With sunny, warm weather finally arriving in Ontario, Canada, my son “Onetime” and I have been spending so much more time outside (Yes!). Both our moods have improved and our energy levels have lifted!
I’m lucky that Onetime loves just being outside, walking around the neighbourhood and yard and exploring and playing. But if your child would rather stay indoors and watch TV, definitely check out today’s roundup of unique and fun outdoor activities for kids!
It never ceases to amaze me how different childhood is today compared to when I was a kid (boy, do I ever sound OLD! LOL).
But seriously – the amount of time that kids today spend inside versus outside has changed dramatically over the last 30 years.
This generation of children is actually being labeled as having something called “Nature Deficit Disorder.” And I have to wonder how that is impacting them NOW as well as in their futures.
There are so many benefits to playing outside for kids’ health (read this post: Health Benefits) and just overall for their sense of well-being.
Last summer, I collected 30 Fun Ways to Avoid Nature Deficit Disorder – and this year, I’m rounding up even more play ideas that just get kids OUTSIDE!
Unique Outdoor Play
Make Recycled Paper: You Clever Monkey – This activity can be done outside, and you can even add a nature-walk to collect flowers/leaves that can be added to the paper.
Simple Outdoor Mud Kitchen: Messy Little Monster – Love this messy and fun sensory activity!
DIY Flying Fish Paper Spinners: One Time Through – Make these spinners in 1 minute and play outside with them for an hour!
Painting with Nature: Left Brain Craft Brain – Go for a walk, collect some interesting natural objects and create some unique art!
Outdoor Rainbow Weaving: Where Imagination Grows – Decorate your backyard fence!
Homemade Sidewalk Chalk Paint: A Little Pinch of Perfect – Spend time painting the driveway, bicycles, or house with this recipe.
How Bubbles Work and 20 Things to Do With Them: Left Brain Craft Brain – Easiest activity in the world – learn the science behind it!
Active Outdoor Play
Wind and Kite Preschool Activities: My Bright Firefly – Learn about weather in a fun, hands-on way with this unit.
Sponge and Water Play Ideas: One Time Through – Get 10+ ideas for outdoor water play!
How to Organize a Sensory Nature Scavenger Hunt: Wonder Baby – Enhance the senses with this fun scavenger hunt.
Rainbow Photo Hunt: Totschooling – An activity guaranteed to get the kids appreciating the beauty of nature.
Learn and Play Outdoors
Sandbox Geography: Books and Giggles – An amazing idea for your backyard sandbox that will get the kids learning about map reading.
Springtime Photo Scavenger Hunt Book: One Time Through – Teach your kids the basics of using a digital camera and create your own “Spring Is…” book.
Make Alphabet Writing Practise Fun: Sparkling Buds – Super simple way to get the kids moving, having fun, and working on writing.
Printable Bird Watch Tally Sheet: Fantastic Fun and Learning – Learn about birds while improving basic math skills.
Backyard Learning Activities: Totschooling – A wonderful collection of learning outdoor activities for little ones.
Earth Friendly Play
Grow a Themed Flower Garden: Share It Science News – Got garden space? Check out these rainbow and butterfly garden ideas.
DIY Underwater Magnifying Glass: One Time Through – Make this magnifying glass with recyclables from home and have a fun afternoon with it at the local pond.
Encouraging Kids to Garden: Mum in the Madhouse – Lots of tips for future gardeners.
Seed Hunting and Collecting for Kids: One Time Through – Wander the neighbourhood or local conservation area to start a cool nature collection.
Hope you enjoy checking out some of these outdoor activities for kids and that you get a nice vitamin D boost too!
Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
This is a great collection – so helpful for summer! Thanks for sharing our wind and kite activities!
Sue Lively says
Glad you could be a part of it Laura! Thanks for dropping by, Sue
Anne at Left Brain Craft Brain says
Awesome list! I think sandbox geography will be our afternoon plan.
Sue Lively says
We have done this one already Anne and it was so much fun!
Alim Gillani, Public Health and Wellness Branch says
You have a link(s) to our website, HealthyAlberta.ca.
We’re streamlining resources and wanted to let you know that as of March 31, the HealthyAlberta.ca website and Healthy U brand will be decommissioned.
Existing web pages from HealthyAlberta.ca will be redirected to a resource page that lists other similar sites that Albertans already go to for their health research and information.
Your webpages with links to HealthyAlberta.ca are:
Benefits of Outdoor Play
Thank you for continued support in getting and keeping Albertans healthy!
Alim Gillani, MPH
Public Health and Wellness Branch