Today I come to you with a list of fun kids’ activities and games for a small backyard! We live on a tiny block and we pride ourselves on having made the most out of the very limited space we have!
So if you, too, have a small backyard and kids with lots of energy, here are some activity ideas for those days when heading out to the park is just not an option! (E.g.: like right now with so many families stuck at home due to the Coronavirus quarantines around the world!)
=> Read my tips for Temporary Homeschooling amid the Coronavirus Quarantine
Games and fun kids’ activities for a small backyard
Sidewalk chalk games – There are many fun, structured games you can create with sidewalk chalk, such as traditional hopscotch or an obstacle course. Or you could also just hand the box of chalk to the kids and let their imaginations run wild!
Skipping rope – Can be enjoyed alone or can be made into a competition where you count how many skips each person managed to do before tripping over the rope! We tend to do 5 rounds and add up all the scores to find the winner.
Trampoline – Our trampoline was the best investment ever for our small yard! We bought the biggest one we could fit, but the whole 8 feet of it has been used by the kids for the past few years on a daily basis and I couldn’t count how many different games they have come up with on it!
Rebounder – A rebounder is an even smaller option than a trampoline and with all its claimed health benefits it might become the whole family’s favourite!
Picnic or tea party – With a young lady in our house, tea parties and picnics are a very regular occurrence!
Four square – Who hasn’t played four square as a child? All you need is a piece of chalk and a tennis ball to have hours and hours of fun and laughter! And don’t get stuck on the 4 player idea – think outside the square! ;)
Obstacle course – Use whatever you have available: climbing under/over chairs, dribbling a ball, running around the table, doing 10 jumping jacks, jumping in and out of marked squares, tiptoeing along squiggly lines to follow, etc.
Ball maze – This one is on my to-do list as I have soccer obsessed boys and this is a great ball control exercise! Use chalk or masking tape to create as elaborate a maze as you can. Have the kids gently kick the ball on the ground to get it through the maze without touching any of the maze walls.
Indoor hopscotch – When you have a small yard, you truly learn how to bring the outdoors in and take the indoors out! This is one of those moments – simply use masking tape to mark out the hopscotch squares! Corridors are perfect for it, but you can use any non-carpeted floor space you have available.
Ping pong (without the proper, big table) – You can buy a table tennis kit with a net that will attach to just about any table! We have used ours on our large wooden dining table, as well as on our smaller glass outdoor table. As we’re not yet that great at ping pong, we get a decent work out from just running to get the ball every time we miss it!
Musical bops, musical chairs, musical statues – Just about any dance game you can come up with! Or, don’t worry about making it a game but pop the music on and just dance!
Aim games – We have a velcro dart board, but you may prefer real darts if you have older kids or setting up a bean bag toss with plastic containers or bowls lined up on the ground if your kids are younger. You could also use the chalk again and draw a target on the pavers or driveway for bean bag throwing.
Hula hooping – Hula hooping is so much fun and can be turned into a competition as well if you time how long each person kept it going before it dropped. I had a PT friend tell me once that it’s also a great ab workout, so don’t be afraid to get involved!
YouTube for physical activity – There are lots of videos on youtube that will have your kids active even if the space is limited! For example dance lessons, aerobic workouts or kids’ yoga.
Treasure hunt – As far as fun kids’ activities go, this one is currently our favourite one! Hide hints around the backyard and inside the house or better yet – have the kids create the clues or draw up a map for you. They will have a tonne of fun, learn to write clues/instructions, practice handwriting and thinking in logical steps… and they will be occupied for longer!
Water gun or laser tag fights – We used to love our water fights, but those were limited for obvious reasons – it’s not every day that you want to get drenched and have to clean the whole house! Nerf guns were a hit, but were problematic in our small yard because the bullets would end up over the fence within a few minutes. The solution: Laser X tag guns! Since getting the laser tags, the kids have done so much running around our small yard and house and they always end up exhausted at the end.
Hallway ‘laser’ maze – this was trending on Pinterest a few years ago and trust me: it is so much fun for adults and kids alike! Just use crepe paper streamers and masking tape to run the streamers through your corridor! Put them up on different angles and heights, from one wall to the other. Place them close enough that the kids can’t just crawl underneath, but far away enough for them to make it through without getting frustrated. Now, you are all international spies who have to get through these laser beams without touching them. Go!
I hope this post gave you some new ideas for games and fun kids’ activities if you have a small yard!
Though a small backyard obviously isn’t a prerequisite to play these! ;)
If you have any other ideas for indoor/outdoor games that will keep the kids active and don’t require a big backyard, please let me know! We love to try new games!
And do let me know if you try these and if your kids love them!