This post was sponsored on behalf of CLIF Kid via One2One Network. All opinions stated and 25+ Simple Ideas for Outdoor Play are my own.
My kids absolutely love playing outside. From spring until fall, we have designated Get Out and Play time almost every day. With my little man’s health issues here lately, we have had to adjust the time of day that we get out and play. If you live in the south, you may be locking the doors and pulling the shades by 11 am everyday just to escape the heat, but we adjust by going out early in the morning or after dinner. Unless the weather is simply unbearable, we really do make an effort for outdoor time every day. Since the boys could walk, I’ve been letting them work of steam with outside play. Here is one of the first pictures that I snapped of them outside playing together.
Now that they can talk, they ask specifically to go outside and play certain activities. One of their favorite things is to look for animals, such as rabbits and turtles. Finding one of these is a weekly occurrence:
While getting outside is pretty simplistic in itself, sometimes the day to day activities of being a parent makes it hard to remember the easy activities that can keep kids busy outside. Earlier this year, I posted a list of 30 Staycation Ideas. I had some feedback that the list was too basic, but I had lots more feedback from parents who stated they were great reminders of activities that they sometimes forget. Today’s list of Simple Outdoor Activities is along the same mindset. This list isn’t complicated, but it is a list of over 25 outdoor activities for kids that can be done at home for free or very inexpensively. It may be things that your family already does on a weekly basis, or you may see an idea and think, “Hey- it’s been ages since we’ve done that!” Use this list however it works for you and your family to create and inspire fun, outdoor play! And if it’s too hot in your neck of the woods, bookmark these ideas for the fall. This heat can’t last forever, right?
1. Nature Walk- assign themes to your nature walk. Look for different insects one day, animals the next, leaves the next, etc.
2. Scavenger Hunt
3. Mud Pies and Mud Play
6. Chalk Play
8. Planting flowers (maybe even cheap, artificial kind that can be planted over and over again!)
9. Sand Play
10. Water Play
11. Create an outdoor obstacle course with cones, hula hoops, rope, and other items.
12. Decorate their bike or wagon for a bike/wagon parade
13. Save certain trash items that can be cleaned (such as containers or plastic bottles), clean them thoroughly, then use them for an outdoor challenge. What can your child make/play/use the items for outdoors?
14. Planting a small garden
15. Gather sticks and twigs to create mini forts or other small play structures
16. Start a leaf collection. Some leaves can also be used as stencils for indoor play later. Be sure to accompany the child during the leaf hunt to make sure they are not gathering poison oak, etc.
17. A rock hunt- look for and gather odd shaped or interesting rocks.
18. Make a Hot Wheels size dirt race track. If you have lots of those little cars around the house, let your child take a few outside and create their own dirt race track.
19. Outdoor painting- Lay out an old sheet in the grass, let the kids wear old clothes, and let them simply go to it! Be sure the paints are washable, of course!
20. Sea shell hunt- If have lots of sea shells from a recent beach trip, bury them in sand or place them in a bucket of water. Let the child dig out or catch the sea shells.
21. Bath toy fishing- Take those squeaky fish bath toys outdoors, place them in a large plastic bin or a kiddie pool, and the kiddos have to get them out with a fish net.
22. Ice melt- Freeze a plastic toy or ball in an ice cube tray or small plastic container. Let the kiddos take them outside and see how long it takes to melt. For the older kiddos, turn it into a science project. Give them a notebook to record each day’s temperature and how long it takes the ice to melt at the different temperatures.
23. Washing items- Put them to work washing their own little bikes or plastic chairs, etc.
24. Cardboard fun- Save big cardboard boxes to make a fort, spaceship, etc. outside
25. DIY slip and slide from a tarp
26. Bird watch
27. Make paper airplanes and have a flying contest
28. Have an in-the-yard picnic
29. Any kind of ball play
What else would you add to the list? Leave your suggestion in the comments, and I may add it to the list! Even better, share your photos of your little ones participating in their favorite outdoor activity, using the hashtag #Outtoplay .
A special thanks to CLIF for sponsoring today’s Come Out To Play conversation. When experiencing any kind of outdoor play, be sure to keep the kiddos hydrated with lots of water and nourished with simple snacks. CLIF wants to encourage children and families to prioritize time to get outdoors. Their CLIF Kid Play Hub provides tips and tools for parents and communities to promote play for kids of all ages. My husband and I have enjoyed the adult CLIF bars for years, and now the CLIF Kid’s family of snacks is available for the younger populations. Made without high fructose corn syrup, synthetic preservatives or artificial flavors, I enjoy having the CLIF organic snack alternatives on hand for those times when outdoor play is so fun that no one wants to come indoors!
Jamie @ Coffee With Us 3 says
How awesome that you live in a place with so much fun wildlife!
I am a huge believer in outdoor time, for kids especially. Mine are so much better behaved if they have that outlet where they can really play hard.
Diana Rambles says
What a fun collection of ideas! I myself and partial to bird watching!
Yay for the summer and outdoor activities! Love these ideas!
What fun activities and ideas! I love activities that keep kids active during the summer. It’s so important for learning. I’ll have to try a bunch of these with my nephews! They will love them!
Michelle @ The Complete Savorist says
Great list of activities and a delicious snack.
Joanne T Ferguson says
What great activities for the outdoors and love to watch clouds drift away! I think it reminds me of childhood when like was all about being carefree and life was full of play!
My kids went to a church camp and they would earn points by “collecting” various animals…worms, crickets, lizards, turtles, etc. All the point were tallied and at the end of the week the team with the most points was recognized at the weekly family picnic. They had a blast and were absolutely filthy everyday when they came home…and sometimes they brought a few ticks home, too!
Oh, my! Yes, ticks are terrible this time of year!
I think these are great ideas. A lot of them weren’t even on my radar. Pinned for later inspiration! 🙂