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10 Fun Outdoor Activities For Kids!

Updated on August 23, 2017
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Fun Outdoor Gifts and Activities For Kids!

Why Not Turn Off the TV and Video Games, And Encourage The Kids To Play Outside For A While?

Would a fun outdoor gift help get your kids motivated to play outside more?

Many kids today seem nearly glued to their X-Boxes, DSs, Playstations, Wiis, Gamecubes, TVs or other electronic devices. But what ever happened to good ol' outdoor fun?

The kids in our neighborhood are unlike many in that they play outside a great deal. One of their favorite places to play is the vacant lot beside our house. Below you will find 10 of their most favorite things to do on a vacant lot.

By the way, sure, none of these ideas listed here are new activities. But that's just the point. The outdoor games and activities we played as children were lots of fun! Don't you think?

Come take a stroll down memory lane, and maybe you'll even get inspired to have a "no electronics day" at your house every now and then... I've even leave a space on the page for you to share some of your favorite outside childhood games and activities!


#1. Watergun fun!

Outdoor Activities And Gifts For Kids

Watergun are great toys for hot days!

Watergun fun!
Watergun fun! | Source

Spraying one another with a stream of water! What fun on a hot summer day!

Watergun Fun!

Oh yeah! Especially on a hot day, playing with waterguns was a blast! A blast of cool water, that is! Turning the hose on someone who came running by as we were refilling our waterguns was fun too!

At my son's karate school, they have "water fight night" once a month during the warmer months. All the kids wear their swimsuits and run around the parking lot (from which cars have been restricted) shooting not only each other, but also their karate instructors! Now how fun is that?!

Playing with waterguns often goes on closer to home too. The neighborhood kids all love it!

#2. Remote Control Vehicles

Build A Dirt Track For Your Remote Control Vehicle

Remote Control Vehicles Can Be Lots Of Fun! - When my son was a little younger, a remote control was number one on his Christmas list every year!

I don't have a story from my childhood about this one, but I can tell you what my son and his friends have done. First they used rakes and other tools to create trails through the vacant lot. Then they created bumps and turns in the trail. See one of the bumps, a couple of feet below where he's currently working?

Preparing the trail for the RC.

Remove control vehicles
Remove control vehicles | Source

Next the fun begins; driving their remote control cars over the track! Steering these as they travel quickly on a bumpy dirt track isn't as easy as one might think!

There are different trails branching off the main one, so there's a variety of ways to go. The main trail leads you, in a round about way, back to the start too, so you can keep on going for a while if you'd like!

Source
Source
Syma S107G 3 Channel RC Helicopter, Yellow
Syma S107G 3 Channel RC Helicopter, Yellow

My son has this remote control helicopter! It works great! You would think it'd break easy, but he's bumped it into all kinds of things (tables, floors, walls, ceilings, etc) and nothing's broken yet! He loves it!

 

#3. Climb a tree!

Fun Outdoor Activities

There was a beautiful dogwood tree in our backyard.

Wanna hear about the fun we had in it?

When I was growing up, we had a beautiful dogwood tree in our backyard. Hanging from it was a monkey swing. Remember those round swings that hung from a single rope?

That wasn't the best part of the tree though. The best part was the branches. My older brother and I used to climb up in them. It was so much fun! Being way up high like that, feeling the breeze upon our skin, gave us such a wonderful feeling of freedom, peace, and joy!

There was one place up in those dogwood branches that was great for sitting. Another place, where the branches criss crossed just right, even offered us a safe place to lie down. Yes, up high in the tree! It was awesome. We'd take a book up there, lie down in the branches, and just read, enjoying the birds singing all around.

We moved to a new house, and thus a new backyard, near the end of my third year of school, but I never forgot my love of climbing trees. I remember even as a young adult climbing a tree just to get back that old feeling!

Here's a photo of my son climbing a tree on the vacant lot beside us.

#4. Ball Games and Other Outdoor Games

Hide & Seek, Freeze Tag, Ball Games, and Other Outdoor games

Active Outdoor Games! - Hide and Seek, Ball Games, and More

Hide and Seek, Red Rover, Freeze Tag, Flashlight Tag, (and many other variations of tag!), King of the Mountain, kickball, etc!

Hide-n-seek was always a favorite of mine, inside or out! Places like our vacant lot, where there are lots of places to hide, make it even more fun!

He's hiding in there somewhere!
He's hiding in there somewhere! | Source



Yes, he's in there. Do you see him?


What's your favorite outdoor children's game?

See results

#5. Catch Fireflies..

and then let them go again.

Observing Lightning Bugs light up the dark!

Ah, the memories of warm, summer evenings!

Remember that? I know some people used a jar to catch fireflies, but my brother and i just cupped our hands together. It was quicker and easier and we didn't have to run back in the house to get a jar when we saw the fireflies appearing in the evening!

