It’s official, the kids are home from school and summer has finally begun! It’s important to keep your kids busy and engaged during their break from school. Outdoor activities are a great way to get your kids away from screens and into the world.
While it may be tempting to let your kids veg out all summer, it does them a lot more harm than good. Too much screen time is linked to sleep disturbances and attention issues in children and adults.
You’re probably thinking, “how will I keep my kids busy for 2 months while limiting their screen-time!?” Lucky for you, we put together a list of the best outside activities for kids.
Keep reading to learn about 11 fun outdoor activities you can do this summer.
1. Host a Backyard Campout
Camping is a favorite summer past-time, why not skip the drive and host a campout in your own backyard? Teach your kids how to pitch a tent and ‘rough it’ in the great outdoors…with the comforts of the great indoors close by.
A backyard campout is a great way to get the kids out of the house and teach them some basic survival skills. Campouts are also an amazing way to get kids off the phone and engage with the world around them.
2. Start a Garden
Gardens are a great way to teach your kids about nature first hand. Plus, you may be able to save some money on groceries if your garden makes it to maturity!
Gardening is rising in popularity again as more people are spending time at home. Plus, quarantine shortages are making it more appealing for people to grow their own food.
You can use your garden to teach your kids about the lifecycle of a plant. It can also help your children develop a deeper appreciation fo the environment.
Ask your kids what foods they want to grow and help them pick out plants that work for your climate. The summer sun will surely help you grow some excellent crops.
3. Water Balloon Dodgeball
Water balloon dodgeball is a fun summer twist on a classic game. Instead of pegging each other with rubber balls, you can lob refreshing water balloons at each other. So, even when you lose you still get the prize of a refreshing cool-down.
Split everyone into two teams. Draw a line down the center of the lawn with chalk to differentiate the team sides. You can also use two different color balloons for each team.
Make sure everyone knows not to aim for the head or groin, school rules still apply to water balloon dodgeball.
4. Squirt Gun Paintings
Looking for a fun way to get creative this summer? Fill squirt guns with water-based paint to create some excellent, abstract art. Hang canvas or heavy paper from a clothesline in the back yard, then let the kids go crazy with color!
Don’t worry if some of the paint gets on your lawn or kids. Just set the sprinklers up and let the kids run through them fully clothed! Water-based paints are easy to clean off of clothes and they’re non-toxic.
5. Play Lawn Games
Lawn games are a fun outside twist on classic indoor games. Get out the tool kit and build a giant Jenga tower or a larger-than-life connect-four game. You can also set up a bean bag toss with some hula hoops and bean bags from the dollar store.
Badminton and croquet are other classic summer lawn games. Treat your family to a badminton or croquet set for hours of outdoor family fun. Or you can play a couple of rounds of cornhole while the sunsets.
6. Take a Nature Walk
Nature walks are another great way to keep your kids active this summer. Plus it gives you an opportunity to slow down together and appreciate your surroundings.
Nature walks are also an excellent opportunity to teach your kids about local wildlife and plant life. Create a wildlife bingo game for the kids and see how many birds, trees, and flowers you can find!
7. Go for a Bounce
Bounce houses aren’t just for special occasions. Any day can be a party with your own inflatable jumping castle. It’s a great way for your kids to burn off steam and stay physically active.
You can find a jumping castle for sale online and create a back yard summer party that lasts until the kids go back to school.
Bounce houses are also great for staying out of the summer sun. Most houses come with a roof that blocks the sun’s harsh rays while you bounce away. Plus the safety netting keeps mosquitos and other pests at bay.
8. Nature-Inspired Art
Bring the paint and canvases outside for some Plein-air art! Nature has been inspiring artistic work for centuries. Set up an outside craft table so your kids can get inspired by their surroundings.
They can even incorporate natural elements into their art! Paint rocks with adorable designs. Or create a collage from found materials in nature like leaves and sticks.
9. Paper Boat Race
A little friendly competition is a great way to beat summer boredom. Host a paper boat race for your kids this summer.
Give each family member a piece of paper and an hour to construct the perfect paper boat. Then fill up a kiddie pool and let the races begin. See whose boat can make it safely across the pool the fastest, without taking on too much water.
10. Make and Fly Kites
Flying kites is a fun outdoor activity that every kid loves, and it’s so much better when you get to make and design your own kite!
Get together some fabric, wooden dowels, and decorative ribbons for a family kite-making day. Then take your kites out for a spin on the next breezy day.
11. Sidewalk Chalk Gallery
Let your kids showcase their artistic talents for the whole neighborhood to see with a gorgeous sidewalk art gallery. Stock up multi-colored chalk and let the kids have a blast improving your curb appeal.
Keep the Boredom at Bat with Outside Activities for Kids
We all know that our kids are more difficult to manage when they’re bored. Keep them occupied and engaged with our amazing list of outside activities for kids.
Looking for other ideas for family fun time? Check out the rest of our parenting articles for more ideas!