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75 Outdoor Activities for Kids

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If the words ‘I’m bored’ make you cringe, this list of fun Outdoor Activities for Kids is your solution for getting your kids outdoors, moving their bodies, and having fun in the sunshine! Scroll for my free printable with all 75 kids outdoor activities.

girl playing with bubbles outdoors on the grass with a play tent in the background

Why is Outdoor Play Important?

When the weather is nice, it should be easy to get your kids to go outside to play. Right? But kids can be surprisingly reluctant to skip out the door for playtime.

Many kids in the upcoming generation are replacing outdoor play with indoor, sedentary activities like iPad games, texting, or social media. They’re also more involved in knowledge-based downtime like homework and studying than kids from past generations.

Studies have shown that kids who spend more time outside might be happier and more relaxed. Time outdoors can even improve short-term memory, concentration and cognitive skills. (It’s almost like nature makes us smarter… amazing!)

75 Fun Outdoor Activities for Kids

  1. Go on a bug hunt. Give your kids a container and have them collect different kinds of bugs. Or print a picture list of bugs and have them identify bugs and mark them off the list.
  2. Turn your yard into an obstacle course. Use cones, sticks, a hula hoop, and other items from your garage or backyard to create fun obstacles.
  3. Organize an outdoor playdate.  It is always more fun when your kids have friends to play with and they are most likely to want to stay outside longer.
  4. Let your kids plant a mini-garden.  If they are in charge of it, then they will have to go outside to water, weed and watch over it.
  5. Help your kids built a fort outside with a rope and an old sheet.   Suggest other items that might be fun for them to use on their fort.
  6. Go for regular walks, bike rides or runs as a family.  Many urban communities have trails and bike paths through parks, riverways or lakefronts.
  7. Have a picnic lunch at the playground or park.
  8. Create an outdoor scavenger hunt where your kids collect items from nature.
  9. Try geocaching. If you have never heard of it, geocaching is a real outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices.  You navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache hidden at that location.  This is a great guide to get you started.
  10. Make a bucket list of different parks you want to try and visit.
  11. Blow gigantic bubbles. Fill up a sheet pan with a bubble mixture and dip an over-sized wand to see who can blow the biggest bubble.
  12. Play with water. Kids will jump at the chance to go outside and splash in water. There are lots of creative ways to do it: wash the car, water the garden, run through sprinklers, go down slip-n-slide, jump in blow up pool, or build a water table.
  13. Try a new sport. Sometimes a friendly game of dodgeball, wiffle ball, or soccer is a great way to get kids to enjoy playing outside.
  14. Make Sidewalk Art. Give your kids a big bucket of sidewalk chalk and let them go to town. Give them some ideas with printed photos, or even stencils to color with.
  15. Take your kids ‘bouldering.’  Kids love to climb on things. Take them somewhere that has rocks available to climb.
  16. Eat dinner on your porch, deck or in your backyard.
  17. Make a boat to float down a stream. Your kids will be eager to test it out, but you will probably have to go on a hike to get to a stream!
  18. Create challenges for your kids to do outside, like in the TV show ‘Survivor’.  This is even more fun if there is a prize at the end (one on one time with Mom or Dad, a night off of helping clean the kitchen, etc.)
  19. Use an outdoor toy rotation strategy. Kids are lot more excited to play with toys they haven’t seen in a while or can’t access. Divide your outdoor toys into 3 bins, and have one big bucket of toys out at a time. This might include bubbles, balls, kites, jump ropes, skateboards, sports equipment, and water squirters.
  20. Make an outdoor activity jar. This helps with kids who have a hard time thinking of things to do, or making decisions. Write different activities on popsicle sticks. Let your kids choose an activity and then head outside. Make the activities easy to act on – go to the park for 15 minutes, water the plants, set up a water shooting range, pick a dandelion bouquet, draw something with sidewalk chalk. There are so many fun ideas!
  21. Do your normal everyday activities outside. Do homework, eat meals, craft, read books, or play games all outside! Even if you don’t have a formal outdoor living space, find some shade and throw down a blanket!