Remember how magical fireflies used to seem to us as children? They carried their own lights with them, and turned them on and off like flashlights!

Catching Fireflies

How about you? What was your chosen method of catching lightning bugs as a child?

See results

#6. Wanna dig a hole to China?

Building pretend foxholes or WW1 trenches, even trying to dig to China!

What is it with kids and digging holes?

My brother used to dig holes in the woods when I wasn't looking and then cover them with leaves. Next he'd tease me into chasing him, only he'd know where the holes were to leap over, and I wouldn't! Somehow I never recall falling into one though...

And yeah, seriously, I do recall trying to dig to China. Okay, I didn't really think I could dig that far, and I guess even if I could have dug straight through the center of the earth, I would have ended up somewhere in the middle of the Indian Ocean rather than China..but it was still a fun game to play! I guess kids just like to dig and explore the world around them!

Last year my son and I learned about the trenches of WWI as part of our homeschool program. My son was fascinated by all that he learned. Therefore I guess it's only natural that he and the neighborhood kids began to dig their own pretend trenches and foxholes to play in! (And yes they were truly grateful that they didn't have to LIVE in those trenches, but just play in them for an hour or so at a time! They do know that real war is not a game!)

Source
Source

Boy am I glad all this digging goes on on a vacant lot, and not in our own yard!

#7. Ride Bikes or Scooters!

Riding Bikes Has Long Been A Pleasure Of Childhood - Don't forget your helmet!

I recall when I was first learning how to ride a two wheeler. My parents had taken me over to the school on a weekend when no one was there so we could ride on the road without having to worry about cars. (That's the same way I learned how to drive a car, by the way!) I remember my dad running along behind me, holding on to the back of my bike. When he felt I was ready, he just let go..and off I went.

I bet many of you have a similar story to tell.

Sure, the neighborhood kids all love riding bikes in our cul-de-sac, but they also enjoy riding them on the vacant lot. I think they LIKE going bumpity bumpity over the rocks and tuffs of grass, and especially down the hill to the road below! After they'd built the track for their remote controls though, they often used it for riding bikes too!

Source
Source

#8. Use Your Imagination!

Let's Pretend...

Use Your Imagination As You Play Outside

What did you like to pretend when you were a kid?

Did you take sticks and pebbles to build miniature doll houses and use twig people as the dolls? Did you draw on or cut a large cardboard box and turn it into a castle, clubhouse or a rocket to the moon?

Did you pretend you were royalty? Or a bad guy or a cop? Or maybe you role played being a settler on the prairie? Perhaps you were Lewis Or Clark, exploring the west? Or the Vikings or the Pilgrims making journeys across the ocean? Maybe you were Leonardo da Vinci in your imagination? Or a doctor or veterinarian?

When you're using your imagination, the sky's the limit!

Source

Tell us your story!

What did you like to pretend when you were a kid?

#9. Explore Nature and Collect Things

Explore the wonders of nature!

Even keep a written record of them, if you'd like!

Have you ever studied ants as they crawled across the ground? What happens when one ant meets another? Have you noticed how they often stop to greet one another? Where are they going and where have they come from? How can they carry such large pieces of food?

What about Rolypolys and Granddaddy Long-Legs? Remember looking for either of them when you were a kid? I do. Rolypolys, anyway. I wasn't as fond of Granddaddy Long Legs! I had friends who used to search for them though!

Did you collect rocks, leaves, feathers, seeds, or anything else you found out in nature? My son has quite a few nature collections, including everything from feathers to rocks to bones!

My son's bone collection.
My son's bone collection. | Source

Why not suggest your kids grab a notebook and pencil and record some of their findings and discoveries? It could be a notebook just for nature observations and drawings!

Or maybe they'd like to start a new nature collection?

#10. Run, Jump, Or Create an Obstacle Course!

Vacant Lots Usually Allow Plenty Of Room For Being Active!

So run and jump all you want!

You might even want to use old boxes, tires, planks of wood, logs, etc, to create an obstacle course to jump over and climb through!

Source

More Outdoor Fun Gifts

Sleds, Ladderball, Horseshoes, Boochie Ball, Badminton, VolleyBall, and Baseball!

Outdoor Games For The Family! - Bring the whole family outside for some fun!

Boochie, A Whole New Ball Game
Boochie, A Whole New Ball Game

Boochie is a favorite game in our family! We especially love taking it to the beach!

 
Maranda Enterprises Metal Ladderball Game
Maranda Enterprises Metal Ladderball Game

Another family introduced us to ladderball a few years ago. We enjoyed it so much, we bought a set of our own! Ladderball can be played with two people, or with two teams of people. Take turns throwing this rope with balls on each end onto the ladder that is placed near the opposing team. Try to get the rope to stay on the ladder. Different points are awarded based on which rung of the ladder (if any) the rope lands on.

