Are you looking for ideas for fun family outdoor activities that you can do with your kids?
In today’s modern world, many families spend most of their time inside, scrolling through their phones and tablets. But spending too much time indoors isn’t healthy for anyone. Getting outside together as a family can be a great way to get fresh air, spend quality time together, learn about nature, be more physical, and help reduce stress.
I’ve made it a goal for my whole family to spend more time outdoors this year. Hearing about the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge sparked this idea for me, which encourages parents and caregivers to spend more time outside with their kids.
Several of my friends are completing this challenge this year, are you? I know getting outdoors can be tough but will be worth it in the long run.
I realized we needed a list of ideas to get us all started on the right foot. Thankfully, there are a lot of fun things you can do outside with your kids. In fact, I’ve brainstormed 45 ideas! Bookmark this and come glance through whenever you need a brain spark!
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Play The Outdoor Classic Games
Playing all the classic outdoor games we know and love is a great way to spend your time outdoors.
Some ideas include:
- Hula Hoop
- Sidewalk Chalk Obstacle Course
- Red Rover
- Capture the Flag
- Horse Shoes
- Simon Says
- Four Square
- Bocce Ball
- Jump Rope
- Relay Races
Make Up A Game Together
A great way to encourage creativity in younger children is to let them make up their own games. Let them be creative and think of rules, teams, and goals. As kids, we always did this, and I am sure you did too. You can even share some of the games you made up as a kid!
Visit A Nearby Park
Another fun family activity is to go the park. Stop and listen to different bird calls, take photos of interesting plants or animals you see, find a new trail to explore, or even go geocaching. Bring some snacks and toys to the park, and you’ll have hours of fun.
Explore Different Playgrounds In Your Area
Have you been taking your kids to the same playground? Why not mix it up and explore different playgrounds in your area? You could try one new park every day or make a day of it, pack a picnic, and aim to visit as many parks as you want.
Play Games Using Nearby Courts and Fields
If you live in an urban area, you likely have courts and play fields that you can take advantage of and use as a family. Playing these games is a great way to burn off energy, practice a sport, or sharpen skills.
Here are some common sports you can play.
- Frisbee Golf
Go On Family Bike Rides
If you have bicycles, why not go on a family bike ride? You can explore your local area or plan an outing to a trail. Just make sure to bring along some snacks and water if you will be out for a while.
Alternatively, you can go rollerblading together. This is a great activity to do around your neighborhood. Some cities and towns even have trail systems that are nicely paved, perfect for rollerblading.
Fly A Kite
Kite flying is a timeless activity that anyone can enjoy at any age. You can buy a premade kite, a kite-making kit, or build custom kites together.
Create Outdoor Scavenger Hunts
Kids love scavenger hunts because they are essentially treasure hunts. And what kid doesn’t love that?
This outdoor activity may take more work as you will have to create a list of items for them to find. But it will be worth it to see their little faces light up as they find each item.
Make Bird Feeders
If you want a crafting idea that your kids can do outside, why not make a DIY bird feeder? This is an excellent outdoor activity as it encourages creativity and provides a learning experience for your kids.
You can make bird feeders from large pine cones, a plastic bottle, or even an old coffee can. All you need is some birdseed, peanut butter, and string! Or you can grab this super easy to put together kit.
But don’t let the fun stop there. Encourage your kids to look out for the birds they feed. You can also make a list of local bird species they might be able to spot so they can check them off as they see them, like a bird scavenger hunt.
Speaking of looking for different bird species, why not make a day of it and go birdwatching with your family? You can search for local species or look out for migrating birds. You can look in your local park, at a national park, a nearby nature center, etc.
To help identify the birds, consider bringing a field guide that lists the different bird species. Your kids will love flipping through the pages and looking for birds they have spotted.
Visit Nearby Nature Centers
Many nature centers offer programs and activities specifically designed for kids. Whether it’s a chance to learn about different species, observe wildlife, explore nature trails, or even participate in a scavenger hunt, there is a lot to do.
Visit The Botanical Garden
Living near an outdoor botanical garden can be a great place to go with your entire family. Not only will you enjoy nature’s beauty, but you can also explore different plant life and learn about them.
Visit Nearby National Parks
Did you know there are 424 national parks across the United States? Visiting a nearby national park is a great way to spend a day outdoors. Plus, it allows you to learn about the history and culture of your local area.
