Backyard Fun In The Summer Sun

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Summer memories can be created close to home. Small items and toys are all you need to create an epic summer in your backyard!

Our son and his family will be visiting in August…and I can hardly wait! It will be the first time that our three grandchildren will see our new house, and I want them to feel so welcome, and wanted. Part of my plan is to have simple but fun backyard toys ready and waiting. We have a tiny backyard, but I know I can make it a place for them to enjoy. Read on for my tips for successful backyard fun…and make sure to scroll to the end for a 2023 update.

*Affiliate links included. See my disclosure statement.

container of sidewalk chalk for backyard fun
Our two older grandchildren love sidewalk chalk!

Choose easy-to-store items.

With the exception of the bubble water table, which I couldn’t resist, all the toys I keep on hand for our grandkids are easily stored in plastic bins. Before I buy any toy item, the first thing I ask myself is “where am I going to store it?” My best storage tip is to choose stackable plastic bins with sturdy lids in a size that fits your storage space. As the kids outgrow what we have, I will donate and replace. To keep things under control, and not run out of room, my goal is to get rid of something every time I add something new. Exceptions being games, crayons/markers, etc. Time will tell how successful I will be!

Be prepared with storage bins or baskets.

Don’t wait to get the plastic bins or baskets. Make sure to have them all set to go when the grandkids arrive. At the end of the day, the bins make it so easy to clean up. It’s much easier to pick up toys and keep them organized when the storage is handy and easy.

Have the toys easily accessible.

Make sure all the toys are accessible to the children. If you have a patio or deck, stack a few toy-filled bins against the house. They will be somewhat protected from the elements, and the kids will be able to help themselves when playtime rolls around.

little tikes FOAMO water bubble table

A Water Toy Is A Must

My big purchase this year is the Little Tikes water table that makes bubbles…and seriously, it is so cute! I’m going to be honest and say that this is NOT something I would have bought as a mom. It will take a bit of supervision and preparation, but as a grandma, I’m happy to take the time. And hopefully, the kids will think I’m fun, and it will all be a great success. Fingers crossed!

Two things you might be wondering. First, I put this together all by myself. The directions were excellent, and it took about a half hour. You need batteries, so be prepared. Second, I already have a spot reserved in our basement storage room where I can store the bubble table!

little tikes FOAMO bubble water table

2023 Update

As you can see in the image below, the water table was a big hit with my grandchildren! When they visited last summer, we spent lots of time in the backyard. Even though it’s a small space, there was plenty of room for them to have fun.

children playing with water table in backyard

More Backyard Inspiration

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  1. The kids will have a blast all summer!
    A water game for sure is a must.

  2. Great ideas y! Easy access to the toys is key!

  3. What fun summer ideas..loved them all!

  4. Good ideas! Five of our grands are teens and 20s now, with one 9-year-old. We even have the second grand wedding next week! These ideas are great for those with littles and young grands. . .

  5. I enjoyed checking out the links you shared. With four grands of my own, I got some great ideas!

  6. Walmart really has improved their clothing selection lately. I love the cute outfits you picked out for your grandkids. Have a great visit with your family!

  7. Mary Tedesco says:

    Bubble table looks so fun!
    Thanks for sharing

  8. Good morning Ann,
    We are spending the 4th by ourselves this year and we’re wishing our grand kids were closer as well! I saw the toy post earlier but took more time today
    looking at the cute clothing. I so love the blues in each item.
    Wishing you a Happy 4th!!!

  9. Hi Ann
    With Grandbaby number 4 on the way, Your backyard fun is greatly appreciated. I’m so excited to see my little one’s faces when they come to Nana Honey and Grandads house next week to see the summer fun surprises!

  10. Love all your summer ideas for kids! We did a lot of those same things when our grands were younger!

  11. Loving that bubble table. Now just wishing I don’t have to wait so long for some Grandkids.

  12. Carol Kindt says:

    Unfortunately all the grand kids are all grown up otherwise I’d be following your tips for backyard fun. Guess we’ll just have to wait for great grand kids to come along.

