30 Fun Outdoor Activities for Kids (2024)

There are so many things to do with kids outside year round and many of them are FREE! Here are our family’s top 30 simple outdoor activities for kids you can do in your own backyard, your community, or a nearby park while getting some fresh air.

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Outdoor Activity Kids’ Calendar

Get rid of the excuses and plan to be outside every single day. Our printable calendar gives you great ideas for outdoor activities every day of the month. Some of the activities listed below have clickable links to instructions or a printable, like the nature scavenger hunt printable. Other activities are simple ideas that our kids love and will inspire you to get outside more.

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The printable outdoor activity calendar is great for all ages, so whether you have younger children or teens, the activities will be fun for all! Print off the calendar and use it as inspiration for hours of outdoor play, having fun, and having outdoor adventures every day.

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Fun Things to Do Outside With Kids

Paint the Driveway with Water

Use water guns or paint brushes dipped in water and “paint” the pavement. Kids have a great time watching their designs evaporate and then repainting a new one.

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Ride Bikes Around the Neighborhood

If the kids don’t know how to ride, it’s the perfect opportunity to teach them. We have a bicycle sizing guide here and tips to help you get started.Don’t forget your helmets and water bottles!

Create a Leaf or Bark Rubbing

Create your own still-life work of art with a crayon or soft pastel leaf rubbing. Get the step-by-step leaf rubbing tutorial here.

Study Nature Up close

Find something in nature that catches your eye and interests you. It could be a bird, insect, flower, or an intricately layered rock. Look at it closely; use a magnifying glass if you have one. Draw/sketch what you see and once you get home you can look up more information about it.

Can’t read now? Pin for later!

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Run Through the Sprinklers

I don’t know a kid (young or old) who doesn’t enjoy that splash of coolness while running through sprinklers. Make it even more fun with challenges to see who can jump over the top of the sprinkler stream.

Camp in Your Own Backyard

Camping is a favorite family fun activity. So set up the tent or hammock in the backyard and camp out under the stars. You can find more fun camping at-home activities and ideas here.

Scavenger Hunt in Nature

Take the game of I Spy to a new level with a scavenger hunt. This one is perfect for the backyard to help spot pollinators; birds, butterflies, bugs, flowers, etc. Get the nature scavenger hunt printable here and find more ideas for pollinator activities here.

Garden From Your Windowsill with Kitchen Scraps.

Grow carrots, romaine lettuce, celery and more from parts of the plant you usually throw away. Get this garden tutorial to see how to get started.

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Paint Story Starter Stones

We all love stories around the campfire. But sometimes you aren’t sure where to start. So gather 12 2”-3” stones and wash them clean with soapy water. Once dry, use acrylic paint to paint images or words that help you tell/start a story.

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Read Under a Shady Tree

Curl up with a good book and be carried away to distant lands and thrilling adventures. (P.S. This is a good way for mom to get some quiet time, too.)

Picnic at Home

Get some snacks together and head out to your favorite outdoor space (backyard works too) and enjoy time with family outside.When my kids were really little they loved to bring their stuffed animals outside for a teddy bear picnic. Encourage creativity and play.

Catapult Your Way to a Painting

Older kids especially will love this art project/outdoor activity that is part science and part art. Use this tutorial from Fun A Day to construct a catapult, tint pompoms, and sling color onto a canvas or butcher paper.

Take a Sensory Walk

When looking for fun things to do outside at home with kids, a sensory walk is definitely the easiest. Grab your shoes and head out the front door. Use your vie senses to observe all the world around you. What sounds can your kids identify? What do they see? What small details might they normally miss? Any edible berries around? How do they taste? Once you get back home, you can recreate all you’ve seen in a nature journal.

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Hang up a Bird Feeder

We create an eco-friendly bird feeder with stale bagels, nut butter, and bird seed. Get the DIY bird feeder tutorial here. You can also use toilet paper rolls, a pine cone, or other materials too.

Make Lemons into Lemonade

Let the kids create the lemonade, set up, and create signage. For budding entrepreneurs, you can take them through a complete lemonade business plan or just let them have fun with it. For something different, try this recipe for watermelon limeade.

