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How To Turn Your Backyard Into An Oasis For Kids

Transform your outdoor space with these fun additions.

No matter what age your kids are, some time outdoors can work wonders in terms of inspiring them to move their bodies and explore nature. Getting outside just feels good, right? But sometimes, kids need a little encouragement to actually spend more than a few minutes under the blazing summer sun. (The same goes when there’s a chill in the air and they have to bundle up.) Wondering how to turn your backyard into an oasis for kids? This list of ideas can transform your space with outdoor toys, kid-sized furniture, and more.

Of all of the spaces in your home for kids to exist, your backyard likely has the most real estate for kids to romp around, explore, and just be kids. Even if that doesn’t hold true for your yard, there are still some great, space-saving tips and products on this list. You can absolutely transform your patio, porch, deck, or driveway into a fun, kid-friendly zone where they can soak up some sun and enjoy time outdoors.

Since every backyard — and every kid — is different, this list is definitely not inclusive of all things to make your backyard a kid oasis available out there. You won’t find any trampolines or pricey swing sets here. However, it’s a great starting point if you’re looking for inspiration to encourage your children to spend more time playing outside without breaking the bank.

We at Romper only include products that have been independently selected by our editors. We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

1

Twinkle lights

Hang a set of Brightown Outdoor Solar Sting Lights in your backyard to make it a magical nighttime oasis for your kids where they can relax at the end of the day. Each string of lights in this pack of 2 measures 33-feet long and has 100 super bright LED bulbs. They’re waterproof, suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, and features 8 lighting modes that twinkle, flash, and more. Instead of an electrical plug (that your toddler will inevitably unplug) or batteries, each strand of lights is connected to a two solar charging panels on stakes to stick in the ground. They’ll charge during the day and come on automatically at night, lasting between 8 and 10 hours on a full charge.

Review: “The lights were nicely packaged and I found them easy to unwind to put them into place (I didn't experience any tangled wire!) I installed the lights at approximately 7pm, with sunset to follow at 9:07pm. To my surprise, when I went outdoors at 4am (total darkness) these lights were burning so brightly after just having 2 hours of daylight to charge! The mode button is super simple to operate to control solid or blinking lights.”

2

A kid-friendly dart board

If your kids always want to get in on the adults-only game of darts happening in your garage, the BooTaa Kids Dart Board is a fun option to add to your backyard. Hang this 29-inch bullseye on your fence, the side of your house or garage, or build a sandwich-board style stand to hang it on. With a multitude of colorful areas to hit and points to earn, kids can keep score (or not) while they take turns throwing sticky balls at the fabric target.

Review: “We bought this to hang up at a birthday party and it was a hit with kids of all ages! We hung it from our fence, but could easily be used indoors as well. The Velcro is strong, no issues with the balls falling off the board.”

3

A rechargeable bubble machine

This Victostar Bubble Machine can transform your backyard into an oasis for kids with the push of a button. With a high-capacity tank that holds up to 150 mL of bubble solution, this compact machine automatically disperses a continuous stream of bubbles to fill your yard at a rate of up 1,000 bubbles per minute. The battery-powered bubble machine has 2 speed settings, stands approximately 9 inches tall, and weighs just under two pounds.

Review: “Great bubble machine for the price. Easy to use and blows a ton of bubbles. Has 2 speed settings depending on how many bubbles you want blown out at once. Charges via usb cord and stays charged for quite a while. It’s not a large machine, which I think is a bonus. Nice to have something that doesn’t take up a lot of space.”

4

A kid-sized splash pad

No backyard oasis for kids is complete without a water feature to splash around with. The Jasonwell Splash Pad Sprinkler is the perfect outdoor water toy for toddlers and preschoolers. Simply attach the mat to a garden hose and turn the water on to enjoy an endless spray from around the mat’s soft, supportive edge with no inflation required. At 68 inches in diameter, this mat delivers streams of water up into the air that splash back down into the mat’s center. Made from non-toxic PVC material, this mat is kid-friendly and durable.

Review: “My two year old absolutely loves this! Its so easy to set up. Take it out of the box, screw in the water hose, and your child has hours of entertainment! The material is sturdy enough that even my dog played on it with no problems.”

5

A bug-catching kit

One way to encourage your kids to get outside and explore nature is with a bug-catching kit like the Fun Little Toys Outdoor Explorer Kit. The 10-piece set comes complete with everything your kids need to catch bugs anywhere in their backyard oasis. Binoculars, multiple magnifying lenses, a whistle, compass, terrarium, and other tools included in the set can be easily stored in the set’s nylon drawstring back. This set is intended for kids ages 3 and up.

Review: “I bought this science kit for my son’s 5th birthday. It lets him collect the bugs, observe through the bug containers & with the included magnifying glass to get an up-close look at the insects. Btw, the included catching tools are various: butterfly nets, tweezers & bug tongs. Also, a compass is helped to learn more about organizing the bug catching journey.”