 
Little Tikes TotSports T-Ball Set, Red
Little Tikes TotSports T-Ball Set, Red

My kids are well beyond the age for T-ball now, but they sure did love it when they were small!

 



What Was Your Favorite Childhood Game To Play? Come on and tell us about it! We'd love to hear!

There's a guestbook below for your questions and comments!



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    • iamraincrystal profile image

      Rosyel Sawali 5 years ago from Manila Philippines

      Amazing lens! I used to love hide-and-seek when I was a kid. ^_^

    • profile image

      khatha0808 5 years ago

      i am just starting squidoo. your lens are really good sample and inspiration on how to create lens for me. Thanks a lot

    • magictricksdotcom profile image

      magictricksdotcom 5 years ago

      Great lens. Physical activity is so important.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I was here over a year ago and am pleased to return with a little angel dust, congratulations on front page honors!

    • domjohnson lm profile image

      domjohnson lm 5 years ago

      Kids should read this lens. To many of them are just sitting inside playing computer games all day. There's so much to do out side, good job listing many of them :)

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      Flashlight tag, definitely!

    • JackieBlock profile image

      Jackie Block 5 years ago from SE Michigan

      I loved doing all of these as a child, and I enjoying sharing them with my children now. We don't have cable tv, and allow very little "screen time". Kids need to play out doors!

    • peggygallyot profile image

      peggygallyot 5 years ago

      We loved to play rounders.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      You had me on digging a hole to China - Angel Blessed.

    • futurefocus57 profile image

      futurefocus57 5 years ago

      We shoot a lot of basketball. Great job.

    • profile image

      cleanyoucar 5 years ago

      Great tips to keep kids active...

    • profile image

      Annamadagan 5 years ago

      Wonderful lens, I love these activities! Blessings. :)

    • makemoneyonline5 profile image

      makemoneyonline5 5 years ago

      This is a gorgeous lens, you have done an amazing job!!

    • profile image

      jessicahoward 5 years ago

      amazing thanks for giving us such a nice information...it will help out in so many ways to guide our child outdoor activities.....

    • microfarmproject profile image

      microfarmproject 5 years ago

      Looks like fun! Thanks!

    • intermarks profile image

      intermarks 5 years ago

      I love outdoors activities when I was a kid, and you listed most of them here, you reminded me those sweet memories. Thanks!

    • WordChipper profile image

      WordChipper 5 years ago

      Very nice lens. Lotsa good ideas here. I often take my girls fishing.

    • Camden1 profile image

      Camden1 5 years ago

      We spent hours roller skating. Now it's my youngest daughter's favorite way to get around!

    • tailsandsnouts profile image

      tailsandsnouts 5 years ago

      Great lens! When I was a child my father would take my sister and I out of critters hunts as we used to call them. We'd usually catch snakes, frogs, etc and we'd just observe them before we let them go. I used to always love doing that as a child.

    • thememorybooksh1 profile image

      thememorybooksh1 5 years ago

      I was addict to play Marbles at my home street :) missing childhood :(

    • profile image

      vBizeso 5 years ago

      Nice Lens

    • RachelDillin profile image

      RachelDillin 5 years ago

      Thanks for all the ideas. This is especially helpful with some break coming.

    • AcornOakForest profile image

      Monica Lobenstein 5 years ago from Western Wisconsin

      So ready for outdoor time with kids... Thanks!

    • WebWriteGirl LM profile image

      WebWriteGirl LM 5 years ago

      love the ideas!

    • profile image

      getwellsoon 5 years ago

      Summertime is here and so is the outdoor fun...thanks for the wonderful lens!

    • Fcuk Hub profile image

      Fcuk Hub 5 years ago

      Outside activities described in this lens are good example of how to make an active kid :)

    • melissiaoliver profile image

      melissiaoliver 5 years ago

      Thanks for creating this great lens! I'm a firm believer in letting children play outside as often as possible.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      The luge sled you have listed above is awesome. We bought one last winter and have been disappointed how little snow we've had this year. Looking for something different to do this weekend. Time to go exploring.

    • profile image

      Terrie_Schultz 5 years ago

      Playing outside and connecting to nature is so important. Great lens.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      We lived in the country and had a marvelous time playing in the creek. We caught crawdads, minnows and baby snapping turtles. We built dams and waded and splashed about. Now that was real fun.

    • Coreena Jolene profile image

      Coreena Jolene 5 years ago

      Summertime was the best. We could play outside until the neighborhood streetlights came on. I was always outside as a kid.

