It’s the season to open the windows, put away the winter coats and, best of all, get your kids outside. While toddlers may need simpler outdoor activities, school-age kids are able to spend more time and energy outside, but this also means a bit more planning on your part. Don’t sweat it—we’ve got you covered! Here are 18 kid-friendly outdoor activities.
1. Bring out the Binoculars
Go for a walk around the neighborhood and see what you spot, from birds and insects to bright flowers and green grass. If your kids are feeling ambitious, turn it into a day-long excursion and go on a hike.
2. Strike Up a Stand
A lemonade stand is a classic favorite, but feel free to get creative—think iced tea, infused water, juice or cold treats like popsicles or smoothies. Involve the kids in every aspect of the business, from crafting signage to tendering cash.
3. Soak in the Sprinklers
Break out the bathing suits and let kids run through the sprinklers or a hose. Also try filling up an inflatable baby pool or getting out the Slip ‘N Slide, a perennial kid favorite.
4. Check Off Your Outdoor Chore List
Chores can be anything but a chore when you’re outside. Have kids help wash the car, clean up trash in the neighborhood or tend to the yard. Even if they focus more on having fun than actually helping, it gives them a sense of accomplishment while being physically active.
5. Craft a Collage
Flowers, leaves and blades of grass make for a colorful collage that celebrates spring’s bounty. Have kids collect as much foliage as they can to glue onto colored construction paper or even a poster board.
6. Take a Park Tour
Spend a day visiting your family’s favorite local playgrounds. Each member of the family can pick their favorite park to visit, and everyone can work together to map out a day around those locations.
7. Plant Something
You don’t need a huge garden plot to see if your kids have a green thumb. Find a small piece of earth on your property or buy a planter and some soil, and have your kids plant flowers or herbs.
8. Pick a Sport, Any Sport
Baseball, soccer, basketball, frisbee—the options are endless. Whichever game you play, it doesn’t have to be competitive. Keeping it casual and fun is perfectly fine. The less equipment the sport needs, the better!
9. Save Some Fun for When the Sun Goes Down
Go for a walk in the early evening or right after the sun goes down. Bring a flashlight, and ask your kids to come up with a list of how the world seems different from when the sun is up. Don’t forget the bug spray!
10. Count on the Clouds
The simple activity of cloud-watching can be an endlessly creative exercise. Have kids lie on the grass with a journal to record what they see, in either written form or illustrations.
11. Stage a Variety Show
From songs to magic tricks, an impromptu variety show puts kids in the starring role. Have the kids first design their outdoor stage before they get out a few instruments, some playing cards and costumes to take it away.
12. Embark on a Photo Fest
Give kids a digital camera and let them take pictures of the world at large. You can even print the photos to compose a collage or create a digital flipbook.
13. Dine at Dusk
Serve dinner al fresco as the sun goes down with summery fare like grilled chicken and veggies with fresh fruit for dessert.
14. Create a Plein Air Painting
Set kids up with an easel of paper, some watercolor paints and brushes in a variety of sizes. Have them paint what they see in the world around them or let them be creative in freeform.
15. Catch a Local Sports Game
Heading to the professional stadium is exciting, but it can be costly and time-consuming. Look for a local matchup instead—at a nearby high school, college or community center—for a low-key version where the family can root for the home team.
16. Pick Up a Hobby
A fun way to enjoy spring outside is to teach younger kids how to ride a bike or older kids how to rollerskate, skateboard or rollerblade. You might even pick up the hobby for yourself!
17. Scavenge Through Nature
Provide kids a list of clues or items to find outside. You can also hide indoor items around the backyard in fun places, like behind a big bush or under a rock.
18. Take a Stroll Through a Public Garden
Many communities and neighborhoods have public gardens brimming with flowers, fruits and vegetables. Or, tour your local botanical garden to see the beauty of spring in bloom.
Your kids can stay healthy and happy throughout the warmer months with these kid-friendly outdoor activities. Explore your backyard and your neighborhood; learn a new sport or a new hobby; create art projects and talent shows. Your little ones will love spending their days (and nights) outside with these fun and adventurous activities.