Outdoor Activities for Kids

girls on swing
Summer is almost here in the northern hemisphere! Well, in reality where I am it is pouring down rain and less than 50 degrees, but here’s to hoping. I’ve had some fun researching and brainstorming outdoor kids games for the summer and thought I’d share some ideas for getting the kids some extra fresh air and exercise. Also, as usual, there are some links to sites with an abundance of ideas…..

First you have the classics that many of us grew up with:  bubbles (make your own giant wand with an hanger wrapped loosely with yarn), water balloon fights, tag, red-rover, kick ball, sidewalk chalk, hop scotch, lemonade stands (or whatever refreshing drink might be culturally relevant), berry picking, kick the can, flashlight tag, bike riding, etc.

I did some online searching for some fun new ideas and here are a few favorite articles from today’s “research:”

9 Outdoor Games and 7 Backyard Games – from Kaboose.com

Indoor and Outdoor Games- from Disney’s FamilyFun.com

Games Around the World- A little known site, but what a cool idea!

Here are few specific activities from those articles that I thought sounded fun:

Bet on bug races This is one from Kaboose.com. See how many critters the kids can spot—without actually picking them up–in the backyard for a short time period, such as five minutes, says Penny Warner, author of Kids Outdoor Parties (Meadowbrook Press). “Add up how many bugs they see and give them a sketch pad to sketch as many as they can. Then have them share their artwork.”

Create an outdoor canvas-This also is from Kaboose.com. Hang an old sheet on a clothesline or tape paper to a fence for your budding artist to paint on. Encourage them to try painting with different kinds of brushes, says Warner. “Try dipping grass into paint and swishing it on paper, then try painting with a leaf or a twig. The kids can also try painting rocks and creating little people or bugs with them.

Fox and Rabbit Game- This came from Disney’s Familyfun.com:
1. Get everyone into a circle, with players about an arm’s length away from one another. Because this game relies on one player hearing another’s movements, it is best played on grass, and everyone should keep very quiet during each round. Pick one player to be the fox and another to be the rabbit. Bring them both to the center of the circle and blindfold them. If young children do not wish to be blindfolded, they can just close their eyes.

2. Explain that the fox is hunting at night and is listening for his prey, the rabbit. The rabbit, naturally, is trying to avoid the fox. The other players are trees that will guide the rabbit or fox gently back into the circle when either wanders off the playing area. Turn the rabbit and fox around several times to slightly disorient them, then let the hunt begin. Allow a little time for this game–every player will want a turn at being the fox and

Banyoka From Games From Around The World, this game from Zambia involves linking arms to make a snake, racing, and an obstacle course. Could it get more fun than that?

Also, this isn’t from one of the articles, but why not make a Homemade Slip n’ Slide- Lay? Just lay down a large plastic tarp (or cut it in half and duct tape it together to make it longer), put a running hose at the top end, and perhaps give it a bit of extra slip with some liquid soap, and you’re ready for LOTS of fun! Granted, tarps, hoses, and grass might not be easy to come by in all places.

As I had fun looking up ideas for outdoor fun, I came across lots of fun new indoor activities too. Those of you in the southern hemisphere, don’t feel left out quite yet! I’ll post more indoor stuff too. Like I said, it’s 50 and rainy here… we also are not quite ready to bust out the Slip n’ Slide yet!

What fun outdoor activites do you enjoy or hope to enjoy with your kids? Please share!


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