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Small Backyard - Need play space ideas and perhaps some pictures of yours?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi, we have a small backyard and I really am at a loss as to what to do with it. I really want the kids spending more time back there but honestly it really isn't that enticing. Does anyone have any pictures of their small backyard that really works for your kids? Mine are 3 and 5 years. I would love to start a small vege garden but we get so much shade that I'm not sure what would even grow. They have a small play structure, sand box, water table, we started strawberries, peas and lettuce. Any other ideas? or any other places on the web that I might visit for some inspirations? thanks
post #2 of 9
We have a small yard and I feel like we are using the space pretty well right now.

In the back we have garden, rock/nature box, bin of toys (mostly plastic saved for reuse and balls), ramps attached to fence (made from PVC and rain gutter), and rain barrel. We also have a bucket of PVC that we keep in the shed and pull out for DS (5) to build with when there are not other kids around who could get accidentally bopped on the head. Today we have a teepee set up too. By FAR my kids' favorite thing to do out there is play with water from the rain barrel.

In the front we have bubbles, chiminea for roasting marshmellows and catching hoola hoops and a swing.

I will take some pics and see if I can figure out a quick way to post later.
post #3 of 9
Back with pics!
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
thank you for posting - great ideas. Love the Teepee
post #5 of 9
We just moved a few months ago and still don't have a thing in the back yard. We do have one pine tree on the side yard, and we brought our old ikea swing, monkey rings, and ladder and hung them in the tree. Now my 6 yr. old boy climbs up the ladder and up to the top of the tree... my 3 yr. dd swings on the swing and monkey rings.
I'd love to have a playground something or other in the back, but we just can't afford it for now. Our tree saves space and money, and at least the kids have something to climb on.
post #6 of 9
the teepee is great! i want to build one for my littles.
post #7 of 9
Our lot is <.10 acre and a 1-story house, so we cram a lot into our tiny space:

* sandbox - tucked into one corner of the yard ooposite the swing so I can sit, drink coffee and watch the kids; used for sand play and holds most of the outside toys
* patio - great as a place to draw with chalk, use paints, play hopskotch (sp?) paint with water, have a picnic, etc. The grill is to one side. A pergola goes over it for shade and to hold up the porch swing. It is framed with brick pavers. A bistro table is also on it in a corner.
* a retractable clothesline runs across the yard. It usually dries clothes, but is also used to create shade/play tents on hot afternoons.
* 2 square foot garden boxes filled with things the kids helped me plant and that they can eat, water, poke at
* a mix of perinneal and edible/fruiting shrubs for the kids to check out
* a stepping stone path to jump along
* a grassy 15' x 10' area to set out the baby pool, hammock, kid picnic table, or whatever we decide to bring out.

I am a picture-posting novice. Can someone PM me to help?
post #8 of 9
I dunno, it sounds like you have a lot! What about it isn't enticing? Too hot? No comfy seats? We have what you listed, plus:

--shade tree w/ comfy glider underneath, good for relaxing w/ lemonade
--attached to the shade tree, a rope, a swing, and a pulley w/ a bucket
--veggie garden for me, but child sized rake, shovel and hoe for DS (from Lowes)
--chalk
--wading pool, also serves as baby containment device when empty and filled w/ toys
--bird feeder
--cozy coupe car
--toy mower, blower and edger
--tee ball stand and lots of balls of all sizes
--frisbee (dog likes it)
--hose w/ attachments like water wand and nozzle for car washing or plant watering
--flower pots w/ flowers
--a canopy over the water table and our patio set, we've strung Christmas lights over it, looks cool!

I want to get a wooden playstructure (we have a lame-o plastic toddler one) and a hammock next. When the boys are older I'd like to get a badmitton (sp?) set, maybe horseshoes. We have a bowling set made from half and half bottles but we usually play that inside.
post #9 of 9
Here is our low tech solution for backyard fun.

And sometimes just bringing some inside toys outside can be quite exciting.Lately my daughter has been playing with a bin of water and her people for hours out in the backyard.
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