If the pressures of everyday life have you feeling frazzled, there’s nothing better than enjoying the beauty of the great outdoors for some natural stress relief.
But while us adults might welcome a nature trip for the chance to disconnect and relax, children often need a little more stimulation. That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t enjoy a woodland hike or a lakeside picnic. But in case they get bored, it’s a good idea to have some ideas for fun outdoor activities for kids up your sleeve.
Whether you’re planning a family camping trip or a dream vacation to the Galapagos Islands, here are some fun activities to keep your kids entertained on your nature trip.
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1. Take to the Water
Hikes are a great way to explore nature, but how about taking things to the next level by going paddle boarding or kayaking? If that sounds like something your children would be into, you can read more now about these outside activities for older kids.
2. Play Ball Games
Bringing a ball on your nature trip gives you lots of scope for outside activities for kids.
You could play soccer, or if you have a bat and a tennis ball you could practice hitting and catching. Or, you could make a simple game of catch more interesting by adding penalties for dropping the ball.
3. Get Painting
Although painting is usually an indoor activity, by taking it outside you can allow your children to have more freedom – i.e., make more of a mess.
They might enjoy splattering paint onto paper in the style of Jackson Pollock, or maybe they’d prefer hand printing. Whatever way they choose to express themselves with paint, you can sit back and enjoy not having to clean up after them!
4. Have a Water Pistol Fight
Whether you’re at home in the garden or out in nature, a water pistol fight is one of the best outdoor play ideas. Or, if you don’t have any water pistols, you could fill balloons with water and get your kids to throw them at each other.
Not only will it be lots of fun for your kids, but it’s a great way to cool down in hot weather. Plus, your kids will expel so much energy running around, they’re sure to sleep soundly that night.
5. Organize a Scavenger Hunt
Turn exploring nature into a game by organizing a scavenger hunt for your kids.
Give your children a list of items they’re likely to find in the nearby area, such as a pine cone, a feather, and a pebble. If you don’t want to disturb nature you can get your children to draw pictures or take photos of the items when they see them.
6. Blow Bubbles
Like all the best outdoor activities for toddlers, blowing bubbles is a cheap and easy way to keep your little ones entertained.
For the perfect bubble-making formula, fill a bucket or large bowl with six cups of water and one cup of liquid dish soap then stir, being careful not to let bubbles form. Mix in a quarter of a cup of corn syrup and stir again.
If you have a bubble wand with you, great. But if not, you can use kitchen utensils such as a whisk or a slotted spoon to blow bubbles.
7. Experiment with Sensory Play
Take advantage of the natural world around you and encourage your children to explore it using all of their senses.
For example, you could make a sensory experience set using different textures such as mud, sand, and leaves. You could then blindfold your children and get them to say what they think it is and describe how it feels. Or, you could get your children to compare the smells of different wildflowers and listen out for birds and other sounds.
8. Create an Obstacle Course
If you have any camping equipment or other items with you, with a little imagination you can use them to create an obstacle course.
For example, you could have your kids run between a series of plastic plates, crawl under plastic sheeting, jump over a camping stool, then jump rope for a minute.
Even if you don’t have any equipment, set your kids a series of exercises to do as fast as possible. These could include jumping jacks, hopping on one leg, and cartwheels.
9. Make Patterns with Pebbles
Encourage your little ones to collect rocks, shells, and pebbles, then use them as part of these outdoors activities for preschoolers.
You could put their collections in size order, organize them into different piles depending on their shape, or make patterns on the floor with them. Or, if your kids are a little older, they could try arranging pebbles and other natural objects to spell out their names.
10. Enjoy Playground Games
Even if you have zero equipment, you can have lots of fun playing the kinds of outside activities that kids enjoy at recess.
‘Tag’ and ‘Stuck in the Mud’ are two good examples. Or, if you can find a fallen tree branch, kids and adults alike enjoy playing ‘Star Turn’. To play, stand up, hold one edge of the branch in one hand, and place the other edge on the ground. Then do five to ten complete turns using the stick as a pivot.
You then have to try walking in a straight line, although chances are, you’ll be so dizzy that you’ll probably fall over. As such, it’s best to play this on sand or grass.
Outdoor Activities for Kids
With these great outdoor activities for kids, you’re guaranteed to give your children a trip they’ll never forget.
In fact, after all that outdoor fun, your kids will be begging to stay longer. Although, we bet you’re looking forward to getting back to your home comforts after keeping them entertained all week.
To make sure you don’t come home to any unwanted disasters, remember to do these things before leaving for vacation!