Ever find yourself trying to think of something fun and interactive for your kids to do outside but coming up empty? We’ve got you covered!
Here are 10 outdoor activities that will get the whole family moving. Get ready for an adventure in the great outdoors with these awesome outdoor activities for kids!
Build a fort or camp with your kids.
Kids love to be creative and will enjoy building their own tiny home away from home, whether it’s indoors or under the shade of trees.
This is an excellent opportunity for kids to practice their problem-solving skills, too. To make it a bit easier, you can even provide them with prepared materials to get started.
For example, you can give them sticks, branches, and other materials they need to build a fort. They can decorate it with leaves, flowers, or anything else they can find.
This is a great way to teach them the value of teamwork and responsibility, and when it’s time to go back into the house, they can use their imagination and pretend that a bear or another animal has invaded their fort or camp.
Create unique obstacle courses.
Just be sure to avoid using things like electrical cables and other sharp objects that may cause injury. Set up your course and let the kids run through it.
You can make them jump, crawl, slide, climb stairs…you name it!
Another excellent idea is to put a time limit on the courses. This will encourage kids to keep at it and improve their skills while making it more challenging for them as well!
For example, you can set a goal of completing the course in less than two minutes or something similar. You can also choose to make the activities more accessible or more challenging by adjusting the time limit or by helping them out. Just be sure they are having fun while doing it and not giving up because it is too difficult.
Go Geocaching with your children.
To do this activity, you’ll need access to a smartphone (or GPS device) that can locate caches in your area. Then all you have to do is download an app like Geocaching (register at www.geocaching.com and download the app to your phone). It’s free and easy!
Once downloaded, type in nearby locations where you think there might be hidden treasures waiting for someone else just like you. You may find one right around the corner from home – no more expensive vacations required!
Just be sure to follow the rules of each place you go (for example, some caches ask that you bring something with you for replacement while others require you to sign the log). You can also get creative and make up your own caches (or hidden treasure locations). It’s a great way to add some excitement to the day.
Kids will love it because it gets them moving, plus they get to find hidden treasures! Every cache you find is kept on your phone, and you can track your progress as well. This is an excellent way for kids to learn about technology and how to use it responsibly.
You can also use similar apps like Pokémon GO and Ingress to help kids get moving.
Encourage creativity with an art project outside!
- Set up a table with paints or crayons and encourage your children to create their own masterpieces on whatever they’d like (tree bark, rocks, sidewalk). If you’re feeling particularly artistic yourself, try collaborating together for some family fun.
- Teach your children about nature by participating in activities such as stringing flowers onto the twine with grass blades or creating wind chimes from leaves and sticks. Show them how these things work to understand why we need some aspects of our natural world.
- Have them pick flowers to bring back to the house, then have them draw or paint a picture of what they saw. This helps teach children about nature and show appreciation for it while making it fun!
- Collect rocks with unique colors, shapes, or designs on them – these are perfect canvases too. Encourage your child to make their own masterpiece using paints or crayons. Let kids get creative by painting something that inspires them (like an animal).
- Use pine cones as paintbrushes (fill them up with paint and roll them across the paper to make designs), or coloring with leaves (tear up leaves, put them in a baggie, add some water and food color. Mix well – kids can use this like finger-paint).
- Find sticks long enough to create their own walking stick by carving out notches into it (you can do vertical lines using straight objects like nails), then decorate it however they choose! This is an excellent way to teach children about nature while encouraging their creativity at the same time.
Having fun outside doesn’t always require technology or fancy equipment; sometimes, all you need is your own imagination!
Prepare s’mores by roasting marshmallows together with your kids over an open fire! Kids will have a blast making this snack themselves while also teaching them essential life skills such as responsibility, safety awareness (when around fires), and what goes into cooking food on outdoor campfires.
If you don’t want to deal with camping out for this activity, feel free to prepare it indoors instead of using ovens or microwaves or in your backyard. S’mores are delicious no matter where they’re made!
You will need:
- marshmallows (you can get creative and use different types of marshmallows like chocolate or golden)
- graham crackers (butter them up before adding the roasted marshmallow to make it extra special (or any type of cookie will do!)
