10 Kid-Friendly Ideas for Your Tiny Backyard

As the weather warms up, all I want to do is send my toddler outside to play! One of the challenges of having a 300 square foot patio as a backyard has been finding activities that will keep my son entertained (and that will fit!) in our small area.

Since we don’t have space for conventional backyard ideas like playhouses and swing sets, we have had to get creative in finding activities that my son will love this summer. Here are 10 things that my son does every day in our tiny backyard space:

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1. Water and Paintbrush Painting

This is one of our favorite go-to activities. All you need is a cup or bowl of water and a paintbrush and that’s it! Watch your toddler enjoy “painting” different surfaces of your yard to watch the colors change. No mess, no cleanup!

2. Pool Noodle Abacus

This is such an easy addition to your yard and so fun for toddlers! My son plays with this abacus daily – he loves to slide and count the pool noodles.

3. Mini pool

This mini pool has been a lifesaver in our tiny space this summer. Especially when the weather is really hot, we get this pool out so my son can cool off.

4. Watering plants

If you have any plants in your yard, grab a watering can and let your little one get to work! My son absolutely loves helping water the plants. To save water, I leave the water in the mini pool from the day before and let him scoop it out of there.

5. Fairy Garden & Planter

Children love little spaces to use their imagination, and this DIY play garden is so easy! It’s just a planter with some little animal and people figurines, shells, and rocks. My son loves creating little scenes in his play garden.

6. Sensory table

My husband made this sensory table out of PVC pipe (and these bins) in about an hour one afternoon. It’s excellent for when the weather isn’t quite hot enough for the mini pool. You can put anything you want in the bins; we have done water, sand, water beads, or rocks.

7. Book basket

A little cozy sitting spot with a book basket is perfect for your tiny backyard this summer. Fill your basket with nature books to inspire their outdoor play!

8. Mini Trampoline

My son got this mini trampoline for Christmas last year, and it’s been endless entertainment! It’s small enough not to take up too much room in our yard and it has a fully enclosed net for safety. It’s perfect for getting his energy out!

9. Bubbles

Bubbles are always a hit and so we keep them out for daily play. These no-spill bubbles are our favorite to minimize the sticky mess.

10. Chalk

Sidewalk chalk is another easy outdoor activity that provides hours of entertainment for little ones, and takes up no space at all. Win, win! 

13 thoughts on “10 Kid-Friendly Ideas for Your Tiny Backyard

  1. Love it! These are all great ideas. I especially like the outdoor reading area. How smart to include books that might inspire outdoor play.

    1. Thank you!! My son and I really enjoy reading together outside especially in the late afternoon when it isn’t so hot out 🙂

  2. Will be sharing this with my daughter. She is always looking for fun ideas for the outdoors for her children to do. Learning and playing at the sometime is a win win.

  3. Oh man, that mini outdoor trampoline!! We have an indoor one, but need to get an outdoor one like this! We also haven’t tried the pool noodle abacus – that’s going on my list for this week! I made a similar sensory bin for my boys 2 years ago, and it gets almost daily use still – it’s their favorite thing, and I’m always filling it with different things. Even adding a different set of figurines from the dollar tree makes it interesting to them! Thanks for sharing these super ideas!

    1. Thank you so much! The mini trampoline gets almost daily use over here! The funny thing is that a lot of the time my son doesn’t jump on it – he uses it as a cozy spot to play with his toys or build a fort. So many options!

  4. Our babes is a little too small for a few of these, but I’m saving it for next summer.
    We have a water table set up for her now and she could spend HOURS splashing around (and lapping the water up like a doggy…)
    I’ll be trying out painting with water tomorrow. Our heat index is so high down here I can really only have her play on the patio so this is perfect.

  5. Really cool backyard ideas.! kids friendly backyard helps to development kids social Skill. Though game they can interact with other children. In this way they can lean many think. Thanks for sharing a nice blog with us.

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