Sometimes the weather can be just right and inviting for outdoor fun under the sun, but your kids will still be reluctant to go outside. Instead, they will opt to watch their favourite TV show, play games on their iPad, or keep up on social media. When this happens, you should try initiating exciting outdoor activities that can convince them that being outside can be as fun as texting their friends. Kids who spend more time outdoors tend to be happier, less anxious, more relaxed, have good concentration and cognitive skills, and have enhanced short-term memory.
Here are 20 fun outdoor activities for your child:
1. Go on a bug hunt
Kids love bugs. They are fascinated and curious about the tiny insects and will enjoy an outdoor bug hunt. Give your kids a container to collect the different kinds of bugs that they encounter. You can also print out pictures of bugs like beetles and ladybugs for them to mark when they spot the bugs.
2. Create an obstacle course
Collect various things from your home to create an obstacle course in your backyard. An obstacle course offers a great challenge for kids as it teaches them how to balance and be strong while enhancing their problem-solving and motor skills. Use items like lawn chairs, ropes, hula-hoops, balls, tunnels, and tiles to create a fun, engaging obstacle course for the kids.
3. Organize an outdoor playdate
Kids love playing with other kids. You can organize an outdoor playdate and invite their friends over. They can play potato sack races, puzzles, fly kites, or kid card games. They will enjoy every bit of it.
4. Plant a mini garden
Gardening is a therapeutic activity and your kids will enjoy touching the soil. You can create a mini garden for them to grow anything from salad to flowers. Growing from seed is magical for them and they will be fascinated by watching the plants grow from a tiny seed to a plant. Gardening can help relieve stress, foster healthy living, and help them know where their food comes from. They will also become responsible as they consistently come to water and weed their garden regularly.
5. Create a scavenger hunt
Come up with a scavenger hunt or a treasure hunt. This activity will enhance their problem-solving skills. Plan everything beforehand, place interesting clues at different points for them to spot, and place the prize or treasure at the end. Have a start point and let them be guided to the next point by following the clues.
A checklist is great for older kids who can mark off each clue. For younger kids, pictures will guide them better. You can even include some simple instructions like finding their way to the sprinkler, the mailbox, or a certain tree.
6. Play with water
Kids love water and they will jump at the idea of water games. Invite them for some outdoor water activities like car washing, watering the garden, running through sprinklers, water balloon fights, or spray bottle water fights. You can even visit the local pool or splash parks for slip-n-slides and to jump in blow-up pools. Remember to supervise all the activities.
7. Blow giant bubbles
Kids love blowing and chasing bubbles. Now imagine them creating giant bubbles! With easy-to-find ingredients like water, dish soap, cornstarch, baking powder, and a big bucket, you are good to go. All you will need now are bubble blowers.
8. Play a sport
Introduce a new sport to your kids or play a sport they love. There are many choices to pick from. You can try out badminton, basketball, volleyball, ping pong, tennis, or even swimming.
9. Do some art Outdoor art is plenty of fun. Bring your kids out for messy squirt painting, camouflage art, leaf art, mandala creation, natural crafts, ochre painting, or paint rocks and place them around your backyard.
10. Clean up the environment
Tell your kids that you are on a mission to save the planet, carry some gloves and plastic waste bags, then head to a part of the park. Ask your kids to look around and say what they find out of place. Do they notice the litter? Ask them what they feel about seeing the litter.
Tell them the dangers of litter and how it can be unsafe for the environment. Give them some gloves and lead them in collecting the litter. They will not only enjoy being part of a mission to help mother earth but will also be proud of their efforts.
11. Do your everyday activities outdoors
How about doing your normal daily activities outdoors? That should be tons of fun. Get your kids outdoors for breakfast, homework, reading books, taking a nap, meals, some card games, and telling stories. A change is always good and your kids will certainly find this interesting and look forward to more of it.
12. Play some fun outdoor games
Play outdoor games like hide n seek hula hoop, jump rope, red rover, and catch with frisbees or boomerangs.
13. Make a time capsule
Time capsules help us preserve our present moments and memories for the future. Create a family time capsule with your kids. Add in significant things like handprints, footprints, important photographs, toys, and candy bar wrap, write them a letter, create a questionnaire, and add in drawings too.
Avoid food and electronics that could get damaged over time. Seal well in a container or box and hold it off as long as possible. It will be worth it when you all gather together to open it years later.
14. Go camping in the backyard
Camping in your backyard is a beautiful night time activity for your family. Set up a camp and light up a fireplace. You can sit around the fireplace, cook s'mores and hotdogs, have some hot chocolate while telling ghost stories, stargaze, look for shapes in the clouds, and make some pancakes in the morning.
15. Take outdoor photography
Outdoor photography is a refreshing activity for kids. You can offer them your smartphone or a small camera and let them photograph anything of interest to them.
16. Make a fairy garden
Fairy gardens are interesting and enchanting, just like fairies. There are a number of fairy garden ideas for your kids that you can create. Some fairy garden themes include farm themes, beach themes, or dinosaur themes. Make it as magical and surreal as you can imagine.
17. Create a mud kitchen
Kids have played mud games for years and mud is said to be calming and relaxing. Create a mud kitchen for your kids and offer them some utensils like pots, pans, and spoons. Find an area with a dirt patch and let them cook up whatever mud recipes they can think of.
18. Have a picnic in the park
Prepare yummy food, carry snacks, and have a picnic in the park. Remember to bring lots of sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, a blanket or tablecloth, water, dinnerware, and a trash bag for easy cleanup. Have a checklist beforehand to make sure you have everything you need and write down some games to play at the park.
19. Make tie-dye shirts
Tie-dyeing is a fun activity for both kids and adults. Tie-dye shirts are fun to make and wear. Get some old white cotton shirts or buy some new ones for this. You will also need other items like fabric dye, spray bottles, gloves, and a table cover. This activity will help your kids express their creativity while choosing colours and different designs. Apart from t-shirts, you can also tie-dye baby wipes, summer tote bags, beach towels, scarfs, and even shoes.
20. Take a walk or a bike ride
Walks and bike rides are great exercise activities. You can take a nature walk with your kids or a simple stroll around the block. You can even play a game like I Spy to keep them excited during the walk. If you prefer biking, you can follow trails or bike paths around quiet parts of the neighborhood or the local park.
Get outside more often so that your kids can emulate you and get outside too. Try out these fun and simple outdoor activities with them for more family fun and to have amazing bonding moments.