6

A mini basketball hoop

If you want to make your backyard a kid oasis for children of all ages, a mini basketball hoop will keep everyone entertained. The SKLZ Pro Mini Basketball Hoop is a few steps up from a plastic toddler goal that can be hung outside screwed onto an exterior wall or hung on the back of an outside door for hours of fun. Larger goals can be hard for little ones to reach and take up a lot of space, but this goal’s backboard measures 18 by 12 inches and comes with a 5-inch rubber ball is great for small yards or patios. The breakaway steel rim is sturdy and holds up dunk after dunk. As a bonus, if you using the over-the-door hooks to hang it by, you can easily take it inside to play when the weather doesn’t cooperate.

Review: “Much sturdier construction that other similar products. My son dunks on this for hours in his room on the back of his door. We also put one outside at our lake house on the back of a door on a concrete patio. It is on a covered porch and primarily covered from the elements, but it is outside. Withstands the weather and still in great shape. This one is definitely not nearly as flimsy as others we have purchased in the past.”

7

A light-up slide

The Little Tikes Light-Up First Slide is a great choice for transforming your backyard into an oasis for kids ages 18 months to 6 years old. You’re probably familiar with the design of this classic backyard slide, but the addition of LED lights up and down the slide’s edges make this particular version a must-have item for summer nights outside. The lights are motion-activated, so they illuminate as your child slides down. Plus, the slide itself weighs less than 12 pounds and stands only about 46-inches tall, so you can move it indoors easily as well.

Review: “This was one of my best purchases. My daughter uses it a lot. I was afraid that it would tilt over because it didn't seem that strong. But I was wrong. It really holds up. And considering how cheap it was, it was better than I hoped for. The lights turn on automatically when in use, and it turns off by itself. I put it indoors with mats underneath.”

8

This classic water table

The Little Tikes Frog Pond Water Table is one of the best water tables for toddlers to turn your backyard into an oasis for kids. The classic design gives little ones plenty of space to play around the entire table. It stands approximately 22-inches tall, so it’s ideal for the toddler age group. Kids can play with the table’s attached launchers to send one of 5 included frog toys onto 2 floating lily pads, spin the center tree to activate a “lazy river” motion, or simply splash around in the water. Though the well holds 7 gallons of water, the entire table only weighs about 4 pounds, so it’s easy to flip over and drain after use.

Review: “For the price this is the best water table. The water area is deep and kids can actually play around it. I’ve noticed other water tables have a more shallow water area. My toddler loves flipping the frogs and they can really fly when catapulted hard enough. We bought a cheap thing of water toys to add to it and she has tons of fun with it on a daily basis. So glad I didn’t spend a ton of money on the ‘fancier’ water tables.”

9

Comfy outdoor seating for kids

For reading, relaxing, snack time, movie night, and more outdoor fun, the Big Joe Milano kid’s beanbag chair is a great seating choice for turning your backyard into an oasis for kids. The chair measures approximately 23 inches wide by 18.5 inches in diameter and stands about 19 inches tall. Made from durable, easy-to-clean SmartMax fabric, the exterior of the chair is double-stitched and features dial zippers to ensure that the beans inside don’t bust out, even with heavy use.

Weighing less than 2 pounds, it can easily be moved around both indoors and out. Though not completely weatherproof, many reviewers successfully use these chairs outdoors by simply bringing them inside during inclement weather. Some reviews do note that the upper part of the chair does loose fullness and support over time, but additional filling can be purchased separately to rectify this issue.

Review: “I bought this to use outside by the pool. I don’t like sitting on the concrete edge of the pool because it's hard to get down and up for me. It will also serve as extra seating for kids in the pool patio area. The material feels like pleather. I bought the white marine vinyl. We already have a Big Joe bean bag chair in my son's room and even I like sitting on it. After a little while, the back support kind of poops out but it's comfy and cute. I like the handle too.”

10

A kid-sized fire pit

To make the most out of your backyard oasis for kids, consider adding a fire pit where they can roast hot dogs and make s’mores. This Yaheetech Fire Pit measures 22 inches in diameter and stands 20 inches tall, so it’s compact enough to fit on a small porch or patio. Made from durable steel finished with a heat-resistant coating, the fire put stands on four metal legs that are curved for added stability. It comes complete with a long, metal poker that’s great to use when moving firewood around or removing the mesh grate cover. Though assembly is required, this fire pit comes complete with step-by-step instructions for putting everything together.

Review: “I needed something that wouldn't take up a lot of space on my little patio and this was perfect. Assembly is easy peasy, make sure to get those bolts tight or you're going to have a wiggle issue. I used a philips screwdriver along with the provided ‘wrench’ to tighten everything up & have had zero issues. Able to fit two standard firewood logs in the bowl, a third will fit if you leave the lid off. Appreciate this comes with a firewood poker, which also doubles as a tool to lift the hot lid off when using. All in all this is a great little fire pit for the money.”

