Help your kids unplug and get moving with more than 40 outdoor activities for kids to enjoy when the weather is nice. Many of these activities are cheap or free, so you don’t have to break the bank to keep your kids entertained. But outdoor play is about more than keeping the kids from being bored.
Outdoor Activities for Kids
Play is essential for physical and emotional development. Getting outdoors is also an excellent way to spend time together as a family. Sometimes it’s hard to come up with activities that kids of varied ages can enjoy, but this list will be so helpful in that regard!
Here are some of our favorite outdoor activities for kids that we’ve done right here at Natural Beach Living!
Cool off on a hot day in the sun with these fun super-soaker sponge balls. It doesn’t take long to make them, and your kids will have fun playing with them all summer long. Talk about a budget-friendly activity!
Blowing bubbles is a quintessential summer activity. You don’t have to run to the store to get bubbles, though. We teach you how to make your own cute bubble wands and homemade bubbles.
Watermelon goes hand-in-hand with summer, so why not turn your next watermelon into a science activity for the kids? Baking soda and vinegar experiments like this erupting watermelon are a hit with children of all ages.
The kids have had so much fun playing hopscotch, writing fun phrases around the driveway, and making inspirational pictures with this DIY Sidewalk Chalk.
This frozen ocean sensory bin is a terrific way to cool down when the weather is hot. Freeze ocean toys in blocks or balls of ice, and let the kids try different ways to get them to melt. They can also chisel at the ice to try to dig the toys out.
With 8 different objects to find in the nature scavenger hunt, kids, teens, and adults can enjoy walking around finding things outdoors.
You can easily create a DIY science table mud kitchen and kids’ play spaces, learn how to use recycled materials for play, and explore creating a natural play space.
Natural Outdoor Play
If you’re looking for even more reasons to get the kids outdoors, you’re going to love the activities below.
Water Pistol Painting from messylittlemonster.com: What could be more fun than squirting paint onto a canvas with a water gun? It’s such a cool way to create a piece of art for the wall.
Chalk Bombs from alittlepinchofperfect.com: Here’s another messy art activity that kids will have a blast with. Use your sponge water bombs with chalk paint. The kids won’t be able to resist getting a little messy themselves.
Mud Kitchen Play Ideas from thimbleandtwig.com: Get ideas for items to include in a mud kitchen for the kids. It encourages collaborative play and creativity. Kids can create a cafe, make mud cakes, collect plants and herbs to make “tea,” and so on.
Playful Learning with Dandelions from meganzeni.com: Dandelions are everywhere in spring and summer, and kids love them. Encourage kids to make dandelion crafts, recipes, and structures. Dandelion heads are wonderful loose parts to make art or to play within a mud kitchen.
Nature Hunt Tic Tac Toe from kidscraftroom.com: Find matching pieces in nature to make your own DIY tic tac toe game. This can be done on the beach, in the forest, or even in your backyard.
Bubble Painting from glitteronadime.com: This is such a fun craft for playdates or for kids to do with their siblings or parents. Using bubble solution, food coloring, and a canvas or paper, kids can create gorgeous bubble art just by blowing bubbles directly onto the paper. No two paintings will look alike!
Stomping Bubble Wrap Painting from thesoccermomblog.com: Save the bubble wrap you get from your packages for fun activities like this! The textured look is gorgeous, and letting kids use their feet to paint is just super fun.
Outdoor Fun Activities
Animal Washing Station for Toddlers from lorenaylennox.com: Head outdoors with a few bins and lots of toy animals to set up an animal washing station. Not only is this a sneaky way to get toys clean, but toddlers love playing in soapy water.
The Secret to Amazing Big Bubbles from partythroughtheusa.com: Learn how to make giant bubbles and bubble wands. The kids will be so delighted to see HUGE bubbles in the air.
Chalk and Rock Activities for Preschoolers from thepreschooltoolboxblog.com: Enjoy a change of scenery while practicing numbers and ABCs with your preschooler. Using rocks and chalk is a hands-on way to practice pre-writing activities as well as letter and number recognition.
Outdoor Activities for Tweens and Younger
Sibling Games for Outdoor Play from thimbleandtwig.com: Siblings can sometimes gripe at each other when they’re bored, but these sibling games offer lots of fun ideas to encourage kids to play together peacefully. Ideas include collaborative art and sculpture, scavenger hunts, making dens, balloon toss-ups, and lots more.
Sidewalk Chalk Obstacle Course from tootsmomistired.com: Use chalk to make an obstacle course for the kids. Use lines to walk or run along, and shapes can be used for other activities, such as jumping over, spinning around, etc.
Calming Lavender Scented Bubbles from thechaosandtheclutter.com: Blowing bubbles can be a fantastic calming activity for kids, particularly when you add the sensory benefits of lavender essential oil.
Play-Doh Nature Craft from thecrazyoutdoormama.com: Play-Doh isn’t just for indoor play. Bring it outdoors to incorporate items from nature into your Play-Doh animals and structures. Add pinecones, leaves, sticks, flowers, and more.