Do you have a child in 4th grade? 4th graders can get a pass to all national parks for free! See more info here.
Visit Local Farms
As a kid growing up in the city, visiting a farm was always the highlight of my summer. If you can access farms nearby, consider making a day out of it. You can pick fruits and vegetables, explore the farm animals, or even take hay rides. Farms also offer a unique opportunity for kids to learn more about where their food comes from, how to feed and care for animals, and more.
Visit The Beach
Visiting the beach is an excellent activity for kids of all ages, especially when trying to beat the summer heat. Whether you go for a swim, play in the sand, or relax and enjoy nature’s beauty, this is one outdoor activity that everyone in the family can enjoy.
Go To An Outdoor Water Park
If you want a fun and exciting way to beat the summer heat, why not visit your local outdoor water park? This is a great way to cool off and enjoy the sun. Bring beach towels, snacks, and drinks for an extra special day.
Build A Community Garden
Give something back to your community by building a garden for everyone to enjoy. You can involve your entire family in this project, and the garden will be an excellent place for families to gather and teach kids the importance of taking care of the environment.
Take A Hike
There is nothing quite like a nature hike to connect with the outdoors. Pack snacks, lunch, and plenty of water before heading out on the trails. Hiking is a great way to get your kids active and explore nature up close. Bring a blank book and pencil/crayons/markers for each child so they can write or draw about what they see. They could even tape leaves or small sticks in the book to keep!
Go For A Daily Walk
It may not always be possible to get out for a hike. But you can still get your kids active and in nature by walking daily in and around your neighborhood. Explore the different areas or try new paths. You might be amazed to discover how much of your community you’ve never seen.
To make this activity even more fun for your kids, you can play I Spy, compare front gardens as you walk by, bring those blank books I mentioned, or pick up garbage along the way.
Have A Picnic
Make the most of a beautiful day and picnic in the park or even just the backyard. Pack some sandwiches, snacks, and drinks for a delicious outdoor meal. Bring blankets to sit on and your favorite books and games to enjoy while you’re out there. You could even grab a family picnic basket and make it a weekly or monthly tradition! There are so many cute baskets and backpacks here!
Have A Water Balloon Fight
On hot days, there is nothing like having a good old fashion water balloon fight. Gather everyone and prepare for many laughs and a great time as you cool off in the water.
Another fun and creative activity you can get your kids to do is paint rocks. While you can do this together as a family, you can also let your kids do it alone, which is nice if you have other things that need to get done.
Once they’ve painted their rocks, your kids can add them to your garden or front porch for decoration. They can also place the painted rocks around your neighborhood for your neighbors to enjoy.
Go Fruit Picking
Head to a local farm or orchard and pick fruit together. Not only is this a great way to get your kids involved in where their food comes from, but it can also be a fun and educational activity. We have several awesome farms/orchards locally that we like to go to!
Stargaze At Night
The night sky is filled with wonders, and stargazing is a great way to explore it with your kids. You can look for constellations, talk about the planets, and share stories about the stars. If your kids find shapes in the stars, create names for them.
Stargazing at night will help your kids appreciate the beauty of nature while also giving them an understanding of science.
Find Shapes In The Clouds
The sky is constantly changing, so why not take advantage of it? Go outside and find shapes in the clouds. This is a great activity that kids of all ages can do. It will help them appreciate the ever-changing sky and get creative with their imaginations.
Have A Campfire
Some of my favorite childhood memories were when we sat together as a family around the campfire, roasted marshmallows, and shared stories. You can easily do this with your kids right in the comfort of your backyard. My husband has been dreaming of owning a Solo Stove for years. We found one in great condition second hand and now we spend lots of evenings outside around the fire!
Speaking of campfires, you have to make s’mores, the classic treat kids love! Break out the graham crackers, chocolate bars, and marshmallows, and let your family enjoy some delicious s’mores.
Besides being tasty, this activity can also help promote bonding between family members.
Sleep In A Tent In Your Backyard
As much fun as it is to go camping, it can be a lot of work to pack up and get ready. To make it easier, you can sleep in a tent in your backyard! This is the perfect way to give your kids a camping experience without having to leave your home.
