20 Ideas to Make Your Backyard the Ultimate Summer Oasis

Backyard fun is starting to sell out everywhere, so we thought it would be helpful to put together some ideas before it’s all gone. I sent a friend a link to a trampoline because she was looking for one, then five minutes later it was sold out. First toilet paper, then eggs, now trampolines! I also heard that Slackers zipline kits are really great- there are only five left on Amazon and they are sold out at Walmart, so scroll through and check out our picks.

Hopefully places will be able to start opening this summer, but just in case here are some ideas to make a backyard for the memory books this summer. All of the following products were in stock when we compiled this curated list. This article contains affiliate links, which means the price is the same but a small percentage of your purchase supports Kidlist.

Water Play

1. Melissa & Doug Splash Patrol Sprinkler
We love these sprinklers because they are cute and perfect for little ones.

2. Inflatable Kiddie Pool
It’s nice that you can get in the pool with your baby or toddler compared to those hard plastic pools that aren’t as comfortable.

3. Big Inflatable Unicorn Sprinkler
How fun is this?! Stakes are included so the unicorn is tethered to the ground while providing splashing fun.

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4. Inflatable Splash Pad
We are hoping splash pads will be open, but this would be a fun at-home replacement.

5. Slip ‘N Slide
My kids immediately asked for this classic.

6. 12 Foot x 30 In. Metal Frame Pool w/ Solar Cover
Maybe this is the summer to try an aboveground pool?

Climbing and Play Structures

1. Backyard Discovery Cedar Swing Set
If you are looking for a playset, this one received good reviews. We also found the Gorilla Playsets Savannah II Swing Set, which also looks fun.

2. Climbing Dome
My climbing dome was a favorite when I was little and my kids also absolutely loved it. There is even a climbing dome model with a slide built in! Please note that these two climbing domes are for younger kids and are smaller than the full size model. Click here for a climbing dome for elementary school-aged kids.

3. Swivel Seesaw
My parents’ neighbor used to have a seesaw and it was a huge treat for my kids to play on it. It was fun for them to play on it together.

4. Slackers Zipline Kit
I’ve heard a lot of people talk about how much fun this zipline kit is. It’s sold out many places I looked, but I found a few on Amazon today! The red one just sold out, but I found a green one.

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5. Backyard Discovery Playhouse
This adorable playhouse has a pretend kitchen and cute bench outside to sit and relax.

6. Mud Kitchen
Your kids will love playing with water, dirt, and other found nature in this mud kitchen. You can make one out of an old cabinet, set up a side table with bowls and utensils, or buy one already made.

Backyard Games and Fun

1. Disney Mickey Mouse Inflatable Movie Screen
You’ll need a projector to complete your outdoor movie setup, but with the possibility of outdoor movies at parks being canceled, this would be fun.

2. Portable Hammock
This one comes with straps so you can secure it to trees without bolts or hooks. Our friends have these for camping and they were a main attraction.

3. Wooden Blocks to Play Giant Jenga
A couple of years ago, I made a giant Jenga set out of 2x4s and it’s been a lot of fun! This is a nice set that’s ready to play without all the cutting and sanding. ;)

4. Premium Ladder Toss Set
We are big fans of ladder toss. It’s a game that so many ages can enjoy playing together. This is a nice set made with a wood frame and plastic crossbars to withstand the bolas. The other option is buying a Combination Ladderball and Flying Disc Toss Game Set. Not as good quality as the ladder toss game above, but… Two games in one!

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5. Yard Dice Game w/ Bucket
Have you seen the outside Yahtzee games? These dice are perfect to play the classic dice game.

6. Weather Resistant Outdoor Ping Pong Table
We love bringing out ping pong table in the backyard to play outside and this one can actually stay out there.

DIY Summer Fun

DIY Sprinkler Building Set
This sprinkler set provides hours and hours of fun! With so many pipes, tubes, sprayers, and funnels, your kids can arrange it however they want! My kids would go from making a tricycle washing station to making their own splash pad in the same afternoon. Well worth the effort.

Backyard Ker-Plunk Game
Have you ever played Ker-Plunk with the sticks and marbles? I ran across this amazing tutorial for making your own large version to play outside. So fun! Click here to buy the ball pit balls you need to make your own.

About the Author

Annie Tandy
Annie loves making great memories with her kids and started Kidlist in 2011 so she can help others do the same! Besides finding fun and exciting things to do, Annie and her kids enjoy caring for their chickens and hanging out with them in the backyard. Click here to read about Annie's chickens and see pictures! She also finds joy in gardening, home improvement projects, knitting, soap making, and painting along with being active in her community, church, and as a board member of the Western Springs Business Association. Click here to follow Annie on Instagram.

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