We’ve all heard it time and time again. Kids are getting outdoors less and less these days. Instead, the children of this generation have become accustomed to electronic entertainment. It would seem that the days of endless hours of outdoor activities are over. These days it feels like parents struggle more to get their kids outside. However, not all is in vain, because you can pretty much get a kid to do anything if it seems like it is going to be fun (going to the dentist included). If you are looking for some fun things to do outside, here are 19 of my outdoor activities suggestions!
Disclaimer: I use affiliate links throughout this post. That means if a product is purchased through a link in this post I may receive a small commission. This is at no further cost to you.
Why is Outside Good?
You’ve probably heard it before “fresh air does the body good.” There is science that backs up that statement, which I won’t bore you with or send you on a wild goose chase of resources. The chances of health issues arising because of sedentary life-style are lowered simply by a daily dose of outdoor activities. Physical activity improves our mental health, as well. Overall outdoor activities are just good for you.
On top of the obvious health benefits, there are a couple of sneaky ones. Like Vitamin D from the sun. If you have S.A.D. you know the benefits of that! Vitamin D deficiency can cause depression, which is why some people get more depressed in the winter. So, getting in the sun can actually improve your mood!
Outdoor Activities For Kids
- Nature Scavenger Hunt – You can create your own Nature Scavenger Hunt, buy a kit, or find a printout. Put your scavenger hunt paper in a zip lock bag to collect all the items on it.
- T-Ball – I don’t know why, but a t-ball set is a pretty fun thing for a toddler. Not only is it fun, this outdoor activity helps improve coordination and motor skills.
- Climb and Slide – Kids love to climb and slide! I haven’t met a kid who isn’t climber as of yet! If you are really ambitious a bouncy castle is the perfect climb and slide toy!
- Hide and Seek – Who doesn’t love hide and seek? The toddlers in my Home Daycare love to play this game. Although, we usually play a revised version, because they don’t quite get the concept, but it is fun regardless.
- Make a Volcano – Part of this is indoor activity, but the eruption part of the volcano is definitely falls into the “outdoor activities” category. You can get a kit with a mold like this National Geographic one. Or, if it is the winter, make a volcano out of snow!
- Make an Obstacle Course – Set up a course the kids have to go through with cones, hula hoops, stepping stones, skipping rope, and whatever else you have around to set up an obstacle course.
- Treasure Hunt – Make a treasure and hide it somewhere outside and give the kids a map to find it, or give clues. For toddlers (probably 3+) it’s better to have picture clues for them to use.
- Make Giant Bubbles – Bubbles are fun, but giant bubbles are the best! It’s always fun to see how big you can make a bubble, and then burst it by jumping through it. Well, the toddlers think so anyway.
- Set up a Race Track – No joke, I did this and the toddlers in my daycare ran around it for half an hour pretending to be cars. You can use cones, or rope to mark it out and watch them go!
- Build a Blanket Fort – Help set up a blanket fort by using long dowels, rope to tie everything together and a blanket to cover it with.
- Play in a Sand Box – If you have the skills to build a sandbox for outdoor activities, then I say that is the best option. But, if not, there are little sandboxes you can buy. Sand is a sensory play, and little kids love it!
- Red light/Green light – Red light/ green light is a nice easy game for littles ages 2+. The gist of the game is, red light means stop and if you move you have to go back to the beginning. Green light means go and if you cross the finish line you are safe.
- Explore the World Magnified – Looking at things through a magnifying glass is pretty cool. I mean, I am an adult and still love it.
- Water Table Play – Splashing in water? Where do you sign a toddler up? Water tables are also sensory play, another big hit for littles.
- Nature Rubbings – There are so many cool textures in nature that can be explored. All you need to collect nature rubbings is some paper and some crayons! And then head outside to get some imprints of bark, or rocks, or whatever you can find that you can take a rubbing of.
- Sun Prints – Another fun nature art project, make sun prints with a sun print kit and some shapes you find in the backyard.
- Press Flowers – One more nature art – press flowers. Kits for pressing flowers are fairly inexpensive and easy to use.
- Pass a Ball – This is a great activity to build coordination. All you need is a soccer ball and take turns kicking the ball. Or make a game and see how many passes can be stopped.
- Plant a Garden – If you already have a garden space, this is a great way to get kids involved in the garden at an early age. For some inspiration for what to plant in a flower garden with your toddler, try reading the book “Planting a Rainbow” by Lois Ehlert.
The Tidy Up
Although it may feel like a task to get toddlers ready to go outside daily, the payoff is so good. Not only does outdoor activities give them a good dose of fresh air and sunshine, they burn off a lot of energy. After all, a day of fresh air means a night of good rest!