Here are ten free and easy outdoor activities for kids to try this summer. Parents sometimes struggle with finding activities for their children when they are home all day. Moreover, just because your kiddos are not in school, doesn’t mean they should stop learning.
Children love the process of the activities. They are not as concerned about the finished product. Therefore, let them fill a bucket with sand and dump it out repeatedly or build a giant bubble wand! Children will love spending time with you as they process, explore, and learn.
Give yourself a break and forget the pressure of planning the perfect activity! Children learn best when you give them tools, support and encouragement; not rigid rules, specific outcomes, and strict expectations.
Ten Free and Easy Outdoor Activities for Kids This Summer
Plan a Scavenger Hunt
Remember to plan the difficulty of the hunt on the age of your children. For instance, give older kids a list of items they need to find and photograph the things with a camera or your phone. For younger kids, see how many sizes of rocks they can find, or have them look for certain items including bugs, birds, anthills, clouds, and leaves. For scavenger hunt list ideas, click here.
Paint with Natural Brushes
When it comes to free and easy outdoor activities for kids, there is nothing better than nature! Send the kids to find anything that could be used to paint on paper. They may come back with leaves, branches, feathers, rocks, mulch, or tall grass blades. Also, if nothing seems to work, undress the kiddos and let their bodies be the brush! (you can always hose them off). The little ones simply need a bucket of water and a paintbrush, and let them paint the fence or the driveway!
Plan a Sink or Float Experiment
Gather several containers and objects and place them in a tub of water. Ask the kids to predict which ones will sink or float and chart the results! This activity is an excellent way to learn about the science of density and buoyancy.
Observe an Ice Cube
Observation is one of the several free and easy outdoor activities for kids as they can guess how long it will take an ice cube to melt as they place it in different locations such as in the sun and the shade. Your kids will be learning about solid and liquid states of a substance.
Hold a Bike, Wagon, and Toy Wash
Give your kids a bucket of soapy water (tear-free soap) and a sponge or some rags and let them wash their outside toys. Grab the hose and let them rinse them off and start over. Older kids may pretend to be a car wash with customers and employees.
Play Dress-Up Outside
Grab some old clothes like shirts, hats, dresses, ties, and purses or briefcases, and take them outside for your children to create their own game. Be sure to encourage pretend play and let your kiddos utilize their imaginations!
Create a Nature Journal
You do not have to spend money on a fancy journal. Free and easy outdoor activities for kids means crafting their own journal. Gather some plain paper and use staples or string to create a book that you can fill with various items from outdoors. Use glue or tape to secure their samples of flowers, bugs, grass, and leaves to the pages.
Encourage your children to use their five senses, of hearing, sight, smell, touch, and taste to observe what is around them. (Be sure to approve of any tasting beforehand). Moreover, if the items are too big or heavy to place in the journal, then have your kids draw pictures of them instead. For younger children, you can write down what they say (just don’t change a word that comes out of their mouth).
Make Some Mud Pies
Gather up some dirt and a bit of water and watch the fun begin. You can either find a place in the yard or make some mud in an old container. If you have some old pie tins, your kids can pretend to put them in the oven and serve them up hot and ready.
Play Hide and Go Seek
This is one of the classic games of childhood. It is fun to play in the backyard or at a park (just set distance parameters if not at home). It is fun to hide behind trees and in the bushes. When dark, you can search for the other players with a flashlight.
Run Through the Sprinkler
This is one of the best free and easy activities for kids. I still remember getting to run through the sprinkler when I was a kid! We had one that went back and forth so you could stand in it or try to jump over the water. Such a fun and refreshing way to cool off on a hot summer day.
Enjoy the process in these free and easy activities for kids. Summer is a great time to get outdoors and play!