- chocolate bars (choose something delicious, we recommend dark chocolate because it’s rich in antioxidants and has less sugar than milk chocolate)
Roast the marshmallow over an open flame until browned on all sides. Be sure not to burn them! Once done, place a roasted marshmallow between two halves of a graham cracker + add your favorite kind of chocolate bar – then eat up while enjoying being outside with family & friends! This is also great for camping trips!
Teach your kids how to play a game of frisbee golf.
This is basically the same as regular golf, except you use a frisbee instead of a ball and clubs. The goal is to get the disc into each hole in as few throws as possible while considering obstacles that could alter or affect its path along the way (trees, rocks).
You can set up course markers for them to know where to throw their discs next if there are multiple holes available in one area. Plus, this will introduce your children to STEM concepts like physics and geometry because figuring out which angle best suits their shots requires critical thinking skills!
This is a great activity to do together as a family – it can be done at parks, on your backyard lawn, or in an empty field if you find one. You can have fun playing with traditional rules for golf or come up with some unique ways to play together!
You will need:
- Discs (Frisbees are the best for this activity, but if your children want to play badminton, you can use those!)
- Course markers (optional but highly suggested)
- Pencil + scorecard.
Start by setting up the course markers if there are multiple holes available in one area.
To decide which players will go first, you can do a “throw-off” where the players stand behind their markers, and each player has to try to throw their disc as close as possible to the identification. Whoever gets closest wins that round, then they get the first shot at throwing for holes.
The goal is to complete all of your course’s holes in the least amount of throws! The person with the lowest score after completing all holes wins. If multiple people are playing, you should write down scores, so everyone knows who won once it’s over!
This requires supervision from parents. There is a possibility of hitting people with their throws while aiming at obstacles in the way.
If you want to keep it simple, simply let your kids take turns each time somebody makes a shot until all holes are completed and everyone has had an equal number of chances. No matter what you decide, have fun!
Make clay crafts together!
If you’re looking for a fun activity that will let your children put their creativity to use, then this one’s for you. Plus, it requires absolutely no special tools (other than the oven) and is great because it teaches kids about art & science without even knowing they’re learning something new.
This clay craft project can be done with or without supervision from parents, depending on what age group your child falls in.
You will need:
- Clay material (you can buy a big bag of it at your local craft store)
- Rolling pin + cutting utensils.
- Optional: other small objects/tools to make decorations out of clay, like buttons, beads, or even cookie cutters!
There are many different ways that you can create clay crafts with your children. For this project, we will be making a super easy shape – an oval!
Set up an area where everyone can work on their project and keep it out of reach of those who aren’t permitted to play with clay by gathering all of the supplies first.
Then let each child take turns rolling the clay into thin sheets using either a rolling pin or just by hand if they prefer.
Once they have rolled several small pieces & shaped them into ovals, give them some cutters to use as stamps to make designs on their own creations. This step is optional kids may not care about decorating them and prefer to make the shapes themselves.
Once they’re done, place their clay on a baking sheet (with either parchment paper or foil) and let it bake in your oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Then turn off the oven but leave the door closed so you can allow your creations to cool down inside there for another 30-45 minutes!
See? That wasn’t hard, was it? Plus, you have some incredible & unique art pieces that are just as good as any store-bought toy – plus, these ones were created by YOUR children with YOUR guidance!
Making things out of clay is one great way for children to exercise their creativity and practice fine motor skills.
Take part in archery lessons.
Many places offer classes for kids as young as five. Not only is it a great activity, but your child will learn the importance of focus and concentration while having fun!
This activity is great for boys or girls, but it can be a bit pricey for some parents. It is important to find out the age limits for these courses before enrolling your child.
This activity teaches kids about concentration, focus, & discipline, which are great values that many children’s sports don’t teach. Having these two skills will help children succeed later on in life because they can apply these principles to other areas of their lives, especially school!
It also helps build physical strength with activities like pulling back on a bowstring while improving accuracy when shooting targets from long distances away!
