Getting kids outdoors initially may take some coaxing, but we have some outside activities for kids that will motivate your youngster to get outdoors and explore!
Outdoor fun for kids does not require planning a major outing, camping trip, or mountain trek. Just head to the backyard or nearest park. While sometimes it is difficult to find the time to get outside daily, it is important to prioritize it.
Try some of our activities for kids' ideas and take along a set of compact, wooden nesting blocks with magnification for more outdoor fun activities.
The Benefits of Outdoor Play
The benefits of outdoor play are part of your child’s healthy growth and development. There are lots of fun things to do outside with kids that will also introduce them to the beauty of nature.
The fresh air and kids' outdoor activities can be a healthy diversion from the screen. You decrease your child's time in front of a screen by scheduling fun activities outside daily.
We are not suggesting that every minute outdoors requires you to be a camp counselor with planned activities. Just get them outside and let them use their imagination and creativity.
Do you remember your parents telling you it was good for you to go outside and play? Well, they were right!
Children who spend time outdoors in nature are more likely to:
- Be physically active to help prevent health issues like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
- Have a stronger immune system making them sick less often.
- Be calmer with less stress.
- Enjoy greater concentration, an improved mood, and a better night’s sleep.
- Have stronger bones due to more Vitamin D.
- Support gross motor development for better balance, coordination, and agility.
- Develop a passion for nature and conserving it.
- Have improved awareness, observation, and reasoning skills.
- Play more creatively.
- Have bigger imaginations.
- Respect and get along better with others.
- Have more self-respect.
Outdoor Fun For Kids
Being outside ignites your child’s curiosity as they climb trees, pick flowers, toss rocks, splash in streams, and look for animals. Part of the fun is using cool tools for exploring. Things like bug catchers, butterfly nets, a magnifying glass, kids-size binoculars, a flashlight, and something to carry all their supplies like a backpack or vest. If age-appropriate, add a child-safe digital camera for recording their findings.
With their compact nesting storage, these magnification blocks are an excellent tool to take along on your next nature hike. Furthermore, these wooden square blocks encourage exploration of the small outdoor wonders and are perfect for examining natural, tactile, and other detailed materials found outside.
Unlike traditional magnifying glasses, this wooden block set with its unbreakable acrylic inset windows is safe and sturdy for all your preschooler’s fun outdoor activities.
With these wooden blocks for kids, you can introduce your preschooler to science, inspire them to examine nature closeup, and display their special nature trinkets.
Outdoor Activity Ideas
While there are many things to do outside at home, sometimes it is nice to experience some new fun activities outdoors. Consider exploring your local zoos, gardens, farms, parks, and hiking trails.
Google “outside activities for kids near me” or “free outdoor activities for kids” and discover ideas from the visitor's bureau, chamber of commerce, nature center, or local parks and recreation sites.
Outdoor Activities For Kids
Looking for fun activities to do outside that foster your child’s love of nature? Below are some outside activities for kids to get you started.
Nature Scavenger Hunt - Work with your kids and create a scavenger hunt list of things to collect in nature. You can build lists around different categories like the color (things blue in nature), texture (soft things in nature), or shapes (square things in nature).
Next, head out on a walk to see how many items your child can find. Be sure to bring along something to collect all their riches! When you are finished collecting, consider these wooden blocks for kids to showcase their treasures and add beauty to your block play area.
Backyard Bingo - Create various bingo cards with items found in your backyard or favorite park. As your child sees an item, they will mark it off on their card. A Bingo is scored when your child finds 5 things in a row.
Nature Tic Tac Toe - Collect multiples of the same items from nature like rocks, leaves, pinecones, pods, shells, or feathers. Use sticks to create a tic-tac-toe board. Then play a game with your child.
Nature Walks - Look for things to collect on a nature walk with your child. You may want to take along a nature book (from home or the library) to help identify items found along the way. Save all their treasures for their nature tray or the outside crafts for kids below.
Nature Trivia - Create a set of age-appropriate nature trivia questions. You may want to create a set of nature trivia for kids and nature trivia questions for adults. Place each inquiry along a trail in your neighborhood, park, or backyard.
Provide an answer sheet for each participant or group. Depending on the age of the children, you can do this individually, in pairs, or as a family.
Miniature World Discovery - Mark off a small area (2 feet x 2 feet) for exploration. Then watch your child as they dig up and examine their discoveries.
Outside Crafts For Kids - Many indoor craft activities can be easily adapted into outside art activities. Here are a few examples:
Paint Rocks - Gather relatively flat rocks with a smooth surface and paint them! For children who know how to print their names, have them write a letter on each rock and then use the stones to spell out their names in the garden.
Paint Leaves - Collect large leaves and then decorate them with paint, glitter, beads, feathers, and more!
Leaf Rubbings - An alternative to painting the leaves is to use them to complete leaf rubbings. Simply lay the leave between two pieces of paper and run over the top sheet of paper with a crayon or colored pencil. The leaf details will magically appear!
Create A Nature Collage - Have the kids collect things on their nature walk and then glue them to a piece of paper, creating a one-of-a-kind collage.
Paint A Hiking Stick - What kid doesn’t love having their own hiking stick to take on their outdoor expedition. Help them find the perfect stick to create a one-of-a-kind with paint.
Painting With Nature - Uses things found in nature, like pinecones, grass, flowers, leaves, or twigs, to paint with creating a unique piece of art.
Sidewalk Chalk Ideas - Keeping a bucket of sidewalk chalk on hand means you always have plenty of chalk activities to keep the kids busy. Chalk art ideas might include creating murals, patterns, paintings, or designs on the sidewalk, driveway or fence.
Sidewalk chalk games are a wonderful way to spend an afternoon outside. Think sidewalk chalk hopscotch. How about drawing a maze or obstacle course on your driveway? Whichever you choose will require only chalk and a little effort to create. You can make them as simple or challenging as needed to suit your child's skills. Plus, they will love moving through it over and over.
Plant A Vegetable Garden - Consider planting with your kids some easy-to-grow vegetables like carrots, green beans, peas, radishes, zucchini, or cherry tomatoes. You might also try strawberries! Check what works best for your growing zone, and then plant away.
Get Dirty - Playing outside might mean the kids will get dirty! A little dirt never hurt anyone, so encourage them to dig a hole, make mud pies, or find worms and bugs. To make clean-up fun, let them run through the sprinklers!
Go On A Bug Hunt - Suggest that your child lead the family on a bug expedition. Encourage them to find as many different bugs and then tell you what they know about each one.
Outdoor Activity Cards - Make an ideal solution to the dreaded “I'm Bored!” statement. Create individual cards with fun, simple outdoor activities your child can complete when they can’t think of anything to do - for example:
- Read a book outside under a tree
- Catch raindrops on your tongue
- Jump in puddles
- Make a maze with sticks or rocks
- Play hopscotch
- Fly a kite
- Blow bubbles
Get Physical - Encourage playing outside games for kids like Red Light, Green Light. Additionally, you could these gross motor activities for more outdoor activity ideas. Remember, outdoor play is beneficial to adults too! So join the fun.
While this list of outdoor activities is just a sampling of all the fun things to do outside, we are sure you will find plenty to get you started.
After all your exploring, be sure to save those things your child found in nature. The materials collected can be used in nature crafts, including this nature tray.
It Is Time To Get Outside And Play! Are You Ready?
Drop in your info and receive play inspiration, fun activities, and special offers directly to your inbox. Plus, we will send you your FREE Outdoor Activities Printable!