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small backyard - two boys - ideas to keep them amused


10 replies to this topic

#1 fran123

Posted 27 April 2012 - 10:59 PM

We have a small backyard.  My heart often sinks for my children because I can't tell them to just run outside and play. I take them out to parks,bike rides etc a LOT but still there are times when a a backyard where they could bounce a ball or whatever would be useful.  We do have a trampoline and they use that but it is small and they are growing out of it (4yrs and 6yrs.) There isn't room for a basketball hoop without the ball going over the fence, there iswn't room to play cricket, swingball is an option but they are not into that yet.  There isn't room for a swing set. They can ride scooters etc but that is in the front yard and I have to be out there with them as they are on the driveway and footpath.  Are there any other ideas that I am missing?

#2 mummame

Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:04 PM

If it makes you feel any better we have a large backyard and the boys don't even play out there! I have two boys 6 and 3 as well and we have to practically beg them to spend time outside. We sold our huge trampoline as they didn't ever jump on it. They like to go to the park to ride bike/scooter as they can't do that on the grass. The times they do play outside its mostly just looking at dirt, digging holes, looking for bugs etc, I love when they play out there just not so much how grubby they are when they come back in.

I don't think it matters how big the yard is, so certainly don't feel bad about it.

#3 KristyMum-

Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:09 PM

  • small pot with some water in it and some old paintbrushes - they can 'paint' the wall or the pavers or whatever.  It changes colour as they do it (ie wet) so they love it and unless they mix it with sand to make mud, then it's self cleaning wink.gif
  • box of chalks
  • pebbles
  • skipping rope - gets used for everything but skipping usually
  • large cardboard box
  • inside toys that can go outside - dominoes etc
  • marble run/ball run
  • seedling tray/mini greenhouse
  • small water play area - shallow, but with sieve, old muffins trays, piece of pipe/hose, old pots and pans, spoons etc - you can add the pebbles to this for all sorts of 'recipes'.


that's a few ideas to get you started.  It doesn't need to be something that has a prescribed activity attached to it original.gif

#4 PrincessPinkenIt

Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:12 PM

Unsure as to how small your yard is, but have you considered a small fort or small activity play equipment.
Something similar to these but maybe not so high.

Small Activity equipment

Small Fort

I wouldn't feel so bad about having a small yard, especially if you all enjoy trips to the park original.gif

#5 Guest_NinjahAlpaca_*

Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:12 PM

Sand and water play

You can't beat it, and it only takes a tiny outdoor area to have fun with it.



#6 *Floss*

Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:22 PM

Trampoline with basketball net on it
Soccer ball on a tether
Elevated fort
Sandpit and water
Paintbrush and roller with water to paint pavers or bricks
Hammer, nails and wood
Climbing frame


#7 fran123

Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:22 PM

Yeah love the fort idea. We could possibly fit it. Am wondering though how often do they get used and when do they grow out of them?  Considering the price you would hope it would be used a lot!!

#8 PrincessPinkenIt

Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:40 PM

The link I provided above was a little pricey, but I'm sure there are cheaper ones around.
My SIL bought a Fort style play thing from Toys R Us 3 years ago and it's still gets played on 2-3 times a week (the kids are 6 & 3).
The bonus of a fort is you can change aspects of it, such as add a rock climbing wall type of thing, telescopes, steering wheels etc and change it as the kids age.

We bought a cubby house 3 years ago which hardly gets used, I think my two have only been in it once or twice this year. If I was to choose now what to buy between a Cubby or Fort, I would pick a fort over the cubby original.gif

#9 twinboys

Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:48 PM

SuperHero costumes have being my saviour...They role play all over the house and in the backyard.
No need for cubby houses/forts/sandpits

The trampoline (Springfree) gets a work out with different super hero role plays happening on there.

the house is also turned inro a superhero warzone at times...but it is all ok and shortlived!!

#10 -al-

Posted 28 April 2012 - 02:42 AM

Is there any paved areas to scooter on?
We have a totem tennis set that converts into a heap of other things, a tethered soccer kit, badminton, volleyball hmmm have to think of what else.
I cant think of the brand right now but there are basket ball hoop kits which fold up into a box, the box is actually the base for the kit and the height is adjustable, if you are interested I will look at it in the morning as is packed up in DS's room.
We also have little fold up hockey nets which they use for one on one hockey or soccer - our back yard is TINY but they make good use of it. It does help the front is paved and fenced...could you fence off any of the front?
Other things to occupy when you need them to spend a bit of time outside is slime/goup etc. Slime can be made from lux soap flakes, goup from cornflour and water, but I have cooked cornflour goop with food colouring in it, and hidden things in it - it sets kind of like a blancmange, if you do it in large quantity and put in a storage tub, it is a lot of fun for them to dig through. You could put cheap plastic pirate coins, or dinasours....I am sure you could think of more, gets their imagination going.Just let it cool and set before they play with it.
I know it is a horrid noise , but what about a tennis racquet they could hit the ball off the wall, or even four square type games?
Do you have storage so you can rotate toys around? Could you join a toy library? that way you have access to a much greater variety of items to keep them interested.
Is there enough space to create an obstacle course loop. Things like throwing bean bags (or juggling balls made by filling deflated balloons with rice) into a washing basket, sticking a line of tape down and having them balance and hopscotch type activity, a couple of hoops to step through/jump through like a tyre run, the toy library may have stepping stones with different textures. My kids would keep going around and around some days for a couple of hours with a bit of encouragement through the kitchen window.My hubby even made a small balancing beam for DS. Could they operate a stop watch and time themesleves?
Could you get some of that black board paint and paint a bit of wall or a big piece of marine ply for them to draw on.

#11 fran123

Posted 28 April 2012 - 10:28 PM

Some wonderful, fresh ideas -Al- thanks for taking the time. I'm going to re read your list and pick out what will work for our backyard.  I have to just add to everyones suggestions.  I bought a punching bag today. My four yr old has just got his testosterone surge so I thought he would enjoy a bit of a bash. I wasn't keen on the idea at first - not sure if I am encouraging him or giving him an outlet to calm him down a bit. We will see! wink.gif Its an inflatable one with a crazy face on it and you can change the faces around to make it more intersting.  Perfect to put in our small backyard and I think he will love it. original.gif



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