  22. Outside art projects. If you are tired of your kids projects making a mess in your house, then bring them outside! A few fun ideas: a playdough picnic, where you let your kids make pretend food out of playdough. Nature art – collect leaves, flower, sticks, seeds, and pine cones to make natural artwork. Outdoor painting – bring an easel and paint out to your backyard so your kids can enjoy painting nature scenes.
  23. Star gaze, or look for shapes in clouds. Set up a blanket, binoculars or a telescope and enjoy the sky!
  24. Have a bonfire. Make sure you practice good fire safety habits and supervise all campfire activities.  But this is a great way to bond with your family, create memories and enjoy the outdoors.
  25. Clean up Litter. Kids can be surprisingly passionate about caring for mother nature (and proud of their efforts!) You can also make it a game: a mission to save the planet!
  26. Find a local race to participate in. Push a jogging stroller if needed for younger kids and run together as a family.
  27. Ride scooters, bikes or tricycles. Set up a mini race and compete on wheels.
  28. Have your kids pull weeds. We pay our kids one penny per weed and it definitely gets them outside in the yard
  29. Find a local ‘pick your own’ and let your kids pick produce straight from the plant.
  30. Play Bug or Leaf Bingo. Find 10 different bugs or leaves and identify them.
  31. Photograph nature. Let our kids borrow your phone camera and see how many different types of wildlife they can find and photograph.
  32. Sidewalk Chalk Games. Here are some really fun ideas to do with sidewalk chalk.
  33. Make a movie in your backyard with your phone camera.
  34. Make paper airplanes and have a contest to see whose plane can fly the furthest.
  35. Gather sticks and make a stick raft. Can your kids build a raft that really floats?
  36. Make Sponge Water Bombs and have a water fight.
  37. Make Tie-Dye Shirts. Use old white shirts or buy inexpensive white shirts and tie dye them in your backyard.
  38. Paint Pet Rocks and place them around your yard.
  39. Go fishing.
  40. Play frisbee.
  41. Have a campfire and s’mores
  42. Go kayaking. You can rent kayaks if you don’t own any and go in a local lake, river or pond.
  43. Make a time capsule and bury it with your kids.
  44. Go Camping in the backyard.
  45. Ride bikes on a trail.
  46. Run through sprinklers.
  47. Water balloon fight.
  48. Play a game of kickball.
  49. Play capture the flag. For older kids, take it to the next level and fill socks with flour and to ‘tag’ an opponent, you have to tap them with your flour sock.
  50. Have a watermelon seed spitting contest.
  51. Attend an outdoor concert.
  52. Create your own lemonade stand. Even if your kids don’t sell much, they will have fun waiting for potential customers outside.
  53. Go ice blocking. You just need a block of ice, towel and a grassy hill.
  54. Create a backyard spa with a kiddie pool.
  55. Make ice cream in a bag. This is a great recipe and instructions.
  56. Set up a treasure hunt outside.
  57. Write nice messages on neighbors driveways with sidewalk chalk.
  58. Make a fairy garden.
  59. “Cook” with mud. Get some old dishes, pots or pans and let your kids make mud pies.
  60. Create rock stacks and see how high your kids can stack rocks before they tip over.
  61. Make your own puffy sidewalk paint. Make it with common household items.
  62. Make a frozen ocean and have your kids rescue the ocean animals from the ice.
  63. Set up a scooter/bike obstacle course. Use small plastic cones or something similar to create a course and have your kids ride their bikes or scooters through it. Time them, and see if they can improve their time each round.
  64. Go bird watching with binoculars.
  65. Make a sandcastle village.
  66. Decorate bikes and have your own parade in your neighborhood.
  67. Spray bottle water fight. Fill inexpensive spray bottles with water and go crazy!
  68. Try a sidewalk science project. These outdoor science projects are learning and getting outside at the same time!
  69. Make a butterfly feeder and watch for butterflies.
  70. Have a whip cream battle. Give each kid a bottle of spray whip cream and let them battle it out in the backyard.
  71. Play with an old sheet on a windy day. Let your kids use the sheet as a cape or sail in the wind.
  72. Collect acorns, pinecones, and seed pods and use them to stamp playdough.
  73. Build a bug hotel and check it for any friendly creatures everyday.
  74. Have a hula hoop contest to see how long you can hold it up for.
  75. Play jump rope games. All you need is a jump rope and some game ideas.

How To Help Your Kids Get Outdoors

Kids model their parents behavior in a lot of ways. If you want your kids to get outdoors more, getting outdoors yourself is a great way to help your kids! Creating fun outdoor experiences as a family, is a great way to start creating a regular habit of playing outdoors.

There are so many fun, simple, and creative ways to help your kids get outside–and they don’t have to cost a lot of money, time, or planning. Print this list and get your kids involved!