  13. Lots of great ideas! My granddaughter (age 1 1/2) loves her Little Tikes Slide.

  14. Backyard fun is great. My 4 girls loved being outside growing up. Now we have 1 granddaughter. I hope she enjoys it as much as they did.

  15. D. Ingram says:

    Love the water table. Such great ideas to make summer fun for kids, grandkids and great grandkids…..

    Will definitely use some of your ideas and projects this summer.
    Happy 4th
    Happy Summer

  16. Great ideas! I’ve bought some of your home goods, Thank You for the giveaways….It sure helps people.

  17. Terri Herman says:

    Great ideas! I just ordered a small slip & slide that folds nice & flat. Bubbles are always a hit!

  18. Kristi Flournoy says:

    Such fun ideas!

  19. I am sure your grandchildren will have lots of fun, and so will you.

  20. Cheryl Foley💓 says:

    Fun ideas! Thank you

  21. What lucky grandchildren. They are going to really enjoy their backyard fun. Mine are getting older now but I remember fondly how the youngest would stand on our balcony and pretend she was a princess and my home was her castle! I guess that makes me the queen mother?!?

  22. Such fun ideas! I have no little ones in my life right now but will save the post for future grandbabies.

  23. It will be fun when your grandkids come to visit. And play.

  24. Fantastic fun for the little people in your life. Looks like a wonderful memory at the Grandparents house. Thank you for sharing .

  25. Jill Scott says:

    I’m gonna order the rocks for my son. He will love them!

  26. Linda Smith says:

    I’m guessing your grandkids live to come to your house! Thanks for all the great ideas!

  27. When I become a grammy, I want to be prepared too! Sweet ideas. Thank you!☺️

  28. Lori Geiger says:

    5 stars
    We all want to be the fun grandmas! What great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  29. Mindy piper says:

    I love the bubble table. I’m going to add that to my toy stash!

  30. Looks like there will be loads of Fun when those grandchildren visit! Hope to see some action pics!

  31. Love the stencils to use with chalk. Going to find ones in my art room that our grands can use when they visit. Thanks for that great idea.

  32. Connie Beversdorf says:

    Thanks for fun toys for grandkids this summer!

  33. Amy @ Ms. Toody Goo Shoes says:

    Looks like the grand kids are going to have a great time! Enjoy!

  34. So much fun for your family time in August!!! That water table is genius and the clothes are really cute too 💜

  35. I buy most of my larger toys, like tricycles, a toybox, and a playhouse off Facebook Marketplace or in 2nd hand toy stores–I’ve gotten a pristine playpen there, too. I repainted the playhouse and toybox to match my backyard colors–blue and white!–and it all looks cute, and fun, too!

  36. Ann, that bubble table looks like so much fun! Heck, I’d even like to play with it! I always stock up on Capri Suns and freezer pops before a visit!

  37. I just purchased a large plastic tote this weekend to keep the grandkids small outdoor toys in, as well as a small splash pad sprinkler.
    I’m bummed that they may move further away in the next year. Thankfully with technology & video chats that helps a little.

  38. Ann, we are just starting to think about where we might go if we sell the house where we raised our children. Would it be too personal to ask you to write a post about how and why you chose to buy where you did, rather than relocate closer to one of your children? I’d sure love your perspective.

    1. 5 stars
      Debra…great timing. I would love to see a post on something about this as well. We have two adult sons that live out of state. One settled in his dream job as a Professor…the other recently relocated to Texas for a two year commitment. Leaning to making his permanent home in the Midwest. Love our four seasons here in Minnesota but as we get older winters are only pretty to look at😊. Ann I would also like to hear your thoughts.

  39. What a blessing you are to your grandchildren, Ann. Looks like you’ll have a fun time playing in your new backyard! Enjoy & make precious family memories! We are fortunate to have our 7 grandchildren close by. We feel that our grandkids are growing up even faster than our own children did… is that even possible?! Happy summer!!

  40. Nan, Odessa, DE says:

    I wish you were my grandparent!
    Take lots of pics and make a family book that they will enjoys when they visit again.
    Wishing everyone lots of memories.

    PS. Night out for parents, movie tickets?