY backyard ideas for kids.

    34 Exciting DIY Backyard Ideas for Kids this Summer

    Some of the DIY backyard ideas for kids on this list are easy to create, while others are a bit more time-consuming. You can create a place for your children to play together or a place where they can relax. The ideas on this list vary greatly, but if you take a look at the gallery, I’m positive that you can find an idea that you can use to transform your backyard into a fun and entertaining place for your kids and their friends to enjoy the summer.

    Having the cool house when you are a kid is always exciting, and with your help, your kids can have that experience. In fact, you can even show them the ideas in our gallery and come up with ideas together that will make your backyard a fun place to play. Don’t forget to include them when you start making the idea into a reality.

    1. A Miniature Street for Racecar Fun

    DIY Project Details: thewhoot.com.au

    Somehow your kids’ favorite toys become even more exciting when you make an outdoor version of them. Zoom into summer by creating your very own racetrack right in your backyard! Ask for your little one’s input when designing the track and have fun customizing it with different vehicles, buildings, road signs, dolls and animals.

    2. A Chalkboard to Draw and be Creative

    DIY Project Details: heytherehome.com

    This is one of those great DIY backyard ideas that is so easy to put together but adds so much to your child’s play. Kids love to draw with chalk, but it’s not always convenient to supervise them near the street. Now they can create to their heart’s content right in the backyard. The handy bucket to hold the chalk is an adorable touch.

    3. Rock Wall and Cargo Net Obstacle Course

    DIY Project Details: mincingthoughts.blogspot.com

    Even suburban backyards can become the scene of extreme sports with this awesome obstacle course set. The size makes it ideal for both kids and adults so you can join in the fun too. Race with your child to see who will be king of the mountain, but don’t take it too hard if you can’t keep up!

    4. A Boat for Adventures in the Sea

    DIY Project Details: ana-white.com

    Anchors away! Make a sandbox even more fun by making it double as a sailboat. DIY backyard ideas can seem difficult or out of your reach, but this whimsical set can easily be accomplished in a weekend. The sail provides a shady spot to keep your first mate cool. Your child will be sailing the seven seas in no time!

    5. Snack time in a Comfortable Outdoor Lounge

    DIY Project Details: craftricks.com

    Sometimes DIY backyard ideas can be as simple as using items you already have in a new way, and this sweet outdoor lounge is a great example of that. Adding some bright throw pillows and blankets to an empty kiddie pool can make your kids feel like they are living the high life. This sweet snack plate is sure to make any kid feel special.

    6. An Illuminated Tent for Nighttime Stargazing

    DIY Project Details: twobirdsboutique.blogspot.com

    Summer evenings were meant for star-gazing, and your kids will never forget peaking out of this charming tent to wonder at the night sky. This awesome project works even if you don’t have much space in your backyard as it can easily be tucked out of the way when not in use. However, this tent is so sweet that your kids might never let you put it away!

    7. A Rainbow Colored Hop Scotch Mat

    DIY Project Details: happinessishomemade.net

    Fun with numbers is just a hop, skip and a jump away with this homemade hopscotch. Your child can help you pick the colors for the stones and place them in the correct spots. Even after your children have outgrown hopscotch, this is one of those DIY backyard ideas that doubles as a decorative memory of childhood.

    8. A Ladybug Tire Swing with a Smile

    DIY Project Details: janiszettel.blogspot.com

    A tire swing is one of the best DIY backyard ideas out there, and this ladybug version is a creative take on the classic. Your kids will look as cute as a bug swinging through the breeze in this unique swing.

    9. DIY Backyard Ideas for Kids Using PVC

    DIY Project Details: frugalfun4boys.com

    Your budding scientists will be busy for hours with this DIY water and sand table. This is one of those DIY backyard ideas that is even better than what you can buy in a store as the pieces can be taken apart and put together in any way your child desires. We love the addition of extra pieces such as funnels, a baster and different sizes of cups for expanded exploration and fun.

    10. A Wooden, Life-Sized Connect Four Board

    DIY Project Details: blog.homedepot.com

    Bringing your favorite games outdoors can be great fun for the whole family, and this outdoor connect four is sure to be a hit at your next cookout. Your kids can choose their favorite colors for the game pieces and even help paint them.

