Playing outdoors in the sunshine is not only great for your child’s health (hello Vitamin D!), but also great for their breathing (fresh air!) and also helps keep them active and fit.
To maintain a healthy level of vitamin D, it’s recommended that you should be spending around 10-15 minutes in the sun each day.
This is all great in theory, but sometimes it can be hard to think up fun outdoor activities for the kids that’s not only engaging but also easy to set up and pack away.
With all of this in mind, we’ve created the below list of fun outdoor activities for kids of all ages, that your little ones will love.
1. Scavenger hunt
It doesn’t have to be easter, to enjoy a good old scavenger hunt, And the best part is, mum and dad get a chance to put their feet up while the kids run around searching for hidden goodies.
Heres a few scavenger hunt ideas:
- Coloured paddle pop sticks. This may not seem very exciting, so to spice it up, write prizes on the paddle pop sticks that the kids can redeem at any time. eg, candy, late bedtime, an extra hour of games etc.Or you can simply ask the kids to collect x amount of coloured sticks to redeem for something of their choosing from a list of your own.
- Mini chocolates or candy
- Mini tubs of play-doh, mini water pistols, water balloon, glow sticks. Many of these can be picked up from cheap stores for less than $2 a pack.
2. Sidewalk Chalk
If you haven’t already heard of this amazing invention, sidewalk chalk is one of my favourite boredom-busters. You can pick up a pack from pretty much any supermarket, variety store or office stationery shop.
The great thing about sidewalk chalk is that it is completely washable off EVERY surface. This includes concrete, walls, floors, clothing. You name it, we’ve tried it.
Give a few pieces of chalk to the kids and let them go wild. As soon as it rains the chalk will wash away and you can start all over again. Or, if it doesn’t rain often where you live, throw a bucket of water over the chalk drawings and it will all disappear.
This is surely ones of those fun outdoor activities for kids AND adults.
3.Race Track/Obstacle Course
This is a fun activity for the kids to get involved in both setting up and the actual race, and you should be able to use most of what you already have lying around the home.
This outdoor activity will be possible if your children have any form of ride-on toys, scooters or bike.
Find an area large enough to host the race (find a nearby park or sports field if your garden isn’t big enough), set up checkpoints (sticks or branches dipped in paint, or paddle pop sticks) at intervals along the made up track.
To make it more difficult you can set up a challenge at each checkpoint that they must complete in order to continue. Eg, balance on one leg for 20 seconds, throw a ball into a hoop from a set distance away.
Get the whole family involved for a few extra laughs!
To guarantee a more competitive game, award prizes for the fastest team/individuals to complete the course.
- Use foam pool noodles to make tunnels, blockages and gates.
- Use large cardboard boxes for tunnels
- Spare tyres are great for adding a boot-camp element! And many tyres can be stacked for climbing challenges.
This one is most fun when played in the park. Write on a piece of paper, 15 things that can be found within the park area, and ask that the kids collect them and mark them off their list as they find them. eg, stones, bark, cicada shells, coloured leaves, flowers. If you want it to be even more difficult, name the plants and trees that you want the children to collect things from.
This is a great opportunity to introduce some educational aspects into their play.
- Write a list of words that rhyme with the items you want them to find. Eg your list may say “Lark and metal” but they will need to think of what rhymes with these words that they can find (Bark and Petal). Depending on age, you may want to just stick with naming the items you need them to find. But hey, a little education mixed in is always fun.
- Instead of naming the items to find, try putting riddles instead. Eg, “I’m soft underfoot, need to be cut often and share my colour with broccoli” This, of course, will mean the item to find is ‘Grass’!
Put your children’s creativity to the test and envoke imagination with this fun activity.
Grab a large piece of butcher paper or A0 size paper and ask the children to collect things they can see from around them. This can include soil, leaves, seeds, flowers, etc.
Draw a picture, onto the butcher paper and ask them to ‘colour in’ the picture using only the things they collected from around them. You can use the natural colours within the materials they have collected, such as the vibrant colours that can be found on a flower, or grass. Rubbing these things against the paper will transfer the colour. Or if you want to get even more creative, you can stick things to the paper, such as petals, bits of soil or bark.
Try using a hot glue gun (parent assistance required), or even a cool glue gun if you’re worried about burns, or a regular craft PVA glue will work fine too. This is a great outdoor activity for kids of all ages and abilities,
5. Create a Fairy Garden
Get the kids interested in nature and gardening by letting them build a fairy garden in their own backyard.
Fairy gardens are a brilliant introduction to gardening, as it combines their love of fantasy and fairytales with flowers and plants.
The great thing about Fairy Gardens is they can be anything and everything your child can think of, and they can be as big or as small as the space you can provide for them.
Here are a few ideas to get started:
- Find an empty large pot, and fill it with soil. Ask your child to pick out a flower to plant in the pot as the base for the fairy garden. This can be any type of plant that happily lives in a pot. For a fun effect, try planting many little succulents in the one pot and adding coloured ‘stepping stones’ or rocks around them.
- Let your child paint rocks and bark pieces for decoration.
- An upturned empty small pot can be a great fairy house.
- Decorate with paint, glitter and stickers for a fun effect.
- Don’t limit your fairy garden to just one pot. Place multiple pots in a row and add sticks or bark for bridges to each fairy house. Use paint to colour the sticks for a pop of colour.
- If you have a tree in your garden, wrap outdoor fairy lights around the trunk and set up a little fairy city around the base of the tree.
- Add extra solar lights around the base of the tree and some miniature doll furniture.
Exhausted all of the above options and need a few more suggestions?
Other fun outdoor activities for kids:
- Rock skipping at a pond or lake
- Feeding the wildlife (set up a bird feeder or feed the ducks in the pond)
- Hide and seek
- Tips (Chase and ‘tip’ (tap) the person you’re chasing. Once they’re tipped it’s their time to chase!)
- Mud pies
- Water balloon fight
Or, check out our list of fun activities for babies and toddlers.
We hope you’ve found inspiration for some fun outdoor activities. It’s always a good idea to get the kids outside and out of the house and off their screens. Reconnect as a family on a fun outdoor outing. If you’re headed to the park don’t forget to pack a picnic!