5 Fun Activities to Get Your Kids Outdoors

5 Fun Activities to Get Your Kids Outdoors

Encourage your kids to get off the couch with these great ideas for outdoor fun.


Between sitting in a classroom and sitting in front of a computer or TV screen, today’s kids spend a lot of time indoors. So how can you motivate your children to get up and get outside? Here are five ideas that’ll get them out the door in no time!

1. Build Something
There’s nothing more satisfying for kids than seeing the fruits of their labor, so these outdoor construction projects are sure to bring on some smiles: If your brood loves food, help them plan, plant and tend a small garden. The ultimate satisfaction is harvesting their “crops.” Or help kids build and paint a few birdhouses to hang around the property. Make sure your budding bird lovers are equipped with binoculars and a bird guide so they can keep track of their feathered friends.

2. Make a Nature Museum
Encourage kids to curate their own natural history museum by searching for different types of rocks, leaves, insects, feathers, seeds and fossils around your neighborhood. As they collect specimens, show them how to catalog their finds, either on paper with drawings or digitally with photos they can store (or share) online. They’ll love seeing their collection grow and sharing their knowledge of flora and fauna to you and their friends.

3. Set up a Car Wash
This idea is a blast for the kids on a warm day — and a boon for you if your vehicle’s in need of a cleaning. Outfit your car-wash squad with everything they need to get the job done: buckets, rags, dish soap and, of course, a hose. Don’t be surprised if the kids get as wet as the car — that’s all part of the deal! For a little extra incentive, you might “tip” your cleaners with some coins or stickers for a job well done.

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4. Create Outdoor Art
Pack a bag or art box with paints, pastels, colored pencils, chalk — anything your pint-sized Picasso can use to create a masterpiece. Find a spot where he can work outside — any flat surface will do, including your patio or driveway. More artsy outdoor options: Stage a hunt for colorful leaves and flowers, which can be pressed and made into a placemat, or incorporated into a collage once you get home.

A few other ideas: Bring paper and crayons on an outing to make rubbings of rocks and tree bark. Or go on a point-and-shoot excursion with cameras, armed with a list of must-get items like a mailbox, stop sign or maple tree. Or set a couple of old wooden chairs on a tarp in your driveway then let your little ones create their own personal “thrones” using colorful paint.

5. Stargaze
On a clear night, set the kids up in the yard with a telescope or binoculars and challenge them to find constellations and planets. (A little advance research on the Internet will determine which stars are most visible where you live.) If the weather’s particularly lovely, you might even put up a tent and camp out in to the tune of the crickets. (Don’t forget the s ’mores!)

With a little out-of-the-box thinking, you can spark your kids’ imaginations and get them off the couch and away from the front of a blinking screen. Do you have any fun ways to get the children outside?

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