Things to Do Outside With Kids: Sharing Nature with Children

ways to enjoy nature with children

by Nadine Staaf

in Children's Health

Have you run out of things to do outside with kids? Parenting can be a lot of fun; it can be challenging, too. Coming up with things to do all of the time involves creativity! The list below is designed to help you to discover things to do outside with kids so that you can enjoy the health benefits of being in the outdoors, without the worry of running out of activities to enjoy!

Add your ideas on things to do outside with kids in the comments section below this post!

Things to do Outside with Kids

1. Things to do outside with kids: Sit Under a Tree

You will be amazed by how many things you can do while you are sitting under a tree!

  • Bring a deck of cards
  • Roll out a picnic blanket and have a little snack
  • Whittle some wood (who cares if you don’t know how to whittle wood)
  • Play bongos or make bongos
  • Braid some bracelets…
Nadine Staaf Nikken Wellness Consultant in Canada and USA

My son and I enjoying Butchart Gardens in Victoria BC. A beautiful place in nature where the air is clean and living things are abundant!

2. Things to do outside with kids: Take Macro Shots

Everything looks so much cooler when you’re seeing it all from the perspective of an itty bitty bug. Grab your phone or a camera, and get down low. Get nice and close to the trees, to the grass, and move in close to whatever tickles your fancy. Click, click, click, and you have a FUN TIME!

Follow my boards on Pinterest for more ideas and things to do outside with kids!

3. Things to do outside with kids: Have an Ice Cube Hunt in a Field or a Yard

This is a really fun idea that I first read about on the David Suzuki website. I’m making my own rules up here, and it goes something like this:

  • Make ice cubes (if your kids might eat them, then make them with PiMag water.
  • Bring ice cubes outside
  • Hide the ice cubes all over the place
  • Say, “ready, set, go” and let the kids run around looking for them!

The fun becomes even more fun when it’s hot outside- how fast can you find the melting ice cubes before they disappear altogether? Yes-FUN!

things to do outside with kids

4.Things to do outside with kids: Do It Old-School: Run Through Sprinklers

I don’t see this often enough anymore. Kids love running through sprinklers, and if you’re going to be watering your grass anyhow, then you are not wasting water- it actually becomes a better use for the water (it’s being used for two things at once- watering the grass and fun for the children)!

5. Things to do outside with kids: Go on a Scavenger Hunt around the Neighborhood

Before you get your shoes on, make a list of 10-15 things you want to be able to find during your adventure walk. Then, as you and your children find each item, cross the item off the list of things, and continue on! This is an excellent way to get kids outside if they’re feeling reluctant to leave the comforts of home for a stroll. Here are some examples of things you could look for on your adventure walk:

  • A red leaf
  • Five stones that are smaller than a dime
  • A purple flower
  • A sign with the letter “o” in it
  • A neighborhood cat
  • A dog on a leash
  • A person walking with a cane
  • A funny shaped cloud
  • A singing bird
  • Someone wearing a brown hat
  • A bird house
  • A water fountain

6. Things to do outside with kids: Take Your Activity Outside

This is a super simple and efficient way to get some extra outside time into the day. You know how you were going to do that paperwork while your child plays quietly for a few minutes? Bring the paperwork and the child outside and do it on the deck, the lawn, or the front steps. With this activity, it’s a good idea to bring a few rocks so that the papers don’t fly away! Here’s a list of things you can do outside that you may have never thought to bring outdoors:

  • Reading
  • Emailing
  • Children’s artwork
  • Coloring
  • Lunch or Dinner
  • Lego/ Toys

7. Things to do outside with kids: Gather the Essentials

The best way to be prepared for the outdoors is to have the essentials for a fun time, outside in a bag, by the front door, or in the trunk of the car. Pack up the stuff that makes playing outside more fun, and take it all to the closest open space. Here are some ideas of things you can put in the bag for a fool-proof fun time outdoors:

  • Buckets and shovels
  • Skipping rope
  • Ball for kicking
  • Smaller ball for bouncing
  • Container for collecting things
  • Bandages (so the fun can go on even when there is a wipeout)
  • Remember to bring clean water for when you’re thirsty!

8. Things to do outside with kids: Stop Making it Complicated

Going outside can be really simple, and planning is not always necessary. Taking a walk around the block can be enjoyable, and it’s easy. If your small child doesn’t want to budge, you could make a deal with them. For example, explain that if they aren’t having fun once you get to the destination, then you can both turn around and go home… That’s a fair deal for everyone, right? Learn about the 7 Steps to Goal Setting and how this can work with being involved with children!

9. Things to do outside with kids: Go Somewhere New

There are so many great places to venture off to, and often we stay within our comfort zones of places we frequent because we know we like them, or they’re close to home. Why not take a day trip somewhere new and break free from the routine. Find a new beach, or a new park. Find a place to grab an apple- it doesn’t matter where; the new experience is what matters most.

10. Things to do outside with kids: Get Together With a Friend

We always stay outside longer if we’re with a friend or two. A park is also a great place to meet new friends, if you don’t currently have a friend to ask.

11.Things to do outside with kids: Float a Boat on a String

Finding a pond or a calm lake and floating a toy boat is grand fun for children, but the fun stops when the boat sinks or floats too far away to reach. Why not tie the boat onto a string. That way, when the boat floats away you can bring it back to safety. Watch out for ducks!

