Bring the Beach to Your Backyard

Bring your favorite vacation activities to your backyard and enjoy some beach-time any time. So what if the ocean waves aren’t gently crashing nearby? Your bluetooth
speaker and a loop of wave and seagull sounds will convince you otherwise.

Here are some of the ways we’re dressing up our backyards and patios when a vacation is off the calendar. These family friendly activities will keep the kids happy and parents relaxed. But no judgment here if you make an epic water slide just for you and your college besties.

Make a Baby Safe Beach

Little ones are notorious for grabbing and tasting everything they can. A rock can look like a lollipop and in just a blink a handful of sand can cause a lot of coughs. Create a safer way to play on the beach with just five tools:

  • Water
  • Food coloring
  • Cheerios
  • Tupperware
  • Blender or food processor

Blend cheerios into a fine dust to create edible sand you can pour in a large tupperware. Drop in some tiny toys so your kiddo can dig in this sensory experience. With a separate bucket or large tupperware, mix blue food coloring into water for your own seaside. Side by side, the soft and gritty feel of the cheerios with the bright water helps your baby enjoy a new tactile experience.

Swap out the swim diaper for a pair of  baby-safe sunglasses that protect against 100% of UV rays and are made to withstand drops and scratches. You and your little minnow will have everything you need to enjoy your new backyard beach.

Create the Ultimate Water Balloon Fight

Running through the sprinklers and throwing water balloons is a classic way to cool off and burn excess energy. But adding a little more of a challenge to the fight can keep things interesting and create lasting memories. And if siblings keep arguing over who gets the TV remote, have them battle it out with the balloons in the backyard.

While we recommend playing parents vs kids, modify as you see fit for your family. You’ll need:

  • A bucket per team
  • A designated water balloon color per team
  • A water gun per player
  • Lots of towels
  • Hard mode: 4 small buckets of water

The goal of the game is to soak the other team’s players and prevent them from accessing water balloons or water guns. The team with the most water balloons in their bucket leftover wins.


  • Fill buckets with their corresponding colors. Red team has a bucket of red balloons. Blue team has a bucket of blue balloons and so on.
  • Place the buckets on opposite ends of the backyard
  • Place water guns in random places throughout the backyard
  • Hard mode: Add 4 small buckets filled with water


  • All teams start in the middle of the yard. 
  • On the mark, teams should run to grab their water guns and the opposing team’s balloons. The goal is to try and empty the opposing team’s supply of balloons by throwing them.
  • Once hit with water you must drop your water gun and run a lap before you can try and rearm yourself.
  • Hard mode: Grabbing a water bucket and dumping it on the opposing team member means that team member is OUT of the game and can’t defend their side.


  • When one team has run out of balloons, the game is done and the team with the most balloons left in their supply buckets wins. 

Don’t forget to arm everyone with  water-ready sunglasses that cut out the glare from the sun and are ready to take a few water-balloon hits. After all, this isn’t your grandma’s typical water balloon battle. Be prepared to have a bruised ego and a soaked swimsuit once you’re done.

Build an Epic Slip and Slide

We’ll be honest, this one is mostly for the dads out there. Nothing brings out your inner kid better than a giant slip and slide. This isn’t exactly the same as boogie boarding on the waves but it’s still a fun time for everyone in the family to enjoy.

Here’s what you’ll need for this epic slide:

  • Plastic sheeting or drop cloth
  • Pool noodles
  • Landscape anchor pins 
  • Tear-free soap
  • Baby oil
  • Perfectly placed sprinkler system
  • Inner tubes

Lay down the plastic sheeting to create as long a slide as you can. Place the pool noodles around the edges of the slide and a few at the end for a padded end point. Use landscape pins to keep the sheeting and the pool noodles in place. With tear-free baby soap or baby oil, grease up the slide, get the hose and sprinklers going and race down! Whoever has the fastest time wins.

Depending on how large your water slide is, you can task the kids to aim, fire and throw water balloons as everyone takes turns sliding down. A perfectly timed water balloon explosion can make the slide all the more adventurous. Add extra sprinklers if possible to create the feeling of sliding through a waterfall.

No matter how you recreate your perfect vacation spot in your backyard, always have your favorite pair of sunglasses on hand. Clearer than glass and tough as a rock,  Rheos signature Nylon Optics ensure you’re always ready for the water.