- Family and Parenting
20 Outdoor Activities for Kids
No matter the weather...
Regardless of the time of year and weather (hurricanes and blizzards aside), outside fun is possible for kids of all ages. Little to no money is needed - just an open mind, a bit of an imagination, and an eagerness to play!
The great outdoors offers a whole world of possibilities, no matter your income and location. Below are just a few ideas of how to keep the little ones entertained and learning at the same time. It is up to you to determine if supervision is needed, and if the activity is appropriate for your child(ren).
Ideas for Outdoor Fun
Some of these are self-explanatory, but all are just suggestions. Feel free to add to, or change, any of these ideas to suit your children's needs. Twenty outdoor activities for kids:
- Fly a kite. Dollar stores usually have simple kites. They may not be as durable as ones bought from a hobby/craft store, but work none-the-less. Or, make a kite (use sticks, cloth, string, and glue).
- Nature/Wildlife Hunt. Create a list of some things for the kids to find or watch for, such as a certain color of bird, a certain kind of tree, flower, or shrub, different kinds of rocks, or leaves, etc. Have the kids cross the item off of the list once found! Or, just go outside with the intention of "taking it all in", and see what can be found by just being aware of your surroundings. Learn what is in your own backyard or neighborhood while on an adventure!
- Play a game. Ring around the rosie, duck duck goose, tag, red light/green light, leap frog... There are so many great free games for kids! You could play bean bag toss or ladder/lawn ball, among others.
- Play a sport. Aside from mainstream sports like football, baseball, basketball, or soccer, there are other fun, easy sports to play, like capture the flag, horseshoes, or disc golf.
- Find (and collect?) bugs.
- Find (and collect?) rocks. I, for one, did this as a child. It was something that I did year-round, wherever I was. I was proud of my rock collection, and learned quite a bit from it!
- Blow bubbles. There are now such more intricate bubble makers/blowers than when I was a child. There are wands and swards, bubble machines and nets. Kids can have a whole day of bubble fun!
- Leaf pile. Rake leaves into a huge pile, and jump on in!
- Snow fun! Have a snowball fight, make a snowman, snow angels, or a snow fort. Sledding is also absolutely exciting and fun!
- Skate. Roller skate, skateboard, rip-stick, roller hockey, or ice skating.
- Plant. Whether a simple flower, or a whole garden, planting is fun not only for kids, but for adults. Talk about what to plant and where, and what is involved in caring for the plants. Have fun getting messy in the dirt, and watch your plant grow!
- Chalk. Draw on the sidewalk or driveway, creating pictures, words/sayings, or games, like hopscotch.
- Jump rope or hula hoop. Whether alone or in a group, both are fun and great physical activities for kids of all ages!
- Host the Olympics. Create races, games, and challenges for groups of kids, like a relay race. You can even give prizes, like a candy bar or a quarter, or -if you can- a trophy.
- Do a scavenger or treasure hunt! Aside from searching for rocks, plants, and bugs, hide some items in the yard, and (you can give hints) let the kids find it all! Hide a few "prizes", too, to make it more exciting!
- Have a picnic. Whether just some fruit or chips, lay down a blanket, and relax for a few with something to eat. When done, lay down completely, and look for shapes in the clouds (if there are clouds).
- Wash the car. No, not mommy and daddy's car, but your own! Get out the hotwheels, trains, and anything else, and give them a bath! This is something fun for the boys to do while dad is washing his car. Or, do just that, and help dad with his!
- Draw! Draw a map of your street or neighborhood, or a picture of the tree in the front yard. Or, draw a picture of the house across the street, with a snow-covered roof and a tree in the window.
- Make a swing. Make a tire swing with rope and an old tire, or a plank swing with a piece of wood and rope. Or, just loop a tough, durable rope around a tree and knot it, to be used as if you were Tarzan!
- Just go! Go for a walk, hike, or bike ride. Go for a swing, run, or swim. Whatever it is, be safe, but have fun!
- [Yes, I said 20, but I think that #20 is a "gimme". So, here is a bonus...] Play with water. Set-up a sprinkler or two, a slip-n-slide, or small pool for the kids. Or, have a water balloon fight or toss. Water the grass, trees, garden, or wash the family dog(s). Or, if it is raining, splash in the puddles!
Outdoor Family Fun
Here are a few suggestions for outdoor fun for the whole family:
- Go to the zoo, a local park, or amusement park.
- Go to a large, public garden, atrium, or building with a nice view.
- Go fishing or camping.
- Go to a national park or trails, and hike.
- Go to a beach.
- Go for a family bike ride, or to an outdoor sports center to play a game together.