With electronics ruling a large portion of our lives, it can feel hard to get outside and enjoy all the benefits. Nevertheless, children need to get outside whenever they can. Being outside is a great way to burn off energy, get exercise, and build up our immune systems, and there are plenty of fun things for kids to do outside.
Why is Being Outside Essential for Your Child?
Being outside has many benefits, including:
- Builds up your immune system
- Gives you essential nutrients, including Vitamin D
- Allows for exercise and fresh air
- Provides opportunities for creative expression
- Lower production of the stress hormone cortisol
- Better sleep quality
Have You Heard of the 1,000 Hours Outside Challenge?
This challenge is a great one to start with your children this year. It is as simple as it sounds, do your best to get outside for 1,000 hours in a year. Doing a challenge such as the 1,000 hours can make getting outside more fun and effortless.
Is Your Child Struggling to Find Fun Activities to do Outside?
The possibilities are endless when it comes to being outside. However, sometimes, we need a handful of ideas to get the creative wheels turning. If you are looking for fun activities to try outside, look no further. Here are 23 awesome outdoor activities your child will love.
23 Fun Things to do Outside for Kids
Go on a Nature Walk and Start a Nature Journal
Being outside is a wonderful time to explore nature. Grab a journal, take a walk somewhere new or on your favorite nature trail, and study something unique about nature that you may not have known.
Build a Fort Out of Sticks and Other Materials
Gather whatever natural material you find: sticks, branches, leaves, etc. Then build a unique fort of your very own.
Go on a Scavenger Hunt
Create your own or find a nature scavenger hunt online. These scavenger hunts include anything from animals and plants to cars or roads. To add a personal touch, include whatever your child is interested in on the scavenger hunt.
Look for Bugs or Animals
Another great way to spend time outside is to search for bugs or animals. Try looking for a favorite bug or animal and its tracks, or study a new type and see if you can find one in your backyard.
Wash Their Toy Vehicles
Grab the bucket of water and soap and let your child wash their toy vehicles. Children love taking part in “grown-up” chores and playing in the water. For an extra-fun activity, wash your cars right alongside them.
Rescue Animals From an Ice Block
Freeze toy animals and water in a plastic bin. Be sure the toys are waterproof and not made out of fabric. Once the water is frozen, give your child a water squirter, cups, or anything to pour/squirt warm water. Rescue the toys from the frozen water by pouring or spraying warm water over the ice block.
Create a Stained Glass Masterpiece Out of Sidewalk Chalk
Grab some painter's tape and your sidewalk chalk for this fun activity. First, arrange the painter's tape any way you want, creating a stained glass look with different sections. Then, color each area with sidewalk chalk. After finishing, you have yourself a colorful and fun masterpiece!
Start a Garden
Starting a garden is a great way for children to spend time outside. Being outside allows your child to cultivate a love for the natural world around her. Invite them to get their hands dirty and start a flower or vegetable garden. If you have a small backyard, start these gardens in flower pots.
Create an Obstacle Course
Obstacle courses are fun for all ages. Grab any materials you can find to climb over, jump in, or climb under. Some great ideas are:
- Pool noodles
- Old tires
- Sticks or branches
- Hula hoops
- Stepping stones
Play with a Sensory Bin
Sensory bins aren't just for toddlers. Big kids love them too. Fill a plastic bin or a sandbox with any material and add cups, scoops, bowls, etc. Ideas for sensory bins are:
- Dirt or soil
- Shaving cream
- Tissue paper
- Dry oatmeal
- Dry noodles
- Coffee beans
- Bubble wrap
- Cotton balls
- Bottle tops
Create Artwork Out of Nature
Collect nature from your backyard or on a nature walk. Bring it home and create artwork with it. Some excellent natural materials to make artwork with are:
Make a Nature Crown
Another great activity to do with the materials you collect in nature is to make a nature crown. Cut two strips from a brown paper sack. Measure them together to fit your child's head and staple it to create a crown. Glue the natural materials you found onto the paper sack. You now have yourself a beautiful crown.
Collect Flowers to Press
While outside, collect flowers to press. Try to find flowers you have never seen before; be sure you have permission before picking them. To press a flower, place your flower on a newspaper in between the pages of a book. Then, carefully shut the book and leave it in a dry, warm place. Check on your flowers every 24 hours. When your flowers dry, you can use them to create nature art, add to a picture, or create a collection of your flowers.
Create a Messy Station
A messy station is what it sounds like; create an area outside where your child can explore and make a mess. You can add materials like cups, bowls, shovels, etc. Use sensory items such as water, mud, dirt, or shaving cream. Messy stations allow your child to explore creating a mess while keeping it contained to an area of your approval.
Play Outdoor Games
Outdoor games are a highlight of a child's outside time. Here are great outdoor games to try:
- Hide and seek
- Mother May I
- Simon Says
- Red Rover
- Doggy, Doggy, Where's Your Bone?
- Four Square
- Tug of War
- Dodge ball
- Hula hoop
Find Shapes in Clouds
Lay down and find shapes in the clouds. See who can find an animal or a favorite shape. There are so many possibilities when it comes to this activity.
Climb a Tree
Climbing trees is a great pastime. It allows every child to develop courage, autonomy, strength, and endurance.
Ride a Bike or Scooter
Riding a bike or scooter is a great way to explore the place you live further while also getting exercise.
Play with Water
Playing with water is always fun for children. Play with a slip, slide, or sprinkler, or grab the hose. Have a water balloon fight or play with water guns. Water play is fun for the whole family, and the possibilities are endless.
Roll Down a Hill
If your child doesn't mind getting itchy, rolling down a hill is a great activity. Just be sure to shower afterward to get rid of the itchiness.
Search for Lightening Bugs
Have you ever caught a lightning bug and put it in a jar? These bugs are amazing creatures to watch. Grab a jar and chase a lightning bug. When you catch one, gently place them in the jar with holes in the top. When you are done chasing them, be sure to let them go!
Play with Bubbles
Bubbles are a cheap and easy activity that most children enjoy. However, if you need more bubble solution, try making your own. To make your bubble solution add 2 cups of warm water and 1/3 dish soap. Mix until well blended. Make sure to mix slowly to keep your solution from foaming or bubbling up until thoroughly mixed. If you want to create bubbles that float higher, try adding 1/4 cup of corn syrup.
Have a Picnic
Picnics are fun to have outside. Pack a simple lunch and lay out a blanket in your backyard. Use closed-lid drinks to keep bugs out of your cups. Enjoy the nice weather and a great lunch!
It can be fun to come up with new ideas to try outside. Getting outside as a child and an adult is essential for our overall health. Making it a priority can provide many benefits. So lace up those tennis shoes and get outside.