Summer Activities That Will Make The Outdoors Fun For Your Kids
Your kids seem glued to their iPads and certainly enjoy a little too much screen time – and now that summer is here, you’d rather see them play outside than stuck indoors next to their fancy gadgets. If you’re running out of ideas on how to get your kids excited for the backyard, the park or the garden, check out our list of super fun activities that were designed to make kids enjoy nature!
Your kids love to color, draw or paint and while you do love their creative sides and certainly want to encourage their imaginative expression, you are worried about the amount of times they spend indoors. Well, there is a way to easily combine your kids’ love for art with the need of spending more time outdoors: pebble decorating! Bring your sharpies, glittery pens, chalk and other similar art supplies in the backyard, encourage your kids to go hunting for the perfect smooth stones and let them enjoy an outdoor creative workshop!
Bring the fun of camping to your backyard by setting up a tent and having a campfire. Roast marshmallows and tell campfire stories for a fun and memorable night with your kids. This is a great way to bond with your kids while experiencing the great outdoors.
Sandbox Treasure Hunt
What toddler doesn’t enjoy playing in the sand? From making sand castles on the beach to simply rolling in any available pile, the little ones simply can’t get enough of it. This next activity is dedicated to the younger kids, perfect for those between ages 1 and 5: sandbox treasure hunting! This elevated sand play comes with tons of fun and doesn’t require a lot of preparation. Simply toss toy jewelry, large coins and other mysterious objects in the sand pile and let your little ones start their search for hidden treasures. Optional: use a mix of cheap plastic animals that live on the beach or in the ocean in order to create a beach-themed treasure hunt.
Enjoy delicious meals outdoors by setting up a barbecue or campfire and letting your kids help with cooking. This is a great opportunity to teach them about food preparation and safety while enjoying the great outdoors. You can even make it a fun family activity by letting everyone participate in the cooking process.
Squirt Gun Painting
If your kid is all about the messiest activities, then they will certainly love this next one on our list: squirt gun painting. Bright watercolors, water, water guns and watercolor paper are the only needed items for this super fun activity that will definitely make your kids want to spend more time outdoors. To make it more fun, make a few cards ahead of the game – write a simple word on each card (for example: flower, girl, sun) and let your child attempt to squirt-draw the chosen item. Fun, easy and inexpensive, all in one!
DIY Water Park
On hot summer days, turn your backyard into a fun water park by setting up sprinklers, a slip-and-slide, and other water play equipment. Your kids will enjoy splashing around and staying cool while having fun in the sun.
Nature Hunt Bingo
Bingo is definitely not just a game for grandma and grandpa – in fact, kids can enjoy it just as much, when combined with elements from nature. To get started, print out one of the many free bingo printable sheets available online or make your own, including elements you are sure to find in your space, be it the case of a park, the beach, the forest, a lake or an orchard. This activity encourages the young ones to explore their surroundings in detail, so make sure you stimulate their hunt by asking questions about the items they found or helping them on their fun search.
Take your kids to a local community garden or let them explore your garden to learn about plants and insects. Encourage them to get their hands dirty by digging, planting, and watering. This is a great opportunity to teach your kids about the environment and sustainable living.
Water Balloon Paint Party
This next activity will appeal not only to the little ones who love art, colors and creative crafts, but also to those that love… creating huge messes (to round it up: all kids ever!). To start out, use non-toxic watercolors or water-based paint and water to fill up as many balloons as possible. Next, set up a large white canvas in your backyard and let the fun begin! Encourage your kids to smash the water balloons on the canvas, thus creating vibrant and expressive masterpieces. As you might have guessed, the canvas will certainly not be the sole recipient of the pigmented water, so be prepared for a gigantic colorful mess in your yard.
Outdoor Movie Night
Create a memorable summer experience for your kids by setting up a movie projector in your backyard. Settle down in comfortable seating, provide blankets, and snacks for a cozy and fun experience under the stars. It is a great way to bond with your kids while enjoying their favorite movies.
Conduct a Bug Hunt
This next outdoor activity for kids is definitely an adventure in itself, albeit a slightly icky one at times. Treasure hunts are a lot of fun, but including bugs in the equation makes the hunting even more entertaining and educational. Stimulate your kids to search the area through and through in order to find the most unique little creatures, from ants to caterpillars and from snails and spiders to butterflies. Keep a chart of all the little insects they managed to find and encourage your kids to draw a colorful picture of each bug to remember their little friends.
Keep your kids entertained this summer with a scavenger hunt that takes them through your backyard, local park, or nature reserve. Encourage them to explore and learn about their environment while having fun. You can create a list of items to find or create clues to solve, and provide rewards.