How do I make back deck kid friendly?

by Lisa

I’d like for my girls to play on our back deck some and want to make it family friendly and comfortable since we aren’t able to do a screened in porch anytime soon. I’d like to put four bins in the mud kitchen instead of two large ones. But I’m not sure how to spruce up the space. Any ideas?

We do have an outdoor table and swing that’s on the side I’m sitting to have taken this photo.

My husband wants to even put the wood grooves in the floor, how to do this?


  17 answers
  • William William on Sep 11, 2021

    Love Deb K ideas. How about a bench sized for the girls with thick cushions. A plastic resin storage box for outdoor toys the can play with can be used as a bench too. What is the reason for the grooves your hubby wants? They would just trap dirt and water. The spacing between the deck boards allows for dirt and water to flow down.

  • Janice Janice on Sep 11, 2021

    A colorful outdoor rug would make the deck more comfortable. Then some kid size plastic chairs and bin.

  • Maybe a kid friendly tent, some sensory bins, large rug/foam matte, kid gardening, etc. Lots of ideas on Pinterest, too!

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Sep 11, 2021

    just wondering why the wood grooves in the deck flooring ? you could get an outdoor rug that is weatherproof for the kids to sit and play on- add a table they can play games on or color, etc. maybe even add some plants in pots they can help to plant and water

  • Lisa Lisa on Sep 11, 2021

    The wooden thing there is a sensory/mud table. I have to add chairs and add some sensory items in the bins but I’m wanting new bins. I need a gate at the steps and some mesh to keep them from putting their arms and legs through the deck fence but just looking to have a way for them to play comfortably that’s cost effective.

    someone mentioned foam mats? Are they weather proof? I’d like to make sure everything can be left outside since we are running out of storage space inside.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Sep 11, 2021

    Kids love Lego's, make a table with a Lego base and let them build. Depending on the ages of the kids, that can be age group specific for kids. You might want to put a mat underneath so the Lego's do not fall through.

  • 17335038 17335038 on Sep 11, 2021

    In the picture you posted of your deck, I do not see any provisions for shade, which is important for children to have if it is going to function as a play area.

    For this reason, I would recommend getting a cantilever umbrella. These can be turned and tilted directions to provide shade at different times of the day and to accommodate different activities (for kids of all ages enjoying the deck).

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Sep 11, 2021

    Hello. Perhaps installing a wooden gate would be suggested for safety and providing shade with an umbrella or even a rooftop and post sail shade for UV protection. An outdoor rug might be suggested unless you think it might become moldy in a high humidity or rainy situation.

    Additionally adding some children friendly play toys might also be suggested things like water table or automatic bubble machines can be lots of fun.

    • See 2 previous
    • 17335038 17335038 on Sep 13, 2021

      Although gates may not be sold as 'outdoor gates', I would think that a heavy duty 'indoor' plastic one without any metal that would rust in the rain, should suffice until the kids get old enough to no longer need one, or until such time as you can afford to get a custom wooden one built.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Sep 11, 2021

    How about something like this:

    ColourTree 12' x 16' Beige Rectangle Sun Shade Sail Canopy Awning Shelter Fabric Cloth Screen - UV Block UV Resistant Heavy Duty Commercial Grade - Outdoor Patio Carport - (We Make Custom Size)

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Sep 13, 2021

    Get a deck box that will hold toys and double as seating space.

    Add a fun outdoor rug for interest.

    I don't think adding grooves on the boards will be a good idea and I'm uncertain the reasoning for them.

    Kids love tents so you could buy one or let them build their own.

    You didn't mention their ages so unsure if they would enjoy a sand box or water table but most kids really love both. Just make sure if you go with a sand box that it can be covered.

    • See 1 previous
    • Lisa Lisa on Sep 13, 2021

      The wooden mud kitchen is a sensory table with sand and water so we have that covered!

      I have a 3 year old and an almost & 8 month old. Hoping that as the Fall weather comes in the toddler can play safely and the baby can sit on safe ground with toys.

  • Mogie Mogie on Sep 13, 2021

    Just be sure whatever you decide on allows water and dirt to filter thru since this is sitting on a wooden deck.

  • 17335038 17335038 on Sep 13, 2021

    The sun shade in the link in Cynthia's comment should provide shade for the deck. However, don't be fooled that the entire cost of the sunshade is the price listed. This price is only for the cloth. The expense will be mainly in purchasing and installing high strong posts to mount it on to, and purchasing robust hardware to attach the cloth to the posts.

  • Annie Annie on Sep 16, 2021

    Lisa, foam mats should be weather proof enough to leave outside all year, except winter if you get lots of snow.

    A small tent they can play in would be fun, plus yes lots of strong storage containers for toys etc!

    • Lisa Lisa on Oct 07, 2021

      where can I find the big foam mats for outdoors?

  • Lindsay Aratari Lindsay Aratari on Sep 28, 2021

    Add an outdoor rug, outdoor furniture, and an umbrella for protection from the sun

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Oct 21, 2022

    All weather outdoor carpet. Wind windbreak type canvas in and out your Railings. Put outdoor cushions around and maybe Bunting!

  • Mogie Mogie on Nov 05, 2022

    Rug on the wooden deck would keep splinters from getting into feet. MIght even check the hand railing to see if it needs to be sanding and restained.

    Some sort of shade since young skin burns.

    What about small kids that can't get onto the bench they could use a little set of stairs to climb up.

    Will they be out there at night? If so some sort of lighting (not just the lone light by the door). You could even use install led solar lighting so there are lights above each stair leading up to the deck.