Free Printable Outdoor Activity Ideas for Kids

Just click on the photo below for the printable version of this list!

Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

Learn More about Natalie

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36 Comments

Best idea I read this week, why? Kids dont get to be in nature these days, in London where Ive lived all my life and in many cities we are separated from nature and kids dont see the beauty of nature and grow up not appreciating the simplest things in life such as a lovely sky and sunset, playing in the soil with their toys and discovering the real world under that tarmac and concrete that has existed for millions of years.
Your ideas are not only great but essential.

Love #2 and #15! My kids always talk about “parkour” but do not really know what it is! I need to take them to our local parkour park and then find some boulders! We have mountains nearby! there must be some!

Wow amazing Post !
all outdoor activities are wonderful ,But my kid mostly love to jumping on trampoline that is his all time favorite activity. But now i will tell him to also try these outdoor games

These 31 Outdoor Activities for Kids are really awesome because nowadays children are becoming lazy due to the smart devices and games which are available in the smart devices. But that went outside they will get some physical exercises that may help them to get healthy.

Would love to see some ideas for winter activities. Getting kids outside in the winter is hard for kids and parents. How can we make it more fun?

My kids really love planting a mini-garden because I see that they are excited with this. Thank you for giving me great information. I love your post!

I’ve always been afraid to let my daughters enjoy their playtime outside the house, but your article convinced me that it’s about time to let them learn. Thank you for telling me that most kids who spent their time outside can enhance their concentration and cognitive skills. I’m just mostly worried about the accidents that might happen, so it might be a good idea to teach them to be careful at all times such as staying away from places with power pole tags.

Great list of activities that you have shared. Today’s generation are very much into online games & mobile phones. But it is responsibility of all parents to make sure that kids engage in some sort of physical activity. I will definitely make my kids involve from my activities which you have suggested. keep posting such interesting article for us.

Ideas for building a bonding between kids and nature is truly awesome. Gardening is one such activity where kids will enjoy and learn to love the nature. Thank you for the awesome post.

There are so many benefits to being outdoors, not only is it just peaceful, but it helps ease my mind. I started taking up hiking when I met my husband, and I am glad I did. Now I take my kids hiking. Thank you for posting all the different things to do while outdside, especially during the pandemic! They are so bored lately and we have to keep them moving. I just read another article that talks about all the benefits of being outdoors, https://www.ez.insure/landing/2020/08/benefits-of-taking-a-hike/ . Its a good read and puts things into your mind and body perspective. What are your thoughts? I think it is great for kids to hike.

We agree! There are so many health benefits to spending time outdoors. Hiking is a wonderful family activity. Glad to hear it’s something you enjoy doing together!

Hey!!
Some of your Outdoor Activities for Kids are really awesome In the current situation children are becoming lazy due to the smart devices. I just Install trampoline in my backyard and they just loved it. i also try your suggested also.

I used to go for walks with my little dog, but know I prefer to run alone because my dog only wanted to fight with other dogs. I made new runner friends so it’s motivating and funny!

Great writeup!
I have read your previous blog and now read this one. Really appreciate your article. Please keep sharing such valuable and informative posts. Thank you for sharing.

These days when everyone is confined to their houses due to the Corona pandemic, kids are the ones who are the at the worst receiving end. Un-reluctantly, parents have to just watch children getting glued to electronic gadgets, which is not good for their health. However, when it comes to coming up with ideas to entertain kids, parents tend to lose their nerves. But with these ideas for outside activities, they can now relax and get their children into physical activities. I especially liked the geocaching idea. This could be the best use of utilizing their addiction for smartphone in the right channel.

This article is so right. Getting kids out into nature and interested in the outdoors is such a good way to get them active and expand their hobbies and interests.

There are some really easy and creative ideas here I would never have thought of. I’m definitely going to give these a go and recommend them to others.

Also if you are looking for activities nearby that are suitable for kids of all ages you can find a great list here. https://outwoodz.co.uk/outdoor-activities-near-me/

I live in a remote village in the Philippines where kids play outside all the time if it’s not raining… and if it’s raining, they’ll also play in the rain.

One simple game they like to play is a competition of tossing thin rubber bands onto the neck of a bottle. If you miss, they leave their rubber band on the ground. The person who tosses the rubber band around the neck of the bottle gets to pick up and keep all of the rubber bands on the ground.