    11. A Colorful Teeter Totter for Little Ones

    DIY Project Details: sugarbeecrafts.com

    Create your child’s favorite playground piece right to your backyard with this tire teeter totter! Scrap wood, leftover paint and an old tire make this a planet-friendly craft that is sure to make your children smile. Since it only uses half a tire, you could easily make a second one to gift to someone special.

    12. A Rock Climbing Wall with Unique Artwork

    DIY Project Details: impatientlycrafty.com

    Warning: only attempt this project if you want the coolest backyard in your neighborhood! Some DIY backyard ideas just invite creativity, and this is definitely one of them. Designing and painting a mural in your backyard is a fantastic summer project for an older child, and the fact that it is also a climbing wall means that your backyard is the new hangout spot for all of their friends. Better stock up on snacks!

    13. A Massive Water Pillow to Keep Cool

    DIY Project Details: goodshomedesign.com

    Is there any better way to spend a summer day than playing in the water? Sometimes the sprinkler and the kiddie pool can lose their appeal though, and you need something new. Your kids will spend hours exploring and playing with this massive water pillow, and it’s a breeze to set up.

    14. A Tic-Tac-Toe Board with Ladybugs and Bumble Bees

    DIY Project Details: chickenscratchny.com

    DIY backyard ideas don’t have to be large or complicated, and this cute tic-tac-toe set is proof. Spend an afternoon painting these simple pieces with your child, and then spend many more playing game after game in a shady spot. Whoever gets three in a row first has to serve lemonade!

    15. A Skateboard Swing with Handles for Safety

    DIY Project Details: littlebitfunky.com

    Add a little street style to your backyard swing by making it out of a skateboard! We just love DIY backyard ideas that can be accomplished quickly, and this one comes together super fast. This creative concept is also a great way for little ones to practice balance while feeling like an oh so cool big kid.

    16. A Fun Outdoor Fort with a View

    DIY Project Details: madewithhappy.com

    The best gift you can give kids is a little place to call their own, and this one is sure to delight them. We love how the curtains in front can be drawn for secret club meetings, and the walled and roofed design allows them to enjoy a gentle summer shower from the safety of the fort.

    17. A Treehouse with Easy to Climb Stairs

    DIY Project Details: kristendukephotography.com

    A classic treehouse will never go out of style. It’s amazing how a simple structure can inspire so many memorable hours of play. The only thing better than watching this project come together will be climbing up and peeking out over the tree tops for the first time.

    18. A Green and Yellow Ring Toss Game

    DIY Project Details: momendeavors.com

    Games that have simple rules are perfect for family use as even little ones can join in the friendly competition. DIY backyard ideas that are portable like this ring toss game mean that you can carry it anywhere you like. Bring it to the family picnic or the next backyard barbecue to share some fun.

    19. A Fun and Relaxing Tire Swing

    DIY Project Details: ehow.com

    Gazing up into the trees while dappled sunshine peeks through, feeling the breeze through your hair as you sway and twirl: these are the things that make a perfect summer day. A tire swing is an old favorite for a reason. Keep it classic or paint it your favorite color!

    20. Wooden Signs Pointing to Favorite Childhood Locations

    DIY Project Details: thesummeryumbrella.com

    DIY backyard ideas can be a great way to add some family culture to your home. Brainstorm with your children: what are some of their favorite places they’ve visited in books? Then surprise them with these fairy tale road signs which will inspire imaginative play and serve as a cherished reminder of their favorite books. These are a great conversation piece for when company comes over too.

    21. Wooden Treehouse to Look into the Distance

    DIY Project Details: houzz.com

    This cute tree house is tall enough to satisfy their taste for adventure, but low enough to the ground to put you at ease. But why stop there? Installing creative accessories like a telescope and a water balloon launcher can get you quickly promoted to the best parent ever. They might never want to come inside again!

    22. A Wooden Teepee: Shelter from the Sun

    DIY Project Details: 1001pallets.com

    Shady places can be a refuge from the hot summer sun. DIY backyard ideas that use pallets are relatively easy because a good part of the work is already done for you. This teepee is the perfect place to enjoy some summer reading or chat with a friend. You can even drape a sheet around it for an extra cozy feel.

