child inside a backyard playhouse (backyard structure ideas for kids)One of the joys of moving to a home with outdoor space — especially when you have young children — is setting up the backyard with the perfect play structures. A swing set is a classic and a staple that will never grow old. But there are so many other fun backyard structures kids love for climbing, swinging, and make believe — and many are DIY worthy! Here are a few of my favorite backyard ideas for families!

Climbing dome

This sturdy steel dome is great for kids to climb, practice flexibility, and build strength — and it’s nice for the youngest climbers on up to bigger kids! Some domes even come with a swing that hangs on the inside.


At my daughter’s nature preschool they have created the perfect seesaw by bolting a long board to a log. The kids LOVE it. Make your own if you feel so inspired, or purchase one already made.


A sand pit or sand box is very DIY friendly — try a stone border for simplicity, or use wood and screws for the classic sandbox look. Want to buy one that’s ready to go? This one has a nice looking frame — and some options even include a shade cover

Water table

Ahh, the classic outdoor item for any family with little ones! What’s not to love on a hot summer day? There are so many different styles of water tables, too. Swish swish!

Mud kitchen

This is another great one to DIY if you have the knack for it — if not, Etsy is your friend! Grab some old pots and pans and unleash the creativity. And prepare yourself for many wonderful mud meals served to you by your children!


A classic playhouse is a fan favorite for littles to escape into the world of imaginary play. Ours even has a mailbox that opens and closes so we can deliver our daughter mail!

Solo Stove/firepit 

There’s nothing like a Solo Stove or backyard firepit for roasting marshmallows with the whole fam on a warm summer night. But first be careful to teach and practice fire safety!

Wood fort or trellis

Create a fort with sticks from your yard, or make a teepee-shaped trellis and grow beans on it. Voila! It’s the perfect summer hideaway for children.

Fairy houses

Creating fairy houses is a whimsical outdoor activity for children young and old — and it can be done all year long! Collect the materials on a nature walk or in your yard — or order the perfect woodland surprises in a kit! Be sure to check your houses regularly for signs of fairies!

Amish climbing tractor and wagon playset

This is the ultimate play structure and a dream come true for any kid with a backyard! Pricey, yes, but also worthy of an award. 

Slackers Ninja Line

For all those little ninjas whose yards have nice trees to hang the line from. There are lots of cool ways to customize your hanging backyard obstacle course, too!


There’s nothing like a good old bounce on the trampoline. Just be sure to research to find the safest one!

Marianna Pease
Marianna Pease is a divorced single mom by day and a writer by night. After going through a divorce while navigating the pandemic during new motherhood, she has written a book about her emotional healing in hopes to give back to others so they might have a guiding light or glimmer of hope (forthcoming). Follow her journey on instagram @heypandemicmom. Additionally, she runs the long-time vintage clothing store Visit her site She lives in Boston with her daughter.


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