11

A cozy hanging hammock

Every backyard oasis for kids needs a sensory-friendly spot, and the OUTREE kids pod swing is just that. Made from 100% cotton-canvas, each pod comes complete with an inflatable cushion that can be removed if desired. It can be used both indoors and out, and all hardware is included to hang this pod swing seat by it’s adjustable-length strap that extends from 15 to 26 inches. Suitable for kids ages 2 and up, the swing can support up to 170 pounds.

Review: “Our 4-year-old loves this swing, he loves to ball up inside and be spun. Our 6-year-old likes to sit in it and spin it while we attempt to chuck pillows into the opening while it spins. He laughs and throws them back out if they make it in. Our 1-year-old goes into a trance with her blankie when we swing her gently back and forth in it. Works in a different way for every personality!”

12

A slip and slide to race on

For days when fun in the sun means turning your backyard oasis for kids into a makeshift waterpark, the JOYIN Slip and Slide is one thing you definitely need in your outdoor toy stockpile. The double slip and slide measures 62 inches wide with two racing lanes that stretch out a total of 20 feet long. Made from thick, heavy-duty PVC, this slide comes complete with stakes to help hold it down while in use. The easy-to-use design allows you to simply attach a water hose to one end of the runway so that water flows through each side and sprays up over the top. Use the two included body boards to slip and slide all the way down to an inflatable landing pad that fills with several inches of water.

Review: “This is a great double slip-and-slide. My boys have a lot of fun with it. The water sprays out one side the entire way down and it sprays high enough to cover the entire double width of the slip and slide, so it stays wet and slippery the whole time. The stakes help hold it down so that it doesn't move while they're using it. Definitely a great purchase and I would recommend.”

13

An inflatable pool with dolphin sprinklers

Sometimes, you just need a good kiddie pool to beat the heat and make your backyard the perfect haven for kids to enjoy. The Oxsami inflatable pool is one inflatable option that works well for families with multiple kids, but not a huge yard. Reviewers note that this design works well for kids and adults alike to lounge and soak all summer long. Made from 4mm PVC plastic, this pool holds up to 153 gallons of water and features a sprayer from the dolphin tail on the end. It’s large and spacious, measuring 98 by 71 by 22 inches to accommodate two adults and between three to five children. The pools three independent air chambers are easy to fill and are designed to stay inflated while you splash and play.

Review: “Fits all kids had plenty of room for all of us and was easy to clean. I have a small backyard and this made it feel like my backyard was bigger than it looked due to the depth of the pool.”

14

Balance stones to build obstacle courses

GONGE River Stones are an outdoor staple that can encourage kids to imagine, move, and play in their backyard oasis. Made from durable plastic, each stone features a non-slip rubber edge on the bottom to prevent slippage. This set includes 6 stones, each in a different color, with 3 small stones and 3 large stones that can be moved around easily to create a variety of obstacle courses. Intended for use by kids ages 3 to 7, each stone can withstand weights up up to 110 pounds.They’ll hold up to the elements, but can also be moved indoors to play with as well.

Review: “So these are pricey. And if you're reading this, you're probably trying to decide if they're worth it. They are plastic stones, could they possibly be that special? Yes. Yes they are. I have a 2 year old and a 4 year old. I also have 7 year old and 9 year old relatives that come by often. All 4 kids play with these all the time. Inside, outside, it doesn't matter. They stand up to rain, hail, children.. Everything. The rubber tracks on the bottom really do make them non-skid on every surface. We've tried grass, tile, carpet, linoleum, cement, inside a plastic kiddie pool, area rugs and across a gravel driveway. They never move. They've been left outside during Texas thunderstorms of hail and flooding, and in the heat of the 110 degree sun with no problems. They haven't faded, become brittle, and the rubber non-skid still looks new.”

15

A picnic table with an umbrella

There are plenty of outdoor picnic tables to choose from for kids, but the Little Tikes Easy Store Jr. Picnic Table is a classic choice for toddlers and preschoolers. It comes complete with an umbrella, so your little one can enjoy shade on sunny days. For use both indoors and out, this plastic picnic table can be unlocked and folded to store easily when not in use without any tools required. The table is sturdy, easy to clean, and can seat up to 4 kids and up to 50 pounds.

Review: “I bought this for my two young grandchildren. It was easy to assemble with no tools and I'm extremely happy with it. It's sturdy and easy to wash down with water hose. Definitely recommend. Based on another review, I purchased the one with the umbrella and I'm glad I did.”

Whether you decide to deck out your outdoor space with toys and games or create some ambiance with twinkle lights and cozy seating, these things can make your backyard a kid oasis to enjoy for years to come.