    23. A Colorful Tetherball That’s Stabilized

    DIY Project Details: simplykierste.com

    Tetherball is one of those games that is making an awesome comeback as people remember just how fun it is to whack a ball around. Have your kids trace their names or press a hand print into the drying cement to create a family treasure. Belly laughs will ring throughout your yard as your kids enjoy this game from your childhood.

    24. Fun Platform Swing Hanging from a Tree

    DIY Project Details: thenaughtymommy.com

    If there is anything more fun than a swing, it’s a swing that multiple people can enjoy at once. Platform swings like this are popular at sensory gyms and can set you back a pretty penny, but DIY backyard ideas can save you money while making a backyard piece your kids will spend hours on.

    25. An Outdoor Race Track with Natural Obstacles

    DIY Project Details: buggyandbuddy.com

    What could be more fun than your very own speedway? Your kids can use their imagination to set up the track in any way they choose, using the natural landscape of your yard to create steep highways, tall bridges or a grid of city streets. Kick the fun into high gear and then easily store it out of sight when they run out of gas.

    26. A Picnic Table for Lunch and Snacks

    DIY Project Details: ana-white.com

    Summer snacks and meals just taste better al fresco. Whether you’re enjoying a neighborhood barbecue or an afternoon running through the sprinkler, this child-size picnic table means the outdoor fun doesn’t have to stop when it’s time to eat. Have a snack, do some outdoor drawing or play a board game in the shade with this classic piece.

    27. A Red Airplane for Your Little Pilot

    DIY Project Details: rogueengineer.com

    Unique play structures like this airplane add a pop of fun to your yard and inspire hours of imaginative play. Fly with your little pilot to the North Pole, the jungles of Africa or maybe just to Grandma’s house and watch their play soar. Let them help you paint it in their favorite color and you’re ready for take off!

    28. A Xylophone Style Swing for Little Ones

    DIY Project Details: momtastic.com

    This delightful swing is not only pleasing to the eyes, it also fits kids of all ages. The xylophone design makes it easier for little ones to balance, but also expands to fit adults who are still young at heart. The best DIY backyard ideas are simple projects that will last for many years like this sweet swing.

    29. A Race Track Slide for Matchbox Cars

    DIY Project Details: ramblingsfromutopia.com

    Race to the finish line with this frugal pool noodle ramp! This project is a snap and can be completed start to finish in minutes, making it the perfect solution to the chorus of, “I’m bored!”. Soon all you’ll hear is giggles as you kids race their favorite cars down the track.

    30. Pastel Table with Sand and Water Stations

    DIY Project Details: jenwoodhouse.com

    DIY backyard ideas like this one combine fun and functionality. The lid serves to keep the sand and water station out of the elements, but it also adds a new way to play by doubling as a chalkboard. Bring all the fun of the beach right to your backyard with this intuitive design.

    31. A Miniature Playhouse with Windows

    DIY Project Details: jenwoodhouse.com

    Is there anything more beloved than a child’s playhouse? Let your child help you draw up the plans and hammer in the nails on this sweet cottage, and then help them decorate the inside with their favorite things. DIY projects like this one can be a little more involved, but the outcome is so worth it.

    32. A Sandbox with a Wooden Lid

    DIY Project Details: smallfriendly.com

    If you’ve ever wished your child would play outside more, build this sandbox. Creating castles, digging pits and feeling the sand sift through their fingers will keep your little one happy and busy for hours. The sturdy lid doubles as a platform and keeps the critters out of your child’s new favorite backyard spot.

    33. A See-Saw with Extra Cushioning

    DIY Project Details: ana-white.com

    Bond with a buddy while bumping up and down on this sturdy seesaw. DIY backyard ideas like this one bring big fun to your home, transforming your yard into a play area that rivals your child’s favorite park. Invite a few of their friends or hop on yourself for a rollicking good time.

    34. A Log Cabin-Style Wooden Sandbox

    DIY Project Details: kenarry.com

    Sand play is just a few steps away with this streamlined sandbox. DIY backyard ideas can be a great way to bond with your kids. They’ll be so excited to help you stack the wood and pour the sand in this special place made for them. You might enjoy this project just as much as they will. Is there any better feeling than burying your feet in the sand?

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