Warm summer days are ideal for enjoying fun outdoor activities for kids. And there is an endless variety of things you can do with the little ones to take advantage of a summer day in nature. Because nature is the best classroom, outdoor play helps parents and caregivers ensure their children grow—mentally, emotionally, and physically—while having loads of fun, too.
Outdoor play presents a wide variety of opportunities to help kids hone important skills like curiosity, focus and problem-solving. A well-rounded kiddo needs practice in many different areas to grow, and games provide a great way to reinforce these important life lessons and enjoy getting out of the house.
Here’s a list of four fun outdoor activities for kids of all ages that you’ll love, too.
(The kids will never know they’re learning—but you will!)
This activity encourages kids to explore both familiar and unfamiliar places. Explain what it means to listen, so they are prepared to identify the sounds they hear during your walk. Have them sit quietly before you begin and identify the first sound they hear. This helps young learners become acclimated to the area before starting out.
Once the walk is done, ask the children to recount their listening experiences and describe any sounds they’d never heard before. Encourage them to mimic noises, too. This helps little ones learn focus, while building their sensory awareness of the world around them.
Bring along another adult or a teen to help you with this one. You’ll need a copy of Carole Lexa Schaefer’s book The Squiggle, plus one 2-yard strip of ribbon for each child. Go out and stash the ribbons along your route for the kids to discover while your partner reads the book to the kids.
When they find the ribbons, encourage the children to twirl them, run with them, dance with them—whatever their imaginations can dream up. Fun outdoor activities for children like this one unleash pent-up energy, even while fostering creativity, inspiring pretend play and developing gross motor skills.
Cut up some old sheets, shirts or any other item that will render a relatively broad flag kids can handle. Triangles are the most effective shape, as they are easier for children to grasp and hold as they run.
While a windy area is ideal, kiddos can run or dance while observing how their flags respond even if there is no wind. In addition to teaching simple physics concepts, this activity helps develop a child’s sense of curiosity and focus for learning. It’s also good for strengthening both gross and fine motor skills, as kids use their bodies to make the flags move.
Given the opportunity to make a mess, what child is going to refuse? All you need to get kids started is some dishwashing soap, glycerin, pipe cleaners and a container for your “bubble juice.” Kids can make bubbles by blowing on the wands they fashion or running with them.
You can set their minds into motion while they’re having fun with questions like:
- Can you catch a bubble?
- Do you hear a sound when the bubbles pop?
- Can you make a smaller bubble?
- Can you make a bigger bubble?
The hidden beauty of these fun-filled outdoor activities for kids is they inspire physical, emotional, and intellectual growth—even as they keep children thoroughly entertained. What’s more, they allow you to spend quality time with little ones and bond as a family or a learning group.
Looking for more creative outdoor activities for children? Check out the many do-it-yourself activities Tinkergarten offers for toddlers, preschoolers and beyond. We believe kids can—and should—have fun while developing lifelong skills that will help them grow into strong, confident, analytical and thoughtful adults.