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102 Fun & Creative Outdoor Play Ideas for kids

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outdoor play ideas

Now that we’re staying home and self-isolating, it is more important than ever to try and get outdoors with the kids for some fresh air and exercise. Whether its in your own backyard, or you take a walk around the neighbourhood, we have plenty of outdoor play ideas to keep you all entertained!


Outdoor play ideas to do at home with kids

Water Play

eggs outdoor play ideas

Make frozen flower creations in egg shells

  1. Keep those empty egg shells! Go on a nature hunt outside and let your little one collect their favourite flowers and leaves along the way. Pop them inside the empty egg shells, fill them with water and freeze. The next day you can have fun watching them melt or throwing them at the ground.
  2. Make some water balloon pinatas. You could even hide lollies in some of them to keep the kids going.
  3. Rainbow foam! Big and small kids will love this one, but be warned, it could turn into a foam fight.
  4. Enjoy a good old-fashioned water fight! These eco-friendly ‘water sponges‘ mean you can go back again and again.
  5. Create your very own outdoor sprinkler.
  6. Dye your hair! With just a little tissue paper and water, kids can change their hair colour while they are at home. It only takes a few washes to get back to normal.
  7. Create your own water area. Big kids can help with this one – find some piping (or take a trip to Bunnings) and use your imagination.
  8. DIY bubbles for the younger kids. All you need is a sock, a plastic bottle and dishwashing liquid.
  9. Set up your own river with some foil.
  10. Make some water treasure bottles filled with things you find outdoors.
  11. Get cleaning! Bring out the toys and let kids have fun washing them in sudsy water. If you’re feeling extra nice, you can set up a bucket of mud for them to play in first.
  12. Paint letters on the ground with water – educational and mess free!
  13. Make your own leaf jewellery.
  14. Have fun with this experiment using salt and water to melt ice.
  15. Raining outside? Let kids pop on their raincoats and gumboots and head out and splash in the puddles. It’s simple, but oh so fun.
  16. Set up this Walking Water science experiment.
  17. Make some slime.
  18. Create your own bicarb volcano experiment.
  19. Make a giant bubble wand.
  20. Build your own tin foil boats to race on water.
  21. Pinecone animals.

Walks around the neighbourhood

  1. Go on a bear hunt!
  2. I Spy: it’s an oldie, but a goodie.
  3. Catch the colour: take it in turns to choose the colour. Everyone has to run off and find an object that colour and bring it back.
  4. Play shadow tag: instead of ‘tagging’ each other, you have to jump on someone’s shadow.
  5. Follow the Leader: once again, take it turns. Line up behind the leader and every has to follow and copy what they do. This can include skipping, jumping, running, etc.
  6. Name that tune: start humming a tune and see if someone can guess it – then it’s their turn.
  7. Catch: bring a ball along and you can play a game of catch as you go.
  8. Dress ups! There have been whole Facebook groups dedicated to people dressing up to take the bins out. Why not get the kids to dress up for their walk!
  9. Car counting: everyone chooses a colour at the beginning of the walk and you count how many you come across. The one with the most, wins.
  10. Scavenger hunt: pick four objects that kids have to find on their walk, such as pinecone, orange leaf, purple flower and rock.
  11. Collect objects along the way to do some mandala art back home.
  12. Climb a tree you find along the way.
  13. Create some cute animal herb planters.
  14. Have a picnic in your own backyard.
  15. Hand over your phone and let the kids take some snaps along the way. Perfect chance for them to be creative.

Nature Craft & Creations

playhouse outdoor play ideas

  1. Have some fun with this shadow animal tracing activity.
  2. Start your very own edible garden.
  3. Send your kids on a stick hunt! Show them this image for inspiration and let their creativity run wild.
  4. Make your own playdough here, and then go and collect items from nature to use to play with it.
  5. Do some tree bark rubbings.
  6. Make a nature inspired rock clock.
  7. Grow your very own pinecone tree! It’s very simple and a great educational lesson for the older kids.
  8. Get your kids to create their own name out of leaves.
  9. Grow a living playhouse for your kids. This article has a few different options for you to choose from.
  10. Create a sensory walk.
  11. Get the kids gardening! Buy their own gloves and watering can and let them help you outdoors. You can even give them their own patch to be in charge of.
  12. Paint an umbrella and take it outside.
  13. Make a homemade bird feeder.
  14. Create some nature sun catchers!
  15. If you want to get adventurous, have a go at making your own dinosaur garden.
  16. Do some leaf rubbings.
  17. Set up a nature spot to sit down and read with the kids.
  18. Get messy and do some splatter painting.
  19. Make your own paintbrushes!
  20. Paint your own wooden car tracks.
  21. Use this free printable to create your own nature craft tree. Or just draw your own!
  22. Leaf printing on rocks.
  23. Create some simple fairy stick wands.
  24. Grab some clay and make some leaf and flower imprints. Once it dries, have fun painting.
  25. Make leaf people.
  26. Set up animal worlds in the dirt.
  27. Make your own game of tic tac toe by painting rocks.
  28. Go on a nature hunt and play nature bingo!
  29. Make a maze using sticks.
  30. Create a garden xylophone with jars and objects you find.
  31. Make a fairy garden.
  32. Make some nature flower crowns.
  33. Set up your own sun dial.
  34. Create an outdoor sticky wall. Kids can find whatever they like to decorate.

Chalk Games

  1. Set up your own giant game of Snakes & Ladders.
  2. Follow the line. Make this one as easy or as challenging as you like.
  3. Set up a game of hopscotch.
  4. Create a chalk scavenger hunt for the kids.
  5. Trace around each other and colour in.
  6. Make some chalk paint.
  7. Design your very own chalk town. This can be done for scooters, bike, etc.
  8. Stained glass sidewalk chalk art.
  9. Get creative and make some artworks! Here are some great ideas for inspiration.
  10. Enjoy some target practise. All you need is chalk and some small beanbags.
  11. Create some ice chalk.
  12. Play a game of twister!

Outdoor Games

  1. What’s The Time Mr Wolf
  2. The Creeping Game
  3. Set up your very own mini putt putt with a cardboard box.
  4. Hide and Seek.
  5. Combine learning with the outdoors with this sight word soccer game.
  6. Lie down and enjoy some cloud watching.
  7. Tug of War – you can just use some old bedsheets for this one.
  8. Set up your own outdoor Olympics. Get the kids to help choose events, such as running race, sack race, egg and spoon race. Then let the competitions begin!
  9. Duck, duck, goose
  10. Skipping
  11. Create a pool noodle ring toss.
  12. Set them a challenge with crab soccer.
  13. Fill the water bucket: grab four water buckets and two sponges. See who can transfer the water from one water bucket to the other, just using the sponge, the fastest.
  14. Set up pool noodle hurdles!
  15. Marco Polo: great one for the pool, but can also play in the yard as well!
  16. Fly a kite!
  17. Egg splat canvas painting!
  18. Grab a hoola hoop and teach the kids.
  19. Create your own DIY stilts.
  20. Set up an outdoor obstacle course. Get creative with things you already have out there and get the kids to help set it up. Race them against the clock!

Want more ideas for things to do at home with your kids?

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