Outdoor Play Options for Kids

There was a time when kids went outside in the morning and stayed there until sunset playing, riding bikes, taking hikes, and exploring. In most homes, those days have become a distant memory. Many children nowadays will spend a lot of time indoors surfing the internet, playing video games, and watching television. This means that they are not getting the exercise that they need to ensure that they live a happy, healthy lifestyle. Most parents feel that they are at the end of their rope and unable to do anything to get their kids into the great outdoors.

As a parent, you may feel as though you have no options for getting your children outside, but this cannot be further from the truth. There are a lot of people who purchase trampolines for their children because it is a great way to exercise and play. It’s still good to have other things for kids to do doing the summer months so they do not get bored.  If you’re looking for outdoor play options for kids that are guaranteed to be safe and fun, please take a look at some of the things to do listed below.

Swing Sets

Everyone loves a swing set. Swings give your kids the power to soar. Some families choose to simply hang a swing from a tree limb and though it is not a bad idea, a swing set can add more fun to it. Most swing sets give your child more activities than just a swing. They have slides, monkey bars, club houses, and other things on them that can spark a child’s imagination to the point that they want to go outside and play. Swing sets generally start around $100 and go up from there. They have really evolved from twenty years ago and can be a great investment because kids will not outgrow them for a very long time. Check out a list of some of the best backyard swing sets here.

  • You can also check out our reviews for the Top 5 Trampoline Swings here.
  • Sandpits

    With a sandpit, your child can feel like they are at the beach all summer long. They can dig in the sand, build sand castles, and much more. Many of the sandpits that are on the market come with a cover that will ensure that they stay relatively dry and that pets are not able to get into them. A cover also means that all sand toys that your child has will be securely inside of the sand pit for the next time they want to play. Sand pits come in all shapes and sizes. Some are cute critters, such as a turtle, that holds sand. You can also build your own out of wood, plastic, and sand.

    Swimming Pools

    On a hot summer day, very few things are able to beat the fun that a swimming pool provides. If you have small children, a wading pool that is only a couple inches deep will be enough to keep them interested in going outside. They are inexpensive and easy to care for. For older children you will probably need an above ground swimming since they can handle more people. Just keep in mind these swimming pools do require time and money to maintain them. An in ground pool would be the best option. The major drawbacks are the costs and having enough space to install it into the ground. Any of these will be well worth it if your kids love playing in water.


    Bounce Houses & Water Trampolines

    A bounce house is similar to a trampoline, but instead of steel, springs, and a stretchy mat, your kids jump on an inflated surface. Many bounce houses are enclosed for safety and they come in different shapes and sizes. Some also have other features included so that it is more than just an inflatable bounce house. These other features may include a ball pit, slides, water pits, and more. Many can be purchased for less than $100 depending on what you want for the bounce house to include. Check out our list of the best bounce houses for kids and best water trampolines here.

    Ball Pits

    A ball pit is self-explanatory. Most ball pits are filled with soft plastic balls that are too large for a child to put into their mouth. You can purchase a ball pit as a part of a set so that other outdoor toys are included, especially if you opt for a playset. Some ball pits have just a pit that is filled with balls and you can use it indoors during the winter months and outdoors during the summer. A lot of these will have a net around them to ensure that the balls stay inside the pit where they belong. Some parents also choose to build their own using wooden sides, a plastic base to keep dirt out of the pit, and balls. One hidden costs is the price of the balls. Many people underestimate the amount of balls needed to fill their large ball pits and therefore underestimate the total cost of purchasing the balls. Check out our list of the best ball pits for kids here.



    Playhouses or club houses are a great way to encourage kids to use their imagination. Boys may choose to use it as a fort where they can keep watch over their property and protect it. Girls may use their play house to feel as though they are playing mommy. There are kitchen sets that you can purchase to make it more realistic and there are furniture items that are small enough to fit inside as well. The price for these houses will depend on what you and your child want for it to be.

    If your child is not the playhouse type, you can also consider a tree house. Tree houses add more of a thrill for some children because most are accessible only by a rope or a ladder. This gives them privacy and enables them to see the world from up above the ground, both of which can appeal to some children.


    Lawn Games

    Getting kids outdoors does not always have to require a structured play area. There are many outdoor lawn games that can encourage children to get out and play. These things may include games such as badminton, basketball, or croquet. There are also golf sets, bow and arrow sets, and may other games that you can choose from depending on your child’s interest and the space that you have available. Most of these play sets are affordable. Some require you to play with your children or your child to have friends over to play. Either way, it increases the time spent outdoors and adds more fun because of the simple fact that someone is there to play with them.