School is officially out and the kids are home more frequently. Though this is a great time of year for family vacations and other outdoor events, nothing beats the occasional days at home. Rather than having the kids in the house in front of the tv, computer, or gaming console, you can encourage them to spend hours outdoors. All you need is the perfect play area in your yard. 

Whether you have a small, medium, or large backyard you can make a small investment and create a space your children will enjoy playing. Below, are a few easy and affordable solutions. 

Clean the Area

The first order of business obviously would be to clean the area. You want your kids to remain safe from trips, falls, scrapes and bruises so get rid of leaves, twigs, and other debris. 

Outdoor Carpet

To designate the area for your children it is recommended that you use an outdoor carpet. These are carpets that are designed to stay intact despite the weather. If you can’t afford a carpet, they also have large foam blocks you can set up. If necessary, also add a security gate around the area so smaller children don’t try and leave. 


Smaller children still get a kick out of playing in the sandbox. You can find them pretty cheap at a nearby department store. If not, you can always borrow the money from sites like, then pay it back in monthly installments. Sand is also pretty cheap and comes in various colors for even more imagination and fun. Don’t forget to purchase sandbox toys like buckets and shovels.

Water Stand

Another must-have in your backyard for kids is a water stand or station. This is where the kids can freely splish and splash in the water with toys like mini boats, sea creatures, and other plastic toys. They even have sand that changes texture in the water but immediately dries when it’s taken out which is great to keep the mess down.

Inflatable Pool

If you don’t have the money to spring for a pool in your yard you can still allow your kids to swim on a budget. Inflatable pools come in various shapes and sizes. Some are even large enough for the entire family to fit in. create a clear flat surface, fill the pool with air, then pour in the water. This can take several hours to complete so it’s best to do it early in the morning or the night before to keep the kids from getting antsy. You’ll also want to buy a pool cover to keep things from falling in or allergens from collecting.


Smaller children love the idea of playing house. You can help their imaginations run wild buy purchasing a playhouse. These are tiny plastic houses or stand-alone kitchen units that can be used for outdoor play. They’re not too expensive and are easy to assemble as well. 

Outdoor Toys

There are some toys that are simply forbidden in the house that you should have on hand for your kids to play within the yard. Basketballs, baseballs, soccer balls, tennis racquets, bubbles, bikes, sidewalk chalk, jump ropes, and more are a lot of fun. You can head to a nearby dollar store and find all of these items for pretty cheap. 

Don’t allow your kids to stay stuck in front of some screen or other devices this summer. Instead, give them a place to run wild and participate in fun outdoor activities. Your backyard is the perfect canvas for creating an outdoor oasis your kids have always dreamed of. They’ll have so much fun spending hours outside they’ll tucker themselves out pretty easily. Which, of course, is good news for mom and dad.