Are little ones getting under your feet? Or maybe your older children are telling you they are bored? We have put together 50 fun outdoor activities for kids of all ages to enjoy. They will help to keep the little ones from under your feet and the bigger ones from climbing the walls! Better yet, lots of these outdoor activities for kids are free!
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Getting outdoors and active is truly beneficial for everyone. Sometimes it can be difficult to entice the kids outdoors. These fun outdoor activities for kids will have them rushing out the door and not wanting to come back in!
We’ve compiled a free checklist for these outdoor activities so you can work your way through them and keep track of all your favourite family fun! You can download the outdoor activities checklist here.
Fun Outdoor Activities for Kids
#1. Go for a Cycle
Strap on the helmets (making sure helmets fit properly), grab the bikes, and go for a cycle. You can head out in your local area using dedicated cycle lanes or traffic-free Greenway routes where possible.
#2. Head to the Beach
A trip to the beach is always a fun outdoor activity for kids, no matter what the season! If it’s a nice sunny day, you might want to check out our Summer Beach checklist, to make sure you don’t forget to pack an essential item!
Why not collect some stones and paint them when you return home to make some garden decorations?
And if you’re stuck for things to do when you get there, here are 50 interesting things to do at the beach with kids and 23 sensational sand play ideas kids will love.
#3. Have Some Water Fun
If the weather is warm, most kids love playing with water, or having water fights. Turn on the sprinkler and let the kids jump through it, or small buckets make perfect containers for “soaking the enemy”.
#4. Visit a Playground
Going to the playground is a great way to get the kids active outdoors. Most towns have a local playground, but for a change, why not try a different playground in a nearby town? Pack a picnic and make a day out of it.
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#5. Host a Teddy Bear Picnic
If the weather is good, get the kids to host a teddy bear’s picnic out in the garden. They can lay out a rug and have some pretend food and drinks for all their teddy bears to enjoy.
They could even invite their pals over, along with their favourite bears of course!
#6. Build a camp/den
Let your kids make a camp/den outdoors, using old blankets, sheets and duvets, cushions and the garden chairs for props.
For a more sturdy den, gather some sticks and branches and use a tarpaulin as a roof.
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#7. Have Some Gardening Fun
Gardening with kids is great fun – they love to get mucky and see the result of their work. Here are some tips for to help get your kids into gardening.
If you have room, why not assign them their own flower bed or pots and help them plan out their planting? Herbs and salad leaves are quick to grow, and most kids enjoy eating what they have grown! These easy-to-grow vegetables are great for beginners, or you could try your hand at growing your own pizza garden.
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#8. See Some Animals!
Take a trip to the zoo or nearest wildlife park – it’s the perfect year-round outdoor activity for the whole family.
Or if that’s too far away, spring and summer are the perfect time of year to visit a pet farm, to see the young animals. Kids might even be able to help out with feeding the young lambs or calves.
#9. Whistle with Grass!
Learn to whistle with a blade of grass. Not as easy as it sounds, place the flat grass leaf between your 2 thumbs and blow through, to make a most unusual sound. All these ideas will hopefully have given you some more outdoor ideas of your own.
#10. Go for a Walk
Head out to your local woods or park for a walk. From finding something fluffy to finding something edible, check out our free nature scavenger hunt list to occupy the kids while walking.
#11. Be Mad Scientists!
#12. Sand Play
Kids love to mess around in the sand, particularly if in your back garden. And it’s far more than just sandcastles – we’ve got lots of fun sand play ideas to try.
Even if you don’t have a sand table, it’s easy to make your own with a large shallow plastic container and some play sand. Just remember to cover when finished, to keep the cats away!
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#13. Make Daisy Chains
One of life’s simple pleasures and part of many of our childhood memories. Put a small slit in the stem of a daisy with your nail, and thread a stem of another daisy through it, and repeat over and over to extend the length of your daisy chain. You can “fashion” your chain into necklaces and bracelets, or challenge the kids to see who can make the longest.
