15 Fun Ways for Kids to Spend More Time Outside
This post is sponsored by the makers of OFF!® Repellents and WeAreTeachers, all opinions expressed are my own.
Fun things to do outdoors at home! Explore this collection of fun ways to spend more time outside with your child in the backyard!
Backyard Activities for Kids
The world our kids are living in feels far different from the one I grew up in. Do you ever feel that way too? I remember my mom telling me to “be home by dark” when I’d run outside to play before dinner with the neighborhood kids.
We had a field behind our house that would keep my best friend and I busy forever. It’s actually one of the reasons my husband and I bought our house 18 years ago before our girls were born, to have a similar grassy field behind it, but sadly my kids don’t run out the door eagerly as I did as a kid.
At least not without a little bit of pushing and imagination.
I imagine part of the reasons are the digital distractions that didn’t exist when we were younger, we had to find our own entertainment for the most part and outside was where the best things would happen.
As a kid, I remember outside being a place you could scream and shout and make a big huge mess and it was ok. Sidewalk Chalk became a hopscotch game and jump ropes became snakes. Dandelions were the top of mud pies and sticks were fishing poles or a magic wand, depending on my mood. And for some reason a turned over bike became a mystery machine creating some invention of the day.
Tell me I’m not the only one that did this?
The real question is… do your kids head outside now to do this?
Driven by the insight that American kids today are spending 50% less time outdoors than the previous generation, the makers of OFF!® Repellents are on a mission to promote getting kids and families outdoors by becoming a Champion of Outdoor Play.
The Never Starting Tales
They have created a series of books called “The Never Starting Tales”, a collection of reinterpreted fairytales, in a variety of formats, to inspire families to spend more time having fun outdoors.
The Never Starting Tales include:
- 6 e-books
- 6 audiobooks
- 2 online videos
- 2 downloadable lesson plans
Take a sneak peek at The Never Starting Tale of Jack and the Beanstalk below in this video.
Now take a look at the bean garden that my daughters were inspired to start in the backyard after reading Jack and the Beanstalk. We’ve been having fun tracking it with the printable lesson plan. After reading the story about Jack, head to the garden with your own magic beans. Better yet try one of the downloadable lessons from below.
ABOUT THE “NEVER STARTING TALES”
Once upon a time, all of our favorite fairytale characters went outside and started their adventures. But, what would have happened if instead of going outside, they chose to stay indoors?
The makers of OFF!® Repellents have partnered with WeAreTeachers to get kids excited about the outdoors by getting our “Never Starting Tales” in the hands of teachers and parents.
The Never Starting Tale Books Include:
- Little Red Riding Hood
- The Three Little Pigs
- Jack and the Beanstalk
- Peter & Wendy
Are you ready for your free set of Never Starting Tales? Click the yellow button below to get started.
Downloadable Lesson Plans
WeAreTeachers has created two (2) downloadable lesson plans that provide ways to incorporate the tales into Language Arts lessons or STEAM lessons along with accompanying classroom activities that either take students outdoors or emphasize the adventures one misses out on when they stay inside.
Because when you don’t go outside, your adventure never starts.
What are the benefits of outdoor play for a child’s development?
Outdoor play can provide your child with so many benefits including sunshine, exercise, risk taking, appreciation of nature, socializing, problem solving and creativity.
The more we all understand the importance of outdoor play, the bigger impact we can make in our child’s lives in this generation.
Rae Pica, Early Childhood News
“The outdoors is the very best place to practice and master emerging physical skills. It is in the outdoors that children can fully and freely experience motor skills like running, leaping, and jumping. It is also the most appropriate area for the practice of ball-handling skills, like throwing, catching, and striking. And children can perform other such manipulative skills as pushing a swing, pulling a wagon, and lifting and carrying movable objects.”
What can kids do outside?
There are so many things your child can do outside in your yard. The key is to keep a spot where they can go to grab your outdoor toys. Keep a station with balls, bubbles, chalk, hula hopes, sand toys.
Create moments for science by planting plants that attract butterflies like this milkweed. Have a magnifying glass and bug catcher in your outdoor station too.
However, it’s even more important to allow their imagination to observe and create new things out of the existing things in your yard.
Imagine how the Three Little Pigs built their homes. Let your kids experiment with outdoor materials from your yard.
Create a fairy tale basket
Get inspired by these fairy tales and create a basket to add to your child’s backyard play.
Create a Fairy Tale Basket with key items from the stories for your child to get outdoors and recreate their own fairytales. You could add to the container: wings, pirate hat, basket, cape, sticks, blocks, flashlight, seeds, pretend flowers, gold coins, painted rocks, shells.
Really anything that will get them outdoors and using their own imagination.
Fun Outdoor Activities for Kids
- Spring Outdoor Activities for Kids
- Sidewalk Chalk Activities for Kids
- Backyard Butterfly Science Activity
- Top Outdoor Activities with Kids
- Screen Free Activities for Kids
- Finding Your Backyard Zoo
- Backyard Birdwatching Station
- Ball Games for Kids
- Water Table Ideas for Kids
- Gardening Ideas for Kids
- Outdoor Water Game
- Pool Noodle Games for Kids
- Creating a Natural Playscape for Kids Outside
- Building Your Child’s Imagination Outdoors
- Outdoor Photo Scavenger Hunt with Kids
Get creative! There are so many fun things to do outside, imagine all the things kids would miss if they stayed indoors!
Don’t forget to include Never Starting Tales Books and Activities as you encourage your child to explore and play outdoors in your backyard.
Which fairy tale will you start with first?