Plus, archery does not require large amounts of space, so you won’t have to worry about where you’re going to play or practice if you want to do this one indoors instead of outside. Make sure to always wear protective gear to avoid injuries.
Archery also teaches confidence & determination since sometimes, even if your shot isn’t exactly perfect, you should try again anyway until the arrow lands where it needs to go. This builds character, which helps teach children that mistakes don’t define who we are as people, and we should always keep trying to improve ourselves.
Set up a bird feeder.
Teach your children about nature by setting up bird feeders outside their window or building fairy gardens with miniature trees, flowers, rocks, etc… You can even make tiny homes for woodland creatures like squirrels!
Setting up a bird feeder is a simple way to teach your children about how nature works.
It also helps with fine motor skills as they will need to use tools like screwdrivers, hammers, etc… If you want this activity to be extra special for younger kids who might still have trouble tying their shoes or using those kinds of tools, just read them some books on birds & ask older family members if they can help out! You can also buy bird feeders at most retail stores like Walmart.
This activity is great for all ages, but it can get messy, so make sure to set up an area of the garden or yard where you won’t mind if your children step on birdseed as they walk around!
It’s also a good idea to make sure that their clothes are something easy enough for them to take off after without too much trouble – just in case those seeds do end up getting everywhere!
In addition, this would be a fantastic way to teach older kids about responsibility & taking care of things since you will need someone who is old enough and responsible enough to regularly refill these bins with the seed when necessary. This helps teach self-reliance, so your children will be able to do things like this on their own when they are older.
You can even take it one step further by giving them some seed packets & asking them to plant a garden around the bird feeders!
This gives kids an opportunity for hands-on learning and teaches responsibility since they’ll need to learn how to water and care for their plants, just like the birds that visit the feeder outside of their window or door each day.
Plus, you never know what kinds of animals might start setting up camp in your backyard after seeing all those seeds growing there – which is another excellent way to teach kids about nature!
Letting younger children help out with these activities also helps build trust between parent & child. This is important because it allows children to know that you trust them to help out with meaningful tasks even if they are young & still learning how to do these things for themselves – which could boost their self-esteem in the long run!
Make a mini garden outdoors.
Do something fun together by starting your own outdoor garden with seeds, dirt, pots/planters, etc…
You can get some seed packets from Amazon and start growing plants like tomatoes (which is great when we feel like cooking spaghetti), jalapenos (if we want to spice up our guacamole!), lettuce (for salads, of course!), cucumbers (to add more flavor into those delicious sandwiches!), zucchini (for the best zucchini bread!), corn (which is great in soups), green onions, peas, carrots & so much more!
Kids can even learn how to plant seeds by following simple instructions on various websites like KidsGardening.org.
This activity helps children understand where their food comes from, which is crucial since it’s one of many ways that kids are disconnecting with nature these days – and helping them reconnect with the life around them could potentially help boost mental health.
It also gives children an opportunity for hands-on learning as they will need to water their plants regularly, just like all living things do when they’re outside enjoying the sun or raindrops!
This teaches responsibility while promoting independence since your child will be able to care for their very own plants without your help! Plus, it helps children learn how to take good care of important things, which can be a great lesson.
This activity is perfect for older kids, but younger ones could still have fun by watching & observing as you plant seeds, grow veggies & pick fruit from your garden. You can even try growing some flowers on your windowsill or outside in the grass if you’d like!
We hope these ideas help inspire new activities between parents & children. These are just suggestions since there are so many great outdoor activities that aren’t included here today.
Some other good ones include biking (or scooter riding), camping/hiking, fishing with poles, making trails through tree tunnels with large sticks (we saw this idea online somewhere else, actually, but forgot where!), and playing games like tag…
We could go on forever, but we’ll stop now before our fingers get tired of typing!
Brenda Tillman is a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Practitioner, a dedicated mom blogger, and a life enthusiast. She also has completed courses on Parenting Skills, Learning, and Education. She is married and is the proud mother of a boy and two girls. She loves being with her family and pets. She has been blogging for over five years now and enjoys sharing her thoughts on parenting, relationships, health & fitness as well as other topics that come up in life.