It is so important to incorporate a functional and aesthetically pleasing outdoor play space for your young children. The benefits outdoor play areas have for your children are a positive impact on physical health, mental health, sensory and imaginative play, and much more. Through hands-on sensory play, children will develop their gross motor and fine motor skills. It doesn’t hurt to also create an outdoor quiet space for parents too! Let’s explore 22 ideas for outdoor nursery play spaces.
1. Sensory Walking Station
Your little ones will love having a sensory walking station in their outdoor space. All you need is a plastic tub and items to fill the tub with such as water beads, sand, or shaving cream. You can change out the sensory items as needed so this activity never gets boring!
Learn More: Teaching Mama
2. DIY Backyard Teepee
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to create a beautiful teepee for your children. Explore these simple steps to put together your own teepee for your child to have their own secret space. You will need a king-size sheet, bamboo stakes, clothespins, and jute.
Learn More: Mama, Papa, Bubba
3. Water Wall
Children of all ages will love to see how water flows through various-sized containers and funnels with their own creative water wall space. They will explore cause and effect by pouring the water in and observing where it goes throughout the water wall.
Learn More: Happy Hooligans
4. Sunflower House
Building a sunflower house is an excellent way to teach your children about gardening, the life cycle of a plant, measuring growth, and more. It’s so fun to see the sunflowers grow even taller than the kids! The sunflower garden will also make a great space for photo opportunities.
Learn More: Lasso the Moon
5. Sky Nook
This Sky Nook has many benefits for children. It can be used as a cozy space to rest, read, or just swing in the breeze. It calms down energy and promotes a comfortable and relaxing environment. It is also made child safe with a special reinforced stitching design.
Learn More: Fat Brain Toys
6. Outdoor Playhouse
Did you know that you don’t have to purchase an expensive playhouse to reap the benefits? Learn how to build a playhouse with wooden pallets. Having an outdoor playhouse will enhance your outdoor environment for children. What an awesome way to upgrade your backyard play space!
Learn More: Handmade Charlotte
7. Build a Play Set with Slide
I love creating active spaces for children to incorporate physical development and just plain fun. Read through how to make your own play set with slides and a colorful rock-climbing wall with step-by-step progress pictures included. Climbing activities are sure to wow your little ones!
Learn More: If Only April
8. The Ultimate DIY Slip ‘n Slide
This DIY water slide is a great addition to your engaging play space for the summertime. This can be used in the home backyard, family daycare yard, or any daycare center. What a fun idea for a hot summer day!
Learn More: Great Home Ideas
9. Trampoline Den
Do you have a trampoline that you would like to spruce up or repurpose? Look at these amazing ideas that have people transforming their old trampolines into outdoor dens. You could use this in your outdoor daycare campus as a napping den or quiet time spot for little ones.
Learn More: Her Family
10. The Pop-Up Swing Set
This pop-up swing set suspends between trees and would make an extraordinary addition to your awesome play space. These mesh swings, rings, and monkey bars will be an adequate space for your children to work on their flexibility and practice gymnastics.
Learn More: Hammacher Schlemmer
11. Build a Simple Sandbox
Playing in a sandbox is one of my favorite childhood memories. Sand play is a hands-on approach to encouraging children to use their imagination and creativity. It might be a messy activity for parents or teachers, but sand play is sure to be a positive and memorable experience for children.
Learn More: This Old House
12. Outdoor Ball Pit
Building an outdoor ball pit is super easy and is sure to delight children of all ages. You can fill up plastic baby pools or put together a simple wooden design. Adding colorful baskets will provide space for children to practice throwing balls while keeping them contained.
Learn More: Pinterest
13. Noodle Forest
With a Noodle Forest, you will not have to worry about storing pool noodles in the off-season! You can use pool noodles to set up an awesome activity for children to explore. This is one of my favorite ideas for children to use indoors or outdoors any season.
Learn More: Creating Corynn
14. Toddler-friendly Obstacle Course
Obstacle courses will offer toddlers the space to focus on their physical skills by running, jumping, climbing, and crawling through a maze to achieve the goal of completion. Obstacle course challenges for young children will also increase confidence and develop a sense of pride in their abilities.
Learn More: Mom Junction
15. Backyard Construction Zone for Dramatic Play
This is another excellent sensory activity for little ones to engage in dramatic play. You can incorporate natural materials such as sand, rocks, and water, or even mix those with rice and beans. Don’t forget to throw in some shovels, cars, trucks, and cups for scooping.
Learn More: Home BNC
16. Outdoor Table and Hammock Retreat
This table doubles as a hammock for your young children. The tabletop is made from natural materials and can be used for crafting, snacks, and drawing. The hammock underneath is great for relaxing and reading. It also provides shade for your child to take a break from the sun.
Learn More: Home BNC
17. Pebble Pit and Tire Garden
If you are looking for a way to recycle old tires, creating a tire garden for your outdoor play space may be a great solution. This pebble pit is also sure to impress your little ones and give them a space they can enjoy for years to come.
Learn More: Pinterest
18. Vegetable Garden for Kids
The learning opportunities are endless with incorporating a kid-friendly vegetable garden into your outdoor play space. Children will get a kick out of caring for crops and watching them grow. It’s also a great way to encourage them to eat veggies too!
Learn More: Gardening Know How
19. Hula Hoop Outdoor Tunnel
This Hula Hoop Outdoor Tunnel is one of the most creative outdoor play ideas that I have come across. If you are interested in setting up your own hula hoop tunnel, grab your shovel because you will actually be digging part of the hula hoop under the ground. How awesome?!
Learn More: How We Learn
20. Outdoor “Drive-in” Movie
Children of all ages would love to design and create their own cardboard “car” for their very own drive-in backyard movie. For this outdoor movie space, you will need an outdoor movie screen and projector. You can provide flexible, comfortable seating or allow children to create their own.
Learn More: Hello Wonderful
21. Backyard Zipline
Adventurous children will love this DIY backyard zipline. While this activity is geared towards school-age children, younger children will still watch in amazement and cheer on their friends or siblings.
Learn More: The Owner Builder Network
22. Recycled Box Art Studio
Your little artists will love to create their own masterpieces in their very own recycled box art studio. This personal art space will be a special place for children to paint and play all day long.
Learn More: Tiny Beans