Take a trip to the lake or pond and teach your kids how to fish. Fishing is an excellent way to develop patience, focus, and appreciation of nature. It’s also a fun and rewarding activity that kids can do with their parents. You usually don’t even have to go far! There are some local ponds that are great for fishing – they may be right outside your back door!
Do Outdoor Yoga
Yoga is a great way to get kids involved in physical activity, and doing it outdoors makes it even more enjoyable. If you want to do outdoor yoga with your kids, make it fun by incorporating some silly poses or having a race to see who can do the most sun salutations.
Make Mud Pies
Your kids will love this fun and messy activity! Once you’ve found a good mud patch, let your kids get creative and make mud pies. Not only is this fun, but it also helps promote creativity and encourages imaginative thinking. Worried about the mess? Run through the sprinklers afterwards to get that mud off!
Start and Nurture A Family Garden
Teach your kids how to care for plants by starting a family garden. This is a great way to teach responsibility and help instill a sense of pride in your kids. You can also use the vegetables and fruits you grow for delicious meals together!
Related Read: 5 Raised Bed Gardening Tips For Families On A Budget
Make A Fairy Garden
Another fun activity your kids can do is make a fairy garden in a pot or directly on the ground. Let your kids get creative and pick out small plants, rocks, and other decorations to create their own magical fairy garden.
Related Read: 10 Low-Cost Gardening Activities For Kids
Turn On The Sprinkler
On sweltering summer days, cool down outside by running through the sprinkler and getting soaked. You can even play games while you’re at it and make a competition out of it. It’s an easy outdoor activity that kids of all ages can enjoy!
Set Up An Outdoor Pool
If you have a bigger backyard, setting up an outdoor pool can be the perfect way to get your kids outside more. Plus, it’s a great way to cool down on hot summer days.
Heads up, though. If you have a pool in your backyard, your home might become a popular spot for all the neighborhood kids!
Make A Slip N’ Slide
If you can’t set up a pool or want to add another water activity to an outdoor water day in your yard, consider making a slip n’ slide for your kids! This old-fashioned and classic outdoor activity remains popular today and is very easy to set up. All you need is a tarp, water, and liquid soap! Or, of course, you can always grab one ready to go!
Set Up A Trampoline
If you have the space for it, a trampoline is another great way to get your kids outside and active. It can even be fun for adults!
Make A Lemonade Stand
Another old-fashioned but classic activity that kids can enjoy is making a lemonade or iced tea stand. Not only is this perfect for young kids who want to earn a little extra money to spend, but it also teaches them about running a business and learning customer service. If a neighbor is having a garage sale, ask if you can set it up near them! You’ll get a lot of traffic this way!
Have A Boat Race
If you have a pond or creek nearby, why not do a boat race with your family? You can make boats from wood, plastic, or recycled materials. Let your kids get creative and make their own boat designs. Then have a race to see whose boat will be the fastest!
Take Outdoor Photos
Another great way to get your kids to observe nature is by taking outdoor photos. All they need is a camera, and they can start taking pictures of anything they find.
Not only does this activity teach them to be more observant of their surroundings, but it also encourages imaginative thinking and creativity. Plus, they may discover how much they love photography!
If taking outdoor photos is something your kid is interested in trying, bring their camera with them anywhere you go. You never know what you will find when you’re out and about.
Enjoy Some Bubbles
Blowing bubbles outside is an age-old activity that kids of all ages still enjoy today. Kids can make the biggest bubbles, have races to see who can make the biggest bubble, or even chase bubbles around.
Attend A Local Festival or Fair
Local festivals and fairs are a great way to get out into the community and enjoy outdoor fun. From carnival rides to food stands, there’s usually something to do and enjoy.
Participate In A Local Clean Up Challenge
As a parent, one of the best things you can teach your child is actively participate in their community. Participating in a local clean-up challenge is a great way to do this.
Walk Your Neighbor’s Dogs
Walking your neighbor’s dogs is another great way to get your kids outside and have fun! Kids can walk the dogs around the block, play fetch in the park, and get some great exercise in the process.
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So there you have it! There are plenty of fun activities that your family can do to enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you’re looking for something to do on a hot summer day or want to get your kids outside more, these activities will provide plenty of fun and entertainment.
Also, remember the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge! This initiative encourages families to spend at least 1000 hours of outdoor free play each year. If you want to get your family outdoors more and make it a priority, this challenge is the perfect way to get started!