Outside Fun for Kids: Ideas for Play and Physical Activity

School is out for the summer! The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and kids are looking for things to do. Summer can be a great time to get outdoors, reconnect with friends and family, and have a little outside fun.

There are a huge number of benefits to getting your kids outdoors this summer. First, kids need to move. Obesity rates in children are increasing. Physical activity can help combat these growing rates. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends 60 minutes of activity each day for kids ages 6-17. Outside play can also increase activity and lead to happier kids. Don’t forget vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin! There is no better way to get some extra vitamin D than to spend time outdoors.

Outside Fun Activity Ideas

Sometimes we all need a little push to get outside. Here are a few suggestions for getting started.

Outdoor coloring – A bucket of chalk will provide hours of entertainment.

  • Body Tracing – Everyone takes a turn lying on the driveway and kids can trace each other. Then they can have fun coloring and adding accessories.
  • Coloring Contest – Who can draw the prettiest flower? Have a contest to pick the crowd favorite.
  • Connect-the-Dot-Puzzles – Challenge each child to make a dot-to-dot puzzle. Then fill the in.
  • Hop Scotch and Twister – These classics are always a hit!
  • Draw Self Portraits – Again, always fun! Have the kids draw themselves, or better yet, you!

Fun Toss Games – Who doesn’t like a challenge?

  • Ring Toss – Collect old milk jugs or juice containers. Label them each with a point value. Pick up some diving rings and use these to toss. Keep score and see who gets the most points.
  • Grand Prize Game – Grab some buckets and tennis balls and set them up in a line of six or seven. Have kids try to get the ball in each bucket and see who can go the furthest.
  • Cornhole – Grab your cornhole game out of the garage and set it up for the kids to use.

Fun with Water – What’s summer without a little water?

  • Fill up some balloons with water for balloon toss or a water balloon fight.
  • A sprinkler can add a lot of fun into the day. Set up one or two for even more fun!
  • Set up a baby pool full of water. Add toys, sponges, kitchen utensils and even a little soap for bubbles.
  • Have a water fun fight! Pick up some water guns and ask the neighbor kids to come over.
  • How about a sponge toss? Giant sponges filled with water can lead to water-drenched fun!

Old School Games – Remember the games you used to play as a kid?

  • Capture-the-Flag, Duck-Duck-Goose, Four-Square…remember those? These games provide hours of entertainment.
  • Scavenger Hunts – Put together a list of outdoor items for kids to collect such as a yellow flower, a bug or a brown rock. Give them bags and see who wins!

Night Time Game – Fun doesn’t always happen during the day. 

  • Catch Lightning Bugs – This challenging activity can provide hours of evening entertainment.
  • Flashlight Tag – Each kid needs a flashlight and then regular tag rules apply.

Now it’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy your summer while focusing on health and wellness. Your kids will thank you for all the outside fun!

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