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10 Parent/Child DIY Projects for the Backyard

Why not make the most of your family time and tackle some DIY garden projects with your kids? You'll be teaching them valuable skills, spending quality time together and improving your yard at the same time.

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Modern Birdhouse Features

Backyard Bird House

Encourage your kids to look after wildlife by building this modern birdhouse. Costing less than $20, this contemporary, minimalist house can be made in a couple of hours (there’s a full cutting list and instructions, and even a video to help you). And don’t be put off by the tricky-looking angles. Everything is clearly explained so you’ll have your smart birdhouse completed in no time.

Need some more inspiration? Then take a look at these 16 seriously cool birdhouses.

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TrellisFamily Handyman

Cedar and Copper Trellis


Kids love to grow plants, so why not build this beautiful cedar and copper trellis to support growing climbers. The cedar is rot-resistant, and the copper wire scrollwork will weather to make the trellis even more attractive. This structure works well in a flower border, but can also be used in a container to grow clematis, vines or climbing roses – or have the kids plant sweet peas for delicate beauty and fragrance.

The copper wire will cost around $100, but you can reduce the price considerably by only putting on the outward-facing side. And if your child is intrigued by copper wire, here are some more creative ways to use it.

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PlanterFamily Handyman

Wooden Planter Box


One of the quickest and simplest DIY projects to tackle, this handy wooden planter box only takes an hour to construct and utilizes very simple tools. Even young kids will love to build and plant in it. The instructions include tips and tricks such as how to use a template to size the holes and how to use a bucket to make rounded corners. When the planter is finished, paint or stain it to your liking and attach it to a wall or fence.

Hanging plants would show this planter off to its best advantage—check out these great ideas for hanging planters.

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tile patio tableFamily Handyman

Stone-Top Patio Table


If you’re looking for quick yet elegant and inexpensive DIY projects, this stone-top patio table definitely fits the bill. You only need basic tools for this table, together with a drill and caulk gun, and older kids could easily complete most of the construction with a little supervision. Opt for pressure-treated wood to make the table rot-resistant, and let your young co-builder choose the tile for the top. Here is a beautiful concrete-top outdoor table you can build and customize.

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TieredFamily Handyman

Tiered Plant Stand


Have your kids grow their own herbs using this simple tiered stand and they’ll want to be cooking as well as doing DIY projects. This clever multi-level stand is simpler to make then it looks, using 1×2 cedar strips and galvanized nails to resist rust. A miter saw will make cutting easier, but kids could do the construction themselves, if you keep a watchful eye. Apply stain or a clear preservative to the stand, let it dry and then add plants! If you want to do some container gardening, these are the best plants to choose.

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ScrapeFamily Handyman

Mud-Busting Boot Scrape


Once you’re done in the backyard or garden, you don’t want to track muddy footprints through the house, so work with your kids to create this superb mud-busting boot scrape and keep it outside the back door. The baseboard brush and side brushes make short work of removing mud or snow, allowing you to clean your boots hands-free. Easily built from scraps of 2×4, you can make this boot scrape in less than two hours.

And to store your boots and shoes, choose from these great, affordable shoe storage systems.

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self watering garden planterFamily Handyman

Self-Watering Planter


This self-watering planter not only cuts down on the time you need to spend watering but comes into its own if you’re away from home. This more advanced project could be handled by older kids, or let younger ones help with the simpler elements.

The planter is built from cedar and lined with heavy-duty pond liner for water retention. Perforated drainpipe aids water distribution. This planter is also perfect for kids who want to grow herbs, veggies or flowers.

This planter is heavy, so place it where you want it before filling it. Here are 5 tips for saving your back if you have to move heavy stones or concrete block.

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ChairsFamily Handyman

Adirondack Chairs


DIY projects for building Adirondack chairs can sometimes be complicated, but this chair is assuredly not difficult. You do need a table saw and a jigsaw, but it would be easy for adults or teens to do the cutting and let younger kids do the assembling. The chair can be made from hardwood (aspen, maple or oak) or softwood, such as pine, cedar or cypress. Adirondack chairs are traditionally painted, but they also look great with a natural finish. Check out this DIY folding Adirondack chair if off-season storage space is limited.

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Folding Adirondack Table Featured

Adirondack Folding Table


Once you’ve built an Adirondack chair (or several!), what could be better than to have the kids build this matching Adirondack folding table? DIY projects don’t come much simpler than this, because you only need basic tools and the table can be built in just a morning, leaving the afternoon for sipping drinks and nibbling snacks using the table! This project has full instructions and also a handy cutting list so you know exactly what you need before you start. Kids could help build this awesome fold-up grill table as a Mother’s or Father’s Day gift!

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pint sized water gardensFamily Handyman

Pint-Sized Water Garden


Building a traditional garden pond is a major project, and not really suitable for kids, but this little water garden is not only pretty but simple to put together as well. This project involves constructing two levels within a suitably sized container and uses kitty litter and pea gravel as base layers. Add a water pump and you’re good to go. A solar pump will even rule out the need for a cord and you can personalize your pond with stones and small statues.

Have you dreamed of having a stream in your backyard? Here’s how you can build one yourself, complete with a waterfall!

Elizabeth Manneh
Elizabeth is an experienced freelance writer, specializing mainly in digital health & transformation, health & wellness, and education & learning. She's been published on ReadersDigest.com, Paysa.com, The Family Handyman, Huffington Post, Thrive Global, and The Good Men Project. She was also a regular contributor to Love Live Health and Daily Home Remedy. Elizabeth is a retired primary school principal and education consultant, with a continuing passion for education and learning.