Tin Can Stilts from theresjustonemommy.com: These stilts will be a huge hit with the kids. Work on balance, coordination, and gross motor skills.
Sidewalk Puffy Paint from alittlepinchofperfect.com: Puffy paint on the sidewalk adds a cool 3D effect to sidewalk art. It washes off easily with water, too.
Very Busy Spider Activity from growingbookbybook.com: Make a web to catch letter flies! Put it on the garage door, and add magnetic letters to work on letter recognition or sight words.
Outdoor Learning Activities
Forest Mandala from meganzeni.com: Become an Anywhere Artist by creating art anywhere using loose parts. This forest mandala is a terrific example of creativity and imaginative thinking.
Nature Alphabet and Number Line from teachingideas.ca: Recreate numbers and letters with materials for nature. It’s a fun pre-writing activity, but kids who can write will enjoy practicing their letters, too.
Chalk Sight Word Game from theeducatorsspinonit.com: This game takes no time to set up and helps kids recognize and read selected sight words.
Sidewalk Soap Foam Paint from activelittles.com: You probably have everything you need to make this soap foam paint to add splashes of color to your sidewalk. Using dish soap, water, and food coloring, you can start spreading color everywhere in no time.
Educational Outdoor Activities for Kids
Outdoor Number Hunt for Preschoolers from theladybirdsadventures.co.uk: Go on a number scavenger hunt outdoors. It’s so simple to set up. Write numbers on sticky notes or pieces of paper, and hide them outside in your child’s favorite play area.
Giant-Sized Rhyming Memory Game from growingbookbybook.com: This game can be played alone or in a small group, indoors or outside. The goal is to pair rhyming words together rather than matching pictures. It’s a great game for preschoolers and kindergarteners.
Nature Fairy House Building from glitteronadime.com: Go on a walk to gather some items from nature, such as pinecones, sticks, leaves, and flowers. Then, use those materials to build a cute fairy house in your backyard.
Trail Marking from theresjustonemommy.com: Learn about trail signs and trail markings with this fun scavenger hunt idea. It’s a great activity for outdoorsy kids who enjoy hiking and camping.
Mosaic Heart Chalk Activity from lorenaylennox.com: Use masking tape to make a geometric heart shape for your kiddo to color in. It looks beautiful, so it’s the perfect activity to do on a sunny day to add a little color and cheer to your neighborhood.
Dinosaur Garden from meganzeni.com: Grow a dinosaur garden! Grow plants that have hardy stems and roots with a bit of a prehistoric look to them, such as ferns, kale, rosemary, and succulents. Add as many dinos to the area as you like.
Fun Things to do Outside
Imaginative Play with a Box from meganzeni.com: Never underestimate how creative kids can get with boxes. Build a rocket ship, a house, or a car. Use the cardboard for arts and crafts!
Water Gun Cup Race from mombrite.com: Here’s another fun water gun activity for kids (and adults) with a competitive streak. It’s a terrific boredom buster for summer.
Water Balloon Letter Smash from schooltimesnippets.com: Practice letter recognition and letter matching while cooling off at the same time. The kids won’t be able to get enough of this water balloon game.
Sight Word Splash from homeschoolpreschool.net: Draw sight words on the sidewalk and splash them right off as the kids learn them. How fun!
How Big is a Blue Whale from kcedventures.com: It can be hard to understand just how enormous some of the animals in the ocean are. This activity helps kids (and grownups) grasp just how huge blue whales are.
Fun Outdoor Activities for Kids
Construction Zone Sensory Bin from lorenaylennox.com: Your toddler will play with this construction sensory bin filled with beans and rice for hours. Just add some toy construction vehicles, and you’re all set.
DIY Window Paint from mombrite.com: Make your home look a little more colorful and cheerful by letting the kids paint the windows. It washes off easily, so you don’t have to worry about it sticking around when you’re done.
Simple Sandbox from mamasmiles.com: What a fun and frugal idea! Make your own DIY sandbox in an under-bed storage bin. You can put the lid on after the kids are finished playing with it to ensure it stays clean all summer long.
What Lives in Dirt? Science Experiment from gosciencekids.com: Dig up a little dirt in the backyard to see what sorts of crawly things live inside. You’ll likely get different results with wet soil versus dry soil.
Bug Safari Pitfall Traps from rainydaymum.co.uk: Set pitfall traps for bugs to safely collect them for studying. This is another fun way to see what sorts of crawly creatures you have in your backyard.
Cotton Ball Splat Painting from theresjustonemommy.com: Messy art is so much fun! This splat painting activity combines a little science with process art. Build a catapult to launch the cotton balls to infuse some STEM into your activity, or just throw them.
Outdoor Games for Kids
Which of these outdoor activities for kids do you think your family will enjoy most?
Outdoor Activity Ideas
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