#14. Enjoy Some Outdoor Games
Get your kids playing outdoor games – they might need a little bit of instruction to get started, so have a look at our 20 great childhood games for inspiration.
#15. Go on a Big Bug Hunt
Love them or hate them, bugs are fascinating to kids! Here’s our FREE big bug scavenger hunt list to download and enjoy while you are out in the garden or on a family walk in the woods.
#16. Go Horse-Riding
Find a kids riding school nearby, and let the kids go horse-riding. For confident riders, you could have a fun afternoon pony trekking.
#17. Splash in Puddles
Even if it’s raining, kids love to run and jump in puddles. Dress them in their wet gear and head out for some fun with these rainy day activities outdoors.
#18. Feed the Ducks
Take a trip to your local park, river or lake, and feed the ducks. This is a lovely outdoor activity where you can get up close to nature. NB don’t take bread as that’s not the best thing for ducks to eat, here are tips on what to feed ducks.
#19. Measure a Tree
Head out the nearby park or woods, with a ruler and tape-measure, and measure a tree. Then see who can find the tallest tree.
#20. Backyard Nature
Let the kids get up close and personal with nature in their own backyard with these fun nature activities you can do in your own garden.
#21. Go Camping
A night out in a tent is definitely a must for all kids – I still remember my first night out camping, and having to run back inside when the worst ever thunder storm erupted!
Even if you don’t get away you could set up the tent in the back garden, and enjoy sleeping in the great outdoors.
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#22. Have a Treasure Hunt
A much loved activity in my house, treasure hunts are great fun! All you need are some pens, paper and, of course, treasures! Here are some tips on setting up a kid’s treasure hunt.
#23. Try Star Gazing
On a clear night, bring the kids outside for some star gazing. See if you can recognise any of the well-known constellations – see our tips on astronomy for kids.
#24. Get Arty with Pavement Chalk!
Let the kids loose on your pavement or driveway, with some pavement chalk, and stand back and watch their creations unfold! Or they may prefer an old fashioned game of hop scotch!
#25. Go for a Picnic
We all love to dine alfresco, and kids especially love a picnic. Pack a basket of homemade goodies, a flask with tea for yourself, and a waterproof blanket to sit on.
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#26. Skim Stones
Not as easy as it looks, there’s a technique to making a stone skim! Challenge the kids to see who can make their stones skim the farthest.
#27. Run a Lemonade Stall
A lovely summer’s activity and a great way for your kids to learn about money. All they need is a table/box, sign, paper cups, jug, and lemonade.
#28. Wash the Car
Washing the car = fun for kids! They most likely will get wet, have a chance at using the hose, and might even earn some pocket money! They could even do a neighbourhood car wash.
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#29. Make Sun Shadows
You will need
- Nature items e.g. leaves, twigs, flowers
- Construction paper – darker colours work better
What to do
- Find a sunny spot outside late morning. Arrange the items on a sheet of paper.
- If it’s breezy, you might need a stone for each corner to keep it from blowing away.
- Leave the paper for several hours in direct sunlight.
- The sun will fade the construction paper, it will create silhouettes where your items are located.
#30. Watch Clouds
Watching clouds is a very relaxing way to spend some time outdoors, for all ages. Get the kids to lie on their backs, and try identify some cloud shapes.
You could also have cloud races! Get everyone to pick a cloud and see whose disappears from view first.
#31. Make a Waterfall in the Garden
Let the kids make a temporary waterfall in the garden, using large stones, the garden hose, plastic tubing, and any other props they might require. They could also make a marble-run but use water instead of marbles.
#32. Have a Mini Fun Sports Day
Round up a gang of kids, and host a mini fun sports day, with obstacle courses, long-jump, and novelty races like 3-legged, sack, and egg and spoon.
Hours of fun and exhausted kids guaranteed!
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#33. Plant Some Flowers
Gather any old welly boots your children have outgrown. Poke a few drainage holes in the bottom of them and then fill them with some compost. Choose which flower seeds you would like to plant.
