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How to Transform Your Backyard Into a Personal Adventure Park

A young girl smiling and standing next to a backyard waterslide.

Looking to add some fun and excitement to your backyard this summer? We’ve got your adventure needs covered with bounce houses, inflatable pools, zip lines, and more! After this, yours will be the most popular house on the block.

COVID-19 might have shut down playgrounds, amusement parks, and public pools, but it’s never going to shut down pure and simple fun. It’s time to get creative and build your own adventure land, right in your backyard.

Remember to focus on safety at all times. Only buy products that are well-rated, meet or exceed safety standards, and come with thorough instructions. And don’t forget that adult supervision is always required with any of these activities, no matter how old your kids are.

A Bounce House

Do you have restless, bored kids with tons of energy to burn? Inflate a bounce house, and let those little monsters bounce for hours on end. Some bounce houses can even withstand adult weight, so go ahead and join in on the fun!

The advantages of a bounce house are it quickly inflates, adds a touch of excitement for an afternoon or special event, but easily packs away afterward.

Smaller bounce houses can fit on a porch or even inside your home to provide the perfect distraction on a rainy day.

Check out our five fave bounce houses to deliver hours of fun to all the exuberant little monkeys in your life.

Inflatable Pools and Splash Pads

Two little girls playing with a beach ball in an inflatable pool.

Your kids might be devastated if the local pool remains closed this summer. Avoid the tears by creating your own water wonderland with an inflatable pool or splash pad.

Why go inflatable? Really, it’s a personal choice. If you’re not ready to invest in a long-term, structured pool, an inflatable one is an easy and affordable option.

They also give you the freedom to move them around. Need to do some work on one side of the yard? Just move the pool elsewhere. You can also inflate them on a shaded porch on crazy hot days to give your kiddos’ delicate skin some extra protection.

Our list of favorite inflatable pools includes something to suit any budget. You might also want to check out these awesome backyard water toys to keep your kids entertained. There’s no reason to be hot and miserable this summer.

Swing Sets and Jungle Gyms

No childhood backyard is complete without a jungle gym or swing set. Who needs to go to the playground when you can swing to your heart’s content right in your own backyard?

We suggest getting the works: slides, swings, and even a little clubhouse. Keep in mind the lockdown will eventually end, so having a set big enough to accommodate your kid’s friends and cousins is a good investment.

Any of our five favorite sets will totally make your child’s day—or even her whole summer!

A Zip Line

Imagine flying across your yard, bellowing like Tarzan. This fantasy is totally possible if you have two sturdy trees and the budget to invest in a zip line. And yes, adults can do it, too!

We recommend this complete zip line kit, but if it’s sold out, just search for something that comes with a spring break and a seat. The seat allows younger kids to safely participate by offering extra assistance if their arm strength isn’t capable of holding on for the full ride. The spring break prevents youngsters from crashing into a tree like George of the Jungle—yikes! Remember, safety first!

Be sure to thoroughly read the instructions and watch any YouTube videos the company provides, like the one we included above. You can also check it out to see if this is a project you want to tackle. Test out the zip line yourself before allowing the kids on it—the one we recommended above will hold up to 250 pounds.

Adult supervision is required whenever your child is living his best backyard spider monkey life with the new toy.

A Trampoline

Outdoor trampolines are designed to withstand all types of weather for years of jumping fun. They’re a great investment the entire family can enjoy.

Definitely get one with high side netting, though, to prevent your jumping hyenas from falling.

Most importantly, make sure you read up on trampoline safety guidelines before allowing your kids to jump. You can avoid most accidents by not letting them do tumbling tricks, or limiting jumping to one child at a time. We know, it might kill some of the fun, but so does a trip to the ER.

We recommend this popular trampoline with an enclosure net.

A Slackline

Someone walking a slackline.
Matej Kastelic/Shutterstock

If you have an aspiring tightrope walker in the family, or you just want to improve your sense of balance, a slackline is an easy investment for some backyard fun. Both kids and adults will love it!

Again, you need some solid trees in order to install it. Keep it low to the ground or use mats underneath to protect against bruises.

This kit works for kids, teens, and adults, so the whole family can join in the fun.

A Rock-Climbing Wall

Struggling to keep your monkeys from climbing the curtains? Perhaps it’s time to build them a proper climbing wall. Both kids and adults enjoy this fun, challenging, and exhilarating activity.

We suggest starting with the above tutorial from TheHowtoDad.

You can also buy rock-climbing holds and install them in- or outside. Don’t forget a safety rope, helmets, and a proper crash mat.

Outdoor Games

There are tons of games you can add to your backyard. Anything that keeps your kids happy and out of trouble is worth the investment. Plus, the more exhausted they are, the better they’ll sleep, so you and your honey can properly unwind or even enjoy a date night.

Here are some of our favorite yard games:

  • Ladder ball: Also called ladder toss or monkey ball, you throw bolas (two balls on a string) onto a ladder. You can make your own set  video or order one.
  • Ring toss: The set up for this can be as simple as putting some glass bottles in a crate. Check out this DIY tutorial, or order this kit for the kids.
  • An obstacle course: You can create one in your backyard using things like tree stumps, old tires, and benches. Check out the video above to create an obstacle course with stuff from the Dollar Store.

The possibilities for backyard fun are limitless! If you have a tent, camp out with the kids for a night or two. The goal is to get outside and enjoy some time away from stress, screens, and technology. Just don’t forget the sunscreen!

Jill A. Chafin Jill A. Chafin
Jill A. Chafin is a freelance writer, aerialist, dancer, food enthusiast, outdoor adventurer, and mama, based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Read Full Bio »
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