Creating an Outdoor Play Area for Kids – A Comprehensive Guide


Parents worldwide struggle with getting their kids to spend time outdoors. It seems like every day, there’s a new gadget or video game keeping children glued to screens indoors.

Outdoor play has many benefits, including fresh air, vitamin D, and social interaction with other children. So how can you get your kids to want to spend time outside? One solution is to create an outdoor play area that is irresistible!

Most people envision a swing set or a Treehouse playground when they think about outdoor play areas. But there are endless possibilities for designing an outdoor space that will excite and engage kids of all ages. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Factors to consider when planning your outdoor play area:

Before you go and purchase a swing set, it’s important to consider the following factors:

The age of your children

How old are your kids? This is important to consider because you want to ensure that your outdoor play area is age-appropriate.

For example, if you have very young children, you’ll want to avoid features that could be dangerous, like a trampoline. Instead, you might opt for a swing set with a baby swing or a small slide.

On the other hand, if you have older children, you can create a more adventurous outdoor play area with features like a climbing wall.

The amount of space you have to work with

Take a look at the outdoor space you must work with and start planning accordingly. If you have a large backyard, you can invest in space-consuming outdoor play structures like a swing set or trampoline.

But if you have a smaller outdoor space, don’t worry! There are still plenty of options for you. You can install a small treehouse, build a sandbox, or set up a play fort made out of PVC pipes. Remember, the only limit is your imagination!

The climate in your area

This is an important factor to consider because you want to make sure the outdoor play equipment you invest in can withstand the weather conditions in your area.

For example, if you live in an area with a lot of snowfall, you might want to avoid outdoor play structures made out of wood, which can rot. Instead, you could opt for a metal swing set or PVC structures.

On the other hand, if you live in a hot and humid climate, make sure the outdoor play equipment you choose is made out of materials that won’t fade or warp in the heat. Warping can be a particular issue with wooden structures.

Your budget

Of course, you have to be practical and consider your budget when planning your outdoor play area. But don’t worry – there are outdoor play structures to fit every budget!

Swing sets, for example, can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. It all depends on the size and features you want.

The same is true for other outdoor play structures like treehouses, trampolines, and climbing walls. There are options for every budget. So take your time to find the perfect outdoor play area for your family!

Creating an Outdoor Play Area for Kids: 6 Steps

1. Add some shade.

If you live in a warm climate, one of the best things you can do for your outdoor play area is to add some shade.

Canopies and umbrellas are an easy way to provide relief from the sun, and they can also add a pop of color to your outdoor space. You can also consider planting trees or installing a pergola to provide natural shade.

2. Incorporate water.

Kids love water, so incorporating it into your outdoor play area is a surefire way to get them excited about spending time outside.

There are several different ways to do this. You could install a sprinkler or water table, fill up some buckets with water and let your kids play with toys in them, or even just set out a few bowls of water for your kids to splash around in.

3. Consider the location.

Are you setting up a play area in your backyard? If so, you’ll want to make sure that it’s close to your house so you can keep an eye on your kids while they’re playing.

You’ll also want to consider the layout of your outdoor space and make sure there is enough room for your kids to run around and play. If you have a small yard, you might have to get creative with your outdoor play area design.

4. Choose the right equipment.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to choosing outdoor play equipment. You can go with traditional options like swings and slides or get more creative with things like outdoor climbing walls and sandboxes.

The key is to choose age-appropriate equipment for your children that will fit in the space you have available.

For example, playground spinning equipment like merry-go-rounds can be fun for kids of all ages, but they do require a lot of space. Some options you can check out are:

  • Swing sets
  • Slides
  • Climbing walls
  • Treehouse/Playhouse
  • Sandboxes
  • Merry-go-rounds

5. Add some fun features.

One of the best ways to make your outdoor play area more exciting for kids is to add some fun features. This could be anything from a simple chalkboard to a more elaborate obstacle course. Some fun features you can add to your outdoor play area include:

  • Chalkboard
  • Basketball hoop
  • Horseshoe pit
  • Badminton/volleyball net
  • Obstacle course

6. Make it inviting.

Once you have all the elements, it’s time to make your outdoor play area look inviting. Add colorful outdoor rugs or cushions, hang up some streamers or outdoor lights, and set out some toys or balls.

You can also encourage your kids to help decorate to make them even more excited about spending time in the outdoor play area.

Creating an outdoor play area for your kids is a great way to get them excited about spending time outdoors. With a little

Creating an Outdoor Play Area for Kids: Safety Tips

Outdoor Play Area 1

While there are plenty of benefits of playground interaction, safety should still be your top priority. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind:

1. Inspect outdoor play equipment regularly.

Inspecting outdoor play equipment regularly is important to ensure it is safe for your children to use. Look for sharp edges, splinters, loose bolts, and screws.

If you find any problems with the equipment, repair them or replace the item if necessary. Get equipment from a reputable source like Playground Expedition, and ensure it meets all safety standards.

2. Supervise young children.

If you have young children, it’s important to supervise them when they are playing outdoors. Make sure they are not climbing on things that are too high for them or playing near water without adult supervision.

It’s also a good idea to teach your kids about outdoor safety rules, such as not talking to strangers or running off without telling an adult first. Supervision is still important even if the play area is in your backyard.

3. Keep outdoor areas clean.

Outdoor play areas can be breeding grounds for bacteria and other harmful organisms. To help keep your kids safe, it’s important to keep outdoor areas clean.

Pick up trash regularly and disinfect outdoor surfaces, such as picnic tables and playground equipment. You should also encourage your kids to wash their hands after playing outdoors.

4. Protect against insects.

Getting bitten or stung by insects can ruin outdoor fun for kids. To help prevent this, use insect repellent and keep outdoor areas free of standing water, which can attract mosquitoes.

You should also teach your kids not to put their hands or feet in places where they can’t see them, such as in tall grass or under rocks. Explain that insects might be hiding there and could bite or sting them.

5. Check for hazards.

Before letting your kids play outdoors, it’s important to check the area for hazards. Look for things like broken glass, rusty nails, or sharp rocks. 

If you find any hazards, remove them or block off the area so your kids can’t get to them. Read on dangerous home hazards for children for more info. 


Creating a space where your kids can play outdoors is a great way to get them excited about spending time outside. With a little planning and some creativity, you can design an outdoor play area that your kids will love. Just make sure to keep safety in mind and supervise young children when they are playing. Good luck!

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