12. Things to do outside with kids: Make a Sandbox In The Yard

This is another fun activity for younger children, and it only takes a really big bucket to make it happen. There is no rule that says you need to hammer wood together to make a sandbox. Children are happy with a bucket of sand and some small containers. It’s a fun and inexpensive way to bring the beach to your patio!

13. Things to do outside with kids: Blow Bubbles (Biodegradable Bubbles Would Be Best)

I’m 29, and I still love blowing bubbles. There is something so whimsical about blowing bubbles into the sky and watching them float all over the place. My husband adds a bit of dish soap to our bubbles, and he ends up with a thicker, more durable bubble. Have fun with it!

14. Things to do outside with kids: Go Outside In The Dark

Have a dark-time adventure! Start with a walk around the block with a flashlight. Perhaps spend some time exploring the back yard with the flashlight, or even play the ice cube hunting game in the dark. There are many more ways to enjoy the dark, it just takes a little brainstorming. Here are a few more ways you can have so much fun in the dark:

  • Make a fire pit and roast something
  • Lay down a blanket and watch the stars (these are the things kids remember…remember?)
  • Do a drawing in the dark with your child and then bring the drawing back into the house, into the light, and see what you drew!

15. Things to do outside with kids: Throw Rocks Into The Ocean/Lake

As kids, when we would visit my dad on the island, we would throw a big stick into the water and we would throw pebbles into the ocean, trying to hit the stick. It was loads of fun. When the log became an easy target, because the waves brought the log too close to shore, we would throw another stick into the water and try again. This game doesn’t really get boring when you’re on an island for the summer!

Scavenger Hunt- things to do outside with kids

16. Things to do outside with kids: Stack Rocks

Have you ever stacked rocks to see how high you could stack them until they fell over? This is a great way to teach kids the power of angles and gravity. Children learn while they play, after all.

17. Things to do outside with kids: Collect The Flowers

This is short for “weed the yard.” Why not make it fun! See how many flowers you can collect and give your child a sticker or treat at the end. Your yard will be weed-free, and you will have a happy child (unless your child is allergic to dandelions, in which case gloves might be a good idea).

ion air purifier

18. Things to do outside with kids: Attend a Festival

During the summertime, attending a festival is easier to do than during the winter months. Either way, festivals are usually held outdoors, and there are often plenty of things for children to see and do at a festival: live music, face painting, crafts, and food! Be sure to balance your child’s sugar intake, though. Festivals can be a fun time, but kids can leave kicking and screaming from sugar overdose and dehydration (but not if you’re prepared with good water and healthy snacks).

19.Things to do outside with kids: Get to the Top of a Mountain and SING A SONG Loudly

Yes, I’m telling you to use your outside voices. Do you know how often kids are told to “shhh” and “be quieter”? Children (and you) want to just scream sometimes; to exhale and get that loud energy off your chest. Who says we all need to keep being so quiet? We have voices for a reason, and children will learn to speak their voices if we provide a safe place for them to do so- a mountain top works better than the living room, after all.

20. Things to do outside with kids: Give Back

Set up a lemonade stand or a water station just outside your house. Give it away for free, if you’re feeling extra generous. People always get thirsty when they’re out walking, so why not give them something to drink while teaching your child the valuable lesson of giving back to the community!

21. Things to do outside with kids: Go for a Bus Ride and Make Many Pit Stops

This is not a traditional “stand with the trees” kind of nature idea…But it’s a good way to get out to a different park or beach, and it can be quite an adventure if you’re not paying attention to the time, and you are near a bus route that comes often enough for you to not need to wait very long.

22.Things to do outside with kids: Park Hop

Perhaps you could spend the afternoon going from one park to the next, until you need to come home for bath time. If you have time to spare (say, over the summer holidays), there is no sense in rushing everywhere; make a day of it and spend as much time as you can enjoying the warmer weather and treating your children to a day of park hopping!

23.Things to do outside with kids: Look at the Ducks or Find a Petting Zoo

Animals bring peace, and children generally love animals, so having some down time with animals, while enjoying the benefits of being outside, makes the most sense imaginable.

24. Things to do outside with kids: Breathe

Have you ever noticed that children love learning yoga poses? There’s something about yoga that is so enticing to children; maybe it’s the fact that yoga poses are kind of like warrior poses, and children seem to like pretending they’re in battle. Yoga also takes strength, and children are ultimately stronger, pound per pound, than adults. Whatever the reason, take a moment to teach your kids some breathing, meditation, or yoga, and enjoy the sunshine in peace!

25. Things to do outside with kids: Have a Dance Party

Music is not just for inside. Music can go outside, too! Bring out the radio, or carry out the bongo drums. You could even get super creative and make some toilet-paper-roll rice shakers! Kids love music, and it could be a good time for everyone to spend some time in nature, playing music with the birds and the trees.

I hope that this post has been as much fun to read as it has been to write! Kids do so well in nature. It is my sincere hope that parents see how important nature is to our children, and understand how we can create a healthier society by raising healthy children and being healthy ourselves. The ways to enjoy nature with children will sure to expand! Wishing you the best always.


Nadine Staaf

Your NIKKEN Independent Wellness Consultant 859695000

I would love to read your comments below on your ways to enjoy nature with children!


Things to Do Outside With Kids: Sharing Nature with Children

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Nadine Staaf is a Nikken Wellness Consultant serving USA and Canada with Nikken Products and a business opportunity in total wellness. See Nadine's full story Nadine Staaf's Nikken Story

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