Make a Nature Collage

Collect leaves, sticks, acorns, etc. Use these materials to create an art collage.

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Go Fishing

Head to your nearest lake, pond, or river and cast a line. Be sure to check if you need licenses or permits for fishing in your area.

Fly a Kite

That phrase is one of my favorites from Mary Poppins. When was the last time you flew a kite? If you don’t have a kite, find one online or use this kite tutorial from Instructables to make your own from a garbage bag.

Wash the Family Car

Not only will kids have a great time sudsing up your car (and most likely each other), but they’ll also learn a valuable skill. For older kids, they could combine this with their lemonade stand for a one-stop shop entrepreneurial experience.

Jump Over a Backyard Obstacle Course

Set up obstacles with jump ropes, chalk outlines, boxes, etc. or construct an elaborate Ninja Warrior course in your backyard.

Play a Round of Miniature Golf

Once you’re done jumping over obstacles in the backyard, turn that obstacle course into a miniature golf course. Kids have just as much fun designing their own course as they do playing the game.

Pick Your Own Bouquets

Do you have a garden growing? Or even just a stubborn dandelion patch? Pick some beautiful flowers and arrange them in vases. Give a homegrown bouquet away to a neighbor or use the flowers in wildflower crafts such as presses and bookmarks.

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Grow a Garden

It’s important for children to understand where their food comes from. Growing a garden, even if it’s one plant in a container is quite educational. It could be those vegetables you started on the windowsill earlier, seeds, or plants you pick up at the local garden nursery. It’s fun to dig in the dirt. Here is a tutorial to grow a pizza container garden.For kids who struggle with anticipation, radishes grow quickly.

Play Catch as a Family

Grab a ball and head out to play catch. If it’s hot outside, you can always use water balloons. Just remember to pick up the plastic pieces when you are done.

Blow Bubbles

Bubbles are endless entertainment in the great outdoors! Create your own bubble solution with dish soap, water, and a little sugar. Get the bubble solution recipe here.

Blow Up Bubble Art

Since you have the bubbles out anyway, try your hand at bubble art. Creative projects are fun things to do outside with kids. They can get messy, so it’s best done outside. This Disney tutorial shows you how to mix a little dish soap, water, and food coloring to create fun works of art.

Look for Cloud Animals

On a partially cloudy day, lay out a blanket on the lawn and look up into the sky. See if you can spot different animal shapes in the clouds.

Fabricate a Fairy Garden

Using materials found in your yard like twigs, bark, dried flowers, stones, etc., create a magical place for the wee folk with this fairy garden tutorial.

Play Hide and Seek in the Dark

Hide and go seek is one of the best kiddies outdoor activities. After the sun goes down, grab flashlights and play.Glow sticks make it less scary for the younger ones, too.

Play Classic Outdoor Board Games

Bring your family’s favorite board games such as Jenga, Connect Four, and Yahtzee outside. Teach your kids games from your own elementary schoolyard like freeze tag, red light green light, Red Rover, and kickball.

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Do the Outdoor Twist

Using spray paint, create your own version of Twister on the lawn. You can cut out circles from cardboard to help as a template. Once the paint is dry, take turns calling out a color and hand/foot.

Paint a Pollock Masterpiece

Using tempera paint, canvas panels, and water guns, squirt paint to create a Pollock-inspired work of art. Simplify Live Love has a perfect tutorial on how to create squirt art canvas.

What supplies do I need for outdoor activities with kids?

Being prepared with the right supplies enhances outdoor activities with kids. Here are some essential supplies you may need: comfortable clothing, appropriate footwear, water and snacks, as well as sunscreen and bug spray.

What are fun things to do outside at home on a budget?

Almost all of the outdoor kids’ activities I listed above are free or use items you already have. Don’t let a limited budget keep you from exploring the great outdoors. Tailor the activities to your budget and creativity. Explore options that suit your financial situation such as simple picnics, nature walks and collages, and obstacle courses.


Don’t forget to invite your friends to our Facebook groups! We would also love to see your vacation pictures!

For more outdoor activity inspiration, check out our latest posts here:

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