Essential Outdoor Activities with Kids
Spring is the best time to get involved in outdoor playing and nature activities for kids. Things are growing, the sun is out, and everyone feels hopeful for the future. It’s a special time, and there are loads of benefits for your children, so let’s look at:
- Things to do outside with kids
- The benefits of outdoor playing
- Outdoor activities for all seasons
Let’s all get out and about in the great outdoors this springtime and have fun, learn some stuff and be together with our families…
Things to do outside with kids
As the weather heats up, we all want to get outside and soak up the sun, though pulling kids away from the screens is not always easy. So, here are some super fun and family-friendly outside activities and games that are sure to get your kids excited and out of the home:
1. Water games
Nothing says summer and warm weather like a good old-fashioned water fight or paddle in the garden pool. It all depends on the age of your kids. If they’re old enough, whip out the super soakers and water balloons and let them run riot in the garden for a bit of watery fun.
If they’re smaller, you could save making a mess inside and go a bit gentler with some watery crafts instead. Fill up a bowl or tray with a bit of water, add washing up liquid and a bit of water-based paint, then use a straw to make loads of coloured bubbles. Once bubbly enough, lay some paper over the top and let the bubbles pop on it making fun patterns and pictures.
2. Outdoor games
Timeless garden and outdoor games are a great way to play with your kids in nature. Games like hopscotch, skipping and pooh sticks are easy to teach and set up – sometimes all you need is a stick!
3. Go to the playground
A classic, but it’s no less fun – the playground is there to give children somewhere to run free and learn valuable life lessons such as risk management, problem-solving and social skills.
4. The great outdoor adventure
Walking in the forests, parks and local woodland is an excellent adventure for your kids. It’s a new environment, so they’re going to be excited, and it gives them loads to explore and discover. Why not start with a quick game of Hide and Seek, or send them on a scavenger hunt to find the greenest leaf or the closest silver birch tree. There are loads of fun and educational things to do in the woods.
5. Let’s go to the beach
There’s little better than a summer beach trip. Full of paddling in the waves, building epic sandcastles and exploring rock pools for crabs, then finishing with a seaside meal like fish and chips or ice cream – perfect.
6. Eating alfresco
The novelty of a picnic rarely goes away. There’s something about eating sandwiches and snacks together on the blanket-covered grass with your family and friends that feels fun. Take along a book to read together and play some music on your phone – you’ll be occupied for a few hours at least.
7. We’re going to the Zoo
One of the best days out for many a child, the Zoo is always one to remember. They can learn about the animals, new environments, different countries and so much more.
The benefits of outdoor playing
Any one of these fun activities will benefit your child – it’s how they learn and develop.
- With increased activity, their heart rates and physical health will improve. This leads to reduced chances of obesity and physically fitter children and young adults.
- The endorphins and chemicals released after exercise can improve mental health and help reduce stress levels.
- Learning to try new toys at the park and explore new places can rapidly increase their confidence levels.
- Discovering new games and toys helps develop their problem solving and risk management skills.
- Interacting with natural materials such as soil, bark and plants put them in contact with natural microbiomes. These can lead to an improved immune system.
- Playing in the outdoors lets them soak in the sun’s rays and generate all-important Vitamin D. This vital chemical helps bone growth and immune response to unfamiliar bacteria.
But it’s good for more than their cognitive, physical, social and emotional health, it deepens the parent-child bond too.
Outdoor activities for all seasons
While days at the beach and picnics at the park may not be good year-round, there are plenty of things to do in every season.
Some of our favourites include scavenger hunts. These are super adaptable searching games that help kids explore the environment around them. You can have outdoor hunts for special leaves or flowers, indoor hunts for toys and treats hidden around the house and much more.
Another good choice is natural art. You can put paper over a tree trunk and rub it with a crayon to make a ‘bark rubbing’. Why not can use dry leaves as stamps or stick them onto paintings as they are? You could even collect rocks and roll them over paint splotches to make rock art. This can be done inside if it’s cold, or outside so you can make a nice big mess – the weather doesn’t matter.
Finally, a visit to the playground is always good fun – even if it’s raining. You can jump in puddles, fly high in the swing and be the king of the castle any time of year – it’s what they’re there for.
While spring is here and outdoor playing feels more accessible with loads of nature activities for kids to do, there are plenty of Outdoor Activities with Kids to do throughout the year. And it’ll benefit their development and health no end too.