outdoor deck ideas

Do you ever look at your backyard and wish your family used it more often? A lush lawn is a wonderful thing, but having a deck can make your yard space more functional. And if you have kids, you need some great outdoor deck ideas to keep the whole family entertained.

Below we’ve collected some of the best kid-friendly outdoor deck ideas that kids of all ages (and kids at heart) can enjoy! 

1. Turn Your Deck into a Cool Lounge

One of the best options for your kid-friendly deck is to make the space into a cool and comfortable lounge space. You and your family can hang out here on summer evenings and have the neighbors over for a drink and a playdate. As your kids get older, they can bring their friends over to lounge around on your amazing deck.

For a cool nautical look, paint the side of your house in navy and white horizontal stripes. Build in some natural wood benches and stools and add lots of outdoor pillows in various shades of blue. Add an outdoor TV mounted behind protective shutters and some greenery and you’ve got a space your family will enjoy for years. 

2. Add a Grill or Fire Pit

Another great way to open your deck up for hangouts and playdates is to make it a true entertaining space. If you’re an aspiring grill master, the right deck can help you show off your skills and give your kids plenty of space to run around while you cook burgers for the family.

For dessert, your family can make s’mores around a fire pit. Did you know that it’s actually safe to install a fire pit on your deck? Just be sure to verify that it’s ok within your city code, and take any necessary precautions to ensure your family’s safety.

You can also talk to a contractor about installing an outdoor kitchen or building a brick structure around your grill if you need more prep space.

3. Make Your Own Outdoor Chess Game

Chess is a great way to teach kids logic and strategy, but it can be hard to get them to sit and focus on a tabletop game. Outdoor chess lets them run around and interact more with the game. Plus, when the pieces are put away, you’ll have a large, open space on your patio that you can use for a variety of other activities and games.

Start by putting down an eight by eight grid of square pavers about two feet across. Buy or make blown-up versions of each chess piece, one in white and one in black. Set up some seating and maybe a fire pit around the rest of your deck, set out the pieces, and get to playing a great game of chess!

4. Watch Your Favorite Flicks on an Outdoor Movie Screen

Watching a movie with your family is wonderful. But how much more amazing would it be to hang out on your deck on a warm evening and watch your favorite movies on the big screen? You can invite the neighbors over for a screening party or just have your own private showing. Let your kids experience the wonder of their favorite movies on the big screen right from the comfort of your home.

Set up plenty of comfortable seating around your deck, adding lots of pillows. Make benches wide enough that people can lounge back on them. You might even want to get a popcorn cart you can roll outside for movie nights. Set up a projector screen just off the back deck, kick back, and watch the opening credits roll.

5. Get Creative with a Chalk Wall

Kids like drawing on the walls, so why not give them an outdoor wall they’re allowed to decorate however they want? Adding a chalk wall to your deck can help give kids a creative outlet and encourage them to get in touch with their artistic sides.

Add a solid piece of plywood to one section of your deck walls and paint it flat black. Most traditional chalkboard paint won’t stand up to the weather, so look for a flat exterior latex enamel paint instead. Then, get a few buckets of chalk and turn your budding artists loose. 

6. For Adventurous Families: Build a Climbing Wall

Climbing walls can be an amazing backyard edition for kids who are getting too old for the usual backyard games. They make for a fun challenge, and there’s always a new way to get to the top. If you’re the sort of family who loves going on adventures, it’s only fitting to bring the adventure right to your backyard.

Take one end of your deck and turn it into a climbing wall. You can buy pre-made climbing walls or build one yourself; if you go this route, be sure you test it out before the kids to make sure it’s sturdy. Add some rubber mats around the bottom to cushion any falls, and consider adding some other obstacle course challenges to the rest of your deck.

7. For the Adrenaline Junkies: Create a Custom Zip Line

Once your kids get to the top of the climbing wall, sure, they could just climb back down. Or, they could hop on a zip line that will carry them through the beautiful greenery of the rest of your backyard. Adding a custom zip line to your deck is easier than you may think!

Pick a tree or other very sturdy object at the opposite end of your yard. Then, attach one end of a cable a few feet lower than the top of your climbing wall or deck. You can create a handle for kids to hang from using a pulley and an old pair of bike handlebars. It’s best to make sure your zip line isn’t more than six or so feet off the ground at any point to prevent any serious falls.

Discover More Great Outdoor Deck Ideas

A deck can be an amazing place to play, cook, eat, laugh, hang out, and make memories. With any of these kid-friendly outdoor deck ideas, your kids will be able to think back on their childhood and remember all the incredible times they spent in their backyard. Pick the project that appeals most to you and your family and make it a reality!

Decks and Docks Lumber Company can provide you with the best lumber or composite decking materials to get the perfect family deck for your yard. Check out our composite decking materials and start building an area you’ll love for years to come!