Children love going outdoors, be it for biking, hunting for rocks, trekking, or walking their dogs. Children also love the idea of playing outdoors and use their imagination to think of ideas for physical activities and pretend play. It’s great to have indoor hobbies, but getting outdoors should also be a priority. While spending time outdoors is important, it is not always possible for parents to take their kids outside due to their own commitments. To ensure kids get fresh air during those times, parents can engage their children in simple, fun activities that can be performed in the backyard.
Outdoor activities include easy-to-play backyard games that we all have played in our childhoods, and now our next generations are busy playing them. These include hide and seek and freeze tag. Parents must teach their kids basic games. Kids then make up their own versions of the games according to their imaginations.
Outdoor games can be of many different types, but here are some of the traditional and modern backyard activities that kids can play:
Create Art in your Backyard
Encouraging kids to do art activities would ensure that their physical activity continues. Experimenting with art requires folding tables, clipboards, and art materials, including pens, pencils, colors, paints, scissors, glue, and art papers. Open-air art ensures kids use their creativity to use the objects of nature like leaves or moss in their artwork.
Parents can play scavenger hunts in the backyard with their kids. Parents should make a list of items one has to find and paste it on paper. These items could include leaves, stones, wood chips. After the game is over, everyone compares their items and searches for one fact about it. This activity would ensure kids have fun and learn at the same time.
Parents could also encourage kids to find objects of particular colors in the backyard. This is a fun color recognition activity that would ensure kids have fun while learning in the fresh air.
Painting with Squirt Gun
Playing with squirt guns is always a fun activity loved by both kids and adults. And what better way to paint than using a squirt gun. All paintings will be unique and colorful and would make for a beautiful wall hanging if framed.
Play Old Fashioned Games of Catch
One of the simplest and oldest outdoor activities is playing a game of catch. It includes versatile options like basketball, throwball, frisbee, football, etc. Almost all homes, schools, public parks have basketball hoops, football nets, and other relevant equipment. It can be played alone or with friends or family and is a good way to spend time. To make the games more fun, kids can keep a record of the scores.
Fly a Kite
Flying a kite is a fun outdoor activity. It also helps people perform physical activity. Simple kites are cheap and can be operated easily. Running in the direction of the wind while flying a kite or watching other people fly kites in an outdoor field is, without a doubt, an exciting way to spend time.
Planting a garden is a task that seems interesting to kids and also makes them learn. Parents should work with their kids in the garden and teach them how to weed, plant, rake, harvest, and water using a bucket, hose, or watering gun. Water is one medium kids do not mind working with, so parents can easily put their children to work.
Most of us have played hopscotch in our childhoods and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Games similar to hopscotch can help parents build gross motor skills in their children while also making sure they enjoy the process. Parents can also make obstacle courses using objects like cones, skipping ropes, toy tunnels, hula hoops, etc. Following such sequences would improve a child’s memory, eye coordination, cognitive development, bilateral coordination, and physical health. Parents can make the following sequence with chalks for their children to benefit from the advantages stated above:
Jump three times, twirl twice, hold tree pose on the right foot, 4 jumps on the left foot, jump with hands towards the sky, hold tree pose on the left foot, 4 jumps on the right foot.
Children always love playing with water. Having a swimming pool set up in your backyard, playing with water balloons, sponge water bombs, sprinklers, or water pipes can be a fun activity to reduce stress and cool off during summers. It would allow kids and adults to relax as well. Filling many balloons with water, putting them into a laundry basket, and then having a water fight would make for an exciting game. Parents should make sure they take special care of their kids while letting them play with water to avoid unforeseen circumstances.
While building blocks have entertained kids indoors for centuries, parents can play build-up games with their children in their backyard. An example of this could be building castles from cardboard which can then be used for pretend play. Both boys and girls would thoroughly enjoy this game while developing their hand-eye coordination. These games would also teach kids important physics concepts, including balance and gravity.
Another way to keep kids busy is to have swings in your backyard. These would make an exciting and engaging activity for kids to play independently while parents or caretakers can complete their work. Kids often think of activities to do with slides and structures themselves and engage in pretend play, so parents do not have to worry about being creative every day. Pretend play allows kids to turn their swings into pirate ships and their structures into castles, which uses their muscles and imagination.
Parents can make their bubble solution at home using water and dishwashing liquid. Using cooking spoons that have holes in them, such as spatulas, swatters, spoons, etc., to make bubble wands, parents can play bubble games with their kids and see which utensil creates the largest bubble or which player blows the most bubbles.
Parents can make playing with cars more fun by creating toy mazes in their backyards. This activity would promote outdoor movement and keep kids busy and entertained for hours.
Critter Scavenger Hunt
If your backyard has a lot of plants, it surely will have a lot of bugs too. Parents can spend time with their kids hunting for bugs, trying to name them, and searching for them. Parents can implement this activity with children who love creepy crawly insects during spring.
Hula Hoop Race
Hula hoop races have entertained kids for centuries. Take multiple hula hoops, take turns rolling them on the grass, and race with your child to see whose hoops go the farthest. This game would not only be fun but will also allow physical movement and the development of hand-eye coordination.
Bowing using Tin Cans
While going bowling at arenas is fun, parents can play bowling with their kids at home too. This activity would require some balls and tin cans or plastic cups. With the help of their kids, parents can set up these cans or cups in various designs and keep track of each player’s score to make the game even more interesting.
Shadow Art Painting
If your backyard has a smooth cement surface, parents can play this activity with their kids to keep them engaged. Kids can draw their shadows on the floor and then paint them. Kids could do the same for the shadows of their parents. Kids might want to make a painting of the entire family this way.
Forming mud pies is a traditional activity that kids have played for centuries. Parents should collect old utensils, including pans, pots, and dishes, and set up a mud kitchen activity. Kids can then use their imagination to make mud pies, leaves, flowers, etc.
Parents and their kids can set up mini stoves in their backyards, which can roast marshmallows on chilly nights. Kids will enjoy this activity if they have other ingredients like melted chocolate, sprinkles, and biscuits to decorate their marshmallows.
Tug of War
Parents can also play tug of war with their kids in their backyard. Parents can ensure their kids enjoy just a simple rope while increasing their concentration.
Make A Plan To Play Outdoors!
So, now that you have a list of fun things to do with kids outdoors, what is your plan? Engaging kids in such activities would help kids create, build, explore, imagine and relax through these creative games while being in the comfort of their homes. While these activities can be played all year round, summer vacations allow kids to have ample free time and enjoy themselves with their family and friends while playing these games.
With the spread of Covid-19 and lockdowns around the world, kids could not go to school and parks and were not able to meet their friends. During this time, parents found it difficult to keep their kids sane and happy while staying at home. During this time, playing various backyard activities was the go-to solution for all those stuck with children at home to keep themselves and their children entertained.