What are the best outdoor activities for kids?
What can a 10-year-old do when bored at home?
Or a 5-year-old, for that matter?
We’re here to give you some ideas.
When the weather’s nice, you’d imagine kids can’t wait to get outside.
But some mamas find their little ones need a bit of encouragement to get out and about.
That’s totally normal, too.
The key is to find activities that are too fun to say no to.
And with that, let’s explore the big wide world of outdoor activities for kids.
In this article: 📝
- Benefits of playing outside
- Fun outdoor activities for kids
Benefits of playing outside
Being outside is great for your kid’s development – physically, emotionally, and psychologically.
Want some specifics? We’ve got you:
- Kids need the sun. Vitamin D, the so-called “sunshine vitamin,” is crucial for bone health, mood, and general well-being. We all get much more of it outside. Just make sure to avoid burns by applying sunscreen (ideally a kid-friendly sunscreen), wearing sun-protective clothing, and avoiding the sun at the hottest times of the day.
- Exercise. Doctors say that kids should really be active for at least an hour a day. By active we mean running, walking, skipping, jumping, and climbing, all of which kids seem more inclined to do when they’re outdoors. Even if your kids love climbing and jumping indoors, you (and your furniture) will probably appreciate it if they take the gymnastic outside once in a while.
- Nature helps them appreciate the world. The world is full of beautiful things – mountain peaks, forest streams, sunsets over oceans. While these might not be on everyone’s doorstep, even the birds and plants in your neighborhood are a great way to learn about the wonders of nature.
- Being outside helps them learn to take risks. Play is all about taking risks. While it can be reassuring for mamas to keep their kids indoors, going down a tall slide, swinging as high as you can, and jumping over big logs are all great ways for kids to take risks in a healthy and safe way.
- Playing outside boosts curiosity and grows attention spans. Unstructured play – the technical term used for kids entertaining themselves – helps kids find out what their unique interests are and come up with ways to explore them. This is great for their future development!
- Improves vision! Studies have found that being outside helps improve vision. Why? Because rather than looking at screens, they are focused on things much further away. That’s like training for their eyes.
- Boosts immunity. The home can be quite a sterile environment. Many mamas like it that way – and that’s totally cool. But it’s good sometimes for kids to get dirty and pick up some germs every now and then. This helps strengthen their immune systems, which can prevent disease in the future!
Fun outdoor activities for kids
So, what are the best outdoor activities that kids will love?
From sporty kids to kids who love to use their imagination, there’s loads to do.
Sporty outdoor activities for kids
Sports are a great way to get your kid moving, develop their motor skills, and have fun.
- Soccer. A game of soccer in the park can be one of the best summer outdoor activities. Or kids can practice dribbling in their own backyard.
- Catch. Throwing a ball to each other is a simple way to get some sport in.
- Frisbee. You need a bit more distance for a frisbee, but it’s a skill that all their friends will be jealous of.
- Volleyball. Get a net or, if you prefer cheap outdoor activities for kids, use a washing line. A light inflatable balloon, rather than an actual volleyball, will be easier for younger kids.
- Badminton. You need at least two rackets and a shuttlecock. If you have the space, you can tie up a net (or use a clothesline).
- Dodgeball. Use soft balls – or, on a hot summer’s day, wet sponges – to play a game of dodgeball.
- Shooting hoops. A basketball hoop is an easy way for one or more kids (and mom and dad, too) to get some exercise.
- Race! If there’s more than one kid around, racing – with eggs and spoons, three legs, or wheelbarrows – can be super entertaining.
- Learn to ride. Choose your ride: a bike, skateboard, roller skates, a scooter? They take a bit of skill to master, but promise wonderful evenings of playing outside.
What are some imaginative activities you can play outside?
Besides sports, there are loads of other fun recreational activities your kids can play outside:
- Create your own playspace. There are so many cool things you can do with a bit of imagination. Use a tent to build a fort, or work with others to build (and then master) an obstacle course.
- Start splashing! Kids love water in all forms: paddling pools, water guns, bubbles, hoses…. There are good reasons why it’s best to do all this outside.
- Do some gardening. Encourage the little one’s green fingers. Digging up dirt, planting seeds, and watering plants are all fun activities for kids – and it’s educational, too.
- Fly a kite. Once the coolest toy any kid could ever hope for, kites are still great fun.
- Family bike ride or walks. Go out together to explore as a family, on bikes, or on foot. The world is full of beautiful sights and sounds.
- Birdwatching. There are so many incredible creatures who live in your garden or in the nearby park. You’ve just got to be patient enough to catch a glimpse.
- Stargazing. A nighttime outdoor activity for kids and adults alike. If you’re after a way to encourage curiosity in your kids, this could be it.
- Carwash! Remember what we said about water? Well, there’s no reason these outdoor activities at home can’t be useful too!
- Hide and seek. An old fave. Doing it at night with flashlights is an added twist.
- Do indoor things outside. Homework? Lunch? Drawing? Board games? Reading? It’s all more fun outside.
- Go for a picnic. Every kid loves a picnic. Pack a bag full of your kid’s favorite snacks and head out together into the big wide world.
- Throw a party. Mama, since when did you need an excuse for a party? Get some music on and invite the neighbors.
- Embrace “unstructured” play. Your kids’ curiosity and powers of invention will be working at their best if you don’t suggest anything at all. Just let them go out and do their thing.
The best part?
There are so many more outdoor activities for kids.
The sky’s the limit – literally!
And if you’re after more ideas for things to do outside with your kids, why not ask the outdoorsy moms of Peanut?