After being cooped up indoors after a long winter, the endless possibilities of outdoor fun sound amazing… and maybe the tiniest bit intimidating. If you need a little help coming up with fresh ideas to keep your kids busy through the summer, this list of 50+ outdoor activities for kids is for you. And for them. In fact, it’s guaranteed to make the whole family happy!
Spring has finally sprung and I can already feel summer vacation breathing down my neck (especially when my youngest keeps me up-to-date with a daily how many days are left of school countdown). My feelings about the situation can be described as a mixture of excitement and pure panic. While there are a bunch of fun things on our to-do list, my girls are so used to having all of their days totally planned out—back-to-back activities and friends and learning. Being home with none of the above spells trouble.
I think there’s a lot to be said for boredom and having to figure out how to entertain yourself, but there’s even more to be said about saving momma’s sanity. And being able to work. And maybe vacuum once or twice. Or at least being able to think about vacuuming without having my thoughts interrupted by the incessant drone of how bored everyone is.
So I looked to some fellow bloggers and compiled a list of things kids can do—outside. You’re welcome.
50+ Outdoor Activities for Kids
- Make and play with ice chalk.
- Do an ice excavation with Legos or a mix of materials.
- Set them up with some water balloon target practice.
- Make rainbow bubble snakes.
- Send them on a backyard scavenger hunt or play nature hunt BINGO.
- Create a cozy outdoor reading area.
- Make an inexpensive water table that they can splash in all summer long.
- Play prop-free outdoor games.
- Make bubble wands.
- Make a ring toss game.
- Do a solar s’mores experiment.
- Make sidewalk squirt paint.
- Set up an easy backyard obstacle course.
- Set up an outdoor kitchen.
- Sidewalk chalk art + rock art = awesome sauce.
- Make a water blob.
- Let them try their hand at water gun painting.
- Make mud soup.
- Have a clothesline art show.
- Tie-dye with water guns.
- Stay cool while playing water gun games.
- Make a stomping bubble wrap painting.
- Set up an outdoor art studio.
- Make a tin foil river.
- Use masking tape to turn your deck (or driveway!) into a giant outdoor board game.
- Make a seashell wind chime.
- Turn an old nightstand into a lemonade stand.
- Make a giant Kerplunk game with tomato cages.
- Take a walk and do a sound safari.
- Throw a paint party.
- Make your kids part of their pavement art.
- Four words: kiddie pool bubble bath.
- Make Mandala art.
- Paint on trees.
- Make a pool noodle waterfall.
- Let them paint with their feet.
- Make a backyard Yardzee game.
- Explore outside and use your findings to make a nature craft.
- Make a sweet pea teepee.
- Have a toy car wash, make a DIY car wash, or have them wash your car.
- Make squirt gun targets.
- Make a butterfly feeder.
- Have a newspaper snowball fight.
- Make a shaving cream slip and slide.
- Paint with (clean!) fly swatters.
- Play an outdoor color match game with paint swatches.
- Have an outdoor movie night.
- Make a recycled music station.
- Make fairy soup or a fairy house.
- Paint rocks for your garden.
- Build forts for a water balloon fight.
- Go geocaching.
- Turn a broken pot into a gnome garden.
Need more ideas for keeping kids busy? Check out these posts:
- 9 Fun (and Useful!) Gardening Tools Your Family Will Love
- How to Survive a Staycation Like a Mother
- 7 Kids Books That Will Make You Crave Outdoor Adventures
- The Easiest Kids Play Tent Ever
- 20 Earth Day Activities for Kids
Worried about rain days? No problem! Check out The Ultimate List of 50+ indoor activities for kids!
If you have other ideas, feel free to share them in the comments!
This post was originally published in June 2014. It was completely updated in May 2018.