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 5 years ago from Royalton

      Lots of fun remembering the imaginative things we did as children. How hard it seems now to capture our children's attention long enough for them to get outside and play.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Enjoyed my return visit to this great page with 10 Things for Kids To Do On A Vacant Lot

    • Timewarp profile image

      Paul 5 years ago from Montreal

      Great lens, I forgot about how much fun I would have at the vacant lot near my childhood home. Riding our BMX and building jumps was a big thing, we got hurt a few times but that was good for a kid!

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 6 years ago from So Cal

      Coming from a generation where we did not watch TV, this brings back so many memories. We used to play hide and seek running the four blocks of our neighborhood. Can't let our kids do that now. These are great ideas and so much fun.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 6 years ago from New Zealand

      My girls would love to hang out with your kids too. So much outdoor fun.

    • Barb McCoy profile image

      Barb McCoy 6 years ago

      My boys would love to hang out with your boys. :)

      Thanks so much for sharing this lens. I am going to feature it soon on blog and I have added it to my favorites, lensrolled it to my outdoor lenses, and added a special blessing today.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Amen to turning off the TV and making kids go outside and play... our world might just be a better place if children learned to socialize instead of play shootem up games on Xbox, etc.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Let the children play outside and set their imaginations free!

    • pcgamehardware profile image

      pcgamehardware 6 years ago

      Great lens, brings back many memories.... Thanks

    • profile image

      poutine 7 years ago

      Wonderful ideas for young people to play outside inside of sitting in front of video games.

      I like alll your ideas.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      My brother and I would play "King of the Mountain" and it was not a mountain, just a hill, but if you were on top, it was eaiser to push the other one off and stay king, until you (they) got tired...:-)

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I just had to pop back in here and give you a well deserved blessing on this great lens.

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 8 years ago from Washington KS

      GREAT LENS!! Brought back so many happy memories. We had a huge yard when we were kids, so all the neighbor kids spent most of their time playing games and make believe in our yard.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Delightful lens - SquidAngel Blessings for you.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      We played a lot outside growing up and loved it. We did many things like exploring and playing many different outdoor games. I guess it was good thing that we couldn't afford much of toys and gadgets, so we were forced to be creative in how we spent our free time. It's great to see that your son and his friends play a lot outdoor and are creative in their ways. You did an excellent job with this lens and provided some wonderful ideas!

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 8 years ago from New Zealand

      Hi Janiece - here is the ultimate complement to this lens. I had brought it up to read, got distracted and when I returned my children were reading every word and didn't want to give back the computer because "please wait mum, this is really interesting!" I am lensrolling it to my homeschool page.

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 8 years ago

      I love the lightning bugs. We don't have them out west. The owner of a vacant lot in our neighborhood once put on an Easter Egg hunt for the neighborhood kids. That was really fun for the kids. Another vacant lot was a community kid project called the Dippity Do's. A series of dips and jumps for bike riders.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      [in reply to sittonbull] Believe me, John, I have thought about making a Camp Cripple Creek lens on many occasions but wasn't sure how to get in touch with everyone involved to get permission to use pictures. It might not matter since so much time has passed especially if I don't use names. It would be fun. Once again, you may have inspired me!

    • puzzlerpaige profile image

      puzzlerpaige 8 years ago

      My favorite childhood memory of playing is riding our bikes miles and miles from home. I really should go back there and see how far it was. We would be gone from home for hours and no one knew where we were. Also, an interstate highway (I-77 in South Carolina)was being built beside our house and we would go over there and jump in all those ditches and walk through the huge culverts and on the mounds of dirt.

    • Momtothezoo profile image

      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      This was a great lens to bring us back to a time when life was carefree. Thank you so much for the memories! 5*

    • sittonbull profile image

      sittonbull 8 years ago

      This is a magnificent lens that brings back memories of my childhood and my kids enjoyed some of the same things (some of those at Ohme's Camp Cripple Creek (do I smell a lens there Ohme?). Technology is great, but it has limited somewhat the development and enjoyment of using the imagination for the kids of today.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I love this lens. As children, my brother and I dug to China and worked on it all one summer. Our parents finally saw what we were up to and had to call the city to fill in the very deep hole. We had ceased digging because we heard the Chinese talking and knew that since the earth was round we would hit the sky if we kept digging and would fall out of the sky to China and we didn't know how to speak Chinese. lol

    • missbat profile image

      missbat 8 years ago

      A wonderful lens! So many kids have no idea what they're missing by not playing outdoors. I know the world's changed but kids need to get away from the TV and computer and be kids! Great job!

    • profile image

      Joan4 8 years ago

      I am so thankful our grandchildren love these old timey outdoors games. They also love Simon Says (just like we played it in the 50's!), hopscotch, jump rope, baseball, and golf in the yard. Any kind of water play, too - they play with plastic squirt bottles and "paint" the deck with them. Or a bucket of water and a paint brush for lots of fun too! Love this lens!