In our current connected society, it can sometimes be tough to get kids off of their screens and into the great outdoors.
But spending time outside has huge benefits for children, including better physical and mental health, more appreciation for nature, and improved sensory skills.
That’s why finding fun things to do outside with kids is so important. So, grab your child’s coat and slip those kids trainers on; these are some of the best ways to get your children into the outdoors:
A scavenger hunt is a classic game that is perfect for the outdoors. Make a list of items for your children to find and have a small reward waiting for them when they find everything on the list.
The best part of a scavenger hunt is that you can tailor it to the area you live in and your child’s interests.
A scavenger hunt for a car-loving child, for example, could have different types or colors of vehicles to find. And nature-loving little ones will enjoy hunting for various plants and flowers.
If you live near a park or forest, try and gather a list of local animals, insects, and birds that frequent the area, and take your child animal spotting.
This can be a great ongoing activity for you and your children, since it will likely take multiple trips to see all of the different types of wildlife.
Pack some snacks and a blanket, so that you can alternate walking through the area and simply relaxing in nature.
And, to really get your child involved, consider letting them bring an inexpensive camera so that they can photograph the fauna the find!
Kids love collecting things, so helping them start a nature collection is a great way to get them more interested in the outdoor world.
Depending on your location, a collection could be comprised of different types of rocks, sea shells, flowers, leaves, or even different types of tree bark.
Find ways to help your child research the items they find and display them in a fun way. Scrapbooks are great for leaves, flowers, and bark, while bulkier items could have their own special shelf in your child’s room.
The more excited they are about their collection, the more likely they’ll be to head outside and hunt for new treasures to add!
Arts & Crafts
Almost everyone has a memory of using natural materials to create a piece of artwork at some point in their life.
Using elements from nature for arts and crafts is a fun and inexpensive way to teach your children an appreciation for nature while they develop their own artistic skills.
From simple daisy chains to fancy painted rocks, there’s no limit to the potential creations that nature could inspire for your child.
Some great easy nature crafts to try initially could include gluing leaves to construction paper to make leaf men, attaching painted pine cones to sticks to make pine cone roses, or gluing twigs around an empty can to make a nature vase.
One of the most fun things to do outside with kids is playing a favorite sport. And that doesn’t have to mean signing up for your local soccer or baseball team, though that can be a great option!
Kids have a lot of energy, so something as simple as heading outside with them to throw a football or frisbee can be a great way to encourage more outdoor play.
And if you do have a sports-loving child in the house, getting them involved in a team that plays their favorite outdoor sport just makes sense!
Either way, it’s a good idea to invest a bit of money on some outdoor sports gear so that they can play and practice different sports at home.
Remember, you don’t have to spend a lot! A few different types of balls, a couple of buckets that you can set up as goal posts, or a portable net is likely all you need.
When you’re looking for fun things to do outside with kids, keep in mind that there are plenty of indoor activities that can be even more enjoyable outdoors!
Instead of having breakfast or lunch in the dining room, grab a blanket and head to your back yard for your next meal. The change of scenery will be fun for everyone, and your kids will love the novelty of eating outdoors.
Or, pick a corner of your yard and use old sheets and outdoor cushions to create a cozy outdoor reading nook for your little ones.
Helping kids realize that the outdoors can be a great place to indulge in some of their favorite hobbies can be especially helpful for kids that prefer quieter, more relaxing activities.
Finally, make it a goal in your family to never drive somewhere that’s in walking distance. Walking isn’t just a great way to spend time outside, it’s one of the best exercises for kids and adults alike!
Depending on your location, you can walk your kids to and from school each day, walk to the nearest store to buy groceries, or walk to the end of the block to get the mail.
Walking is a great healthy activity for the whole family, and it will give you time to chat and bond with your kids as well. Best of all, you’ll save money by not driving as much!
Whether you’re in a bustling city, a small town, or a remote acreage, there are always options for fun things to do outside with kids.
Try one or two of these easy ideas as a start, and see for yourself how many fun outdoor family activities there are to choose from.
With all the benefits that come along with spending time out in nature, you and your kids will all be glad you helped them out outdoors!