Create. Play. Travel. Creative Family Ideas and Pacific Northwest Family Lifestyle

Creative Family Ideas in the Pacific Northwest

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Interactive Kids Yard Activities

These kids yard activities are fun and imaginative ways to fully enjoy your yard! My kids can’t wait to go outside as soon as the weather gets warmer. We live in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, which experiences all the seasons. My kids occasionally play out in the snow, but in warmer weather they love spending time outdoors. They play on our swing set, jump on our trampoline, and have backyard snack picnics. Even if your yard is small, you can find ways to do many interactive activities.

Fun and interactive kids yard activities

Sprinkler Obstacle Course

Set up a water sprinkler obstacle course to help kids cool off and get some exercise! Creatively design this fun DIY water play kids yard activity using some simple supplies. You will need pool noodles, small wooden sticks, hula hoops and an inflatable swimming pool. You can find our detailed backyard obstacle course instructions here (coming soon).

Kids backyard sprinkler obstacle course

Outdoor Movie Night

Set up a tent in your backyard and let your kids watch a movie on a laptop with their siblings or friends. Outdoor movie nights are bound to be memorable kids yard activities! Get the tent ready with lots of pillows and cozy blankets. Don’t forget the popcorn and snacks!

Or hang up a sheet and watch a movie on a projector under the stars! To set up a backyard big screen, hang up a large white sheet on the side of your house. Position the projector on a small table in front of the movie screen. Finally, arrange outdoor chairs and patio seating around it. The sky will need to be fairly dark before you start the movie.

Backyard Snack Picnic

Enjoy a backyard picnic with snacks and cups of lemonade. You can make your snack picnic as fancy or as simple as you’d like! Kids will enjoy eating their snacks outside on a nice day. Possible snack ideas could include bunches of grapes, veggie straws, tortilla chips with salsa, cheese sticks and bowls of dry cereal.

Snack Picnic Menu

  • Lemonade
  • Apple juice
  • Fresh fruit: strawberries, bananas, grapes
  • Healthy grains: kettle chips, tortilla chips and dry cereal
  • Dairy: cheese sticks or yogurt
  • Protein: nuts, beef jerky, sliced ham

Backyard picnic snack time kids yard activity idea

Pine Cone Bird Feeders

Kids can help feed your backyard birds by making pine cone bird feeders! You will need to find some large pine cones that have fallen in your yard. If you don’t have any pine trees, you can look for pine cones on your next family hike.

Materials: large pine cones, smooth peanut butter, bowl of loose bird seed.

To make pine cone bird feeders, first rinse off the pine cones and allow them to dry. Use a knife to apply a thin layer of peanut butter onto each pine cone. Next, roll each pine cone in loose bird seed. Finally, tie a string to each pine cone and hang it from a tree out in your yard.

Kids can keep an eye on their pine cone bird feeders to see if any birds visit for a snack!

Trampoline Sleepover

Sleep outdoors on the trampoline with pillows, sleeping bags and cozy blankets. A trampoline sleepover is an adventurous kids yard activity especially for older kids who can sleep outside by themselves. Kids can get cozy in their blankets and look up at the starry sky as they drift off to sleep. Kids may also discover that any bouncing will upset their sleep space!

Backyard Bubbles

Bubble machines are so much fun! It’s also fun to blow your own bubbles, but the technique can be tricky for little kids to figure out. You can easily pick up one of these handy bubble machines that will pump out bubbles for 20 minutes straight! My kids love running all over the yard to catch bubbles and watching them lazily drift up towards the sky.

Bubble machine yard activity for kids

Kids Water Table

Water tables are a great addition to your backyard, especially if you have young kids. Toddlers and prescoolers can practice pouring water, play with water beads, mix play sand with water and more! You can also dry off the water table and use it as a play space for water beads, play dough or homemade cloud dough.

Backyard water table with water beads

Sensory Water Beads

My kids especially love playing with water beads inside our water table. Water beads are non-toxic. However, these colorful balls are not edible and they could be a choking hazard. Kids can pour the water beads into cups and sort them by color. I remind my kids to not purposefully pour the water beads onto the grass, but if some escape, water beads harmlessly dissolve in a day or two.

Play with clean hands to help extend the life of your water beads. Dirty hands can cause water beads to quickly get slimy.

Cleaning up water beads is easy! When the water beads get too dirty or start falling apart, I usually scoop the majority of the water beads into the trash. Then I spray off the water table with water from the hose.

If you want to save water beads for later, simply scoop them into a colander. Water beads will stay cleaner if you rinse them off in the sink after play. Fully drain the water beads and store them in a gallon zip lock bag. I’ve successfully stored water beads for up to 2 months with a little rinsing and care each time we use them.

Special Outdoor Memories

Kids can have fun in the backyard in so many ways! Even if your yard is small, you can find ways to do many of these creative kids yard activities. I also enjoy joining my kids outside on a beautiful day. It’s relaxing to pick a spot to sit and watch my kids run around and play. I hope these ideas help you create a interactive backyard play space for your kids!

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4 years ago

I love water beads but I’m pretty sure my little girl would eat them, so I’m holding off a little longer.

4 years ago

I can’t wait to try these ideas! I was just looking for some new outdoor activities to do with my kids. Since school is out here, our go-to activities have become less exciting. Thanks for the tips!

4 years ago

I love parenting in the summer! There are so many great ways to spend the day. My kids love any kind of water play.

Kristi File
Kristi File
4 years ago

We LOVE bubbles!! And water play can be so much fun too!