Place them along your path on railing, shelves or outside your front door. Your kids will love to see their old wellies blooming!
You can plant flowers in almost anything, old pots, watering cans, footballs or regular boots or shoes!
#34. Play Tag in the Dark
Playing tag is always one of the most fun outdoor activities for kids. Try this version with older kids on a summer’s evening.
Send them outside with torches to play chase or tip the can in the dark – amazing how games can change when played in the dark.
#35. Sound Scavenger Hunt
Have you ever been on a sound hunt? It’s a great way to get the kids outdoors and exploring in nature. This scavenger hunt is a little bit different from the usual – instead of hunting for things, you hunt for noises! You can get started with our FREE sound scavenger hunt that’s all ready to download.
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#36. Make Your Own Bird Feeders
Provide some treats for the birds and help the kids make their own bird feeders.
#37. Set Up a Crazy Golf Course
Get the kids to let their imaginations run wild, and setup a crazy golf course in the garden, using buckets, plastic cups/glasses, ramps, car tracks, boxes etc.
Anything will work, to make the hole as crazy as possible! Aim for 3 or 4 holes minimum in their course, and then have a competition, counting lowest number of shots to reach hole as a win.
#38. Make a Scarecrow
This is a lovely project for the kids to do, particularly if they have helped you with the gardening. And even if the scarecrow is never used in the garden, it’s a fun project to do.
All you need is some old clothes, hat, canes, straw or old newspapers for stuffing, needle and thread, and plastic bag. See how to make this simple scarecrow.
#39. Hunt For Animal Tracks
Look around your garden or if you are out for a walk, and see if you can spot and animal tracks. Borrow a book from the library to help you identify the different animal/bird tracks.
#40. Make Sandcastles
A great beach activity, enjoyed by kids, time after time. As well as using the bucket and shovel, why not use some flat knives and spoons to help carve out their structures.
Or dig down and make a giant sand nest. You could set it up near the waters edge and see if fill up as the tide comes in!
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#41. Go Tadpole Spotting
Visit your local river or pond during the Spring, and see if you can spot some tadpoles (or indeed frogs).
#42. Make a Slip ‘n’ Slide
Why spend money on a slip ‘n’ slide, when you can easily make your own, with strong refuse bags or large plastic sheet, washing-up liquid, and a hose. Guaranteed hours of fun!
#43. Blow Some Bubbles
Blowing bubbles should lead to giggles! Use different blowers for a range of bubbly fun. When all the bubbles are used up, why not try to make your own bubbles using washing-up liquid, sugar and water.
#44. Try Some Nature Activities
Let the kids try some fun nature activities, when you are on a walk, or even at home in the garden. Lots of ideas in our 15 Fun Nature Activities for Kids.
#45. Get Painting Outdoors
I love when the weather gets better and I can move messy art and craft activities outdoors! Set up a paint or craft table in the back garden, then use lots of outdoor interesting shapes for painting, like grass blades, or sticks, or unusual plant leaves.
Get them to gather some leaves and do leaf patterns. If weather a bit windy, might need some heavy stones to pegs to keep the pages on the table.
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#46. Try Skipping
Can be done individually, or if have a few friends around, get a large rope, and get the kids doing some skipping games.
#47. Climb a Tree
The world looks a whole lot different when viewed from the heights of a sturdy tree!
#48. Car Racing
Most houses have a toy box full of cars. Bring it outside and let the kids have car races down the driveway, seeing which car goes furthest. They could even award “cups” to the winners!
#49. Go Fishing
Fishing is a great outdoor activity, but remember, it requires lots of patience on your part. Gear the day/expedition to their level, and assume they will want to get wet, and look for everything else but fish!
A day fishing is a great way to spend time with your child. And you might even bring home dinner!
Fishing nets on the beach are ideal for catching crabs in rock pools, and a lot easier too!
#50. Fly a Kite
Wait for a windy day, and head to an open space, to fly a kite. For younger children, blow up a balloon and tie a string to the end for them to fly.
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