Fitness Articles

Fun Outdoor Activities for Kids

Creative Play Ideas for All Seasons

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There are enough ideas to have fun trying a new one every week for over a year!

  • Seasons search: Go out and find 10 things that you will only see during the spring.
  • Go to a stream during a spring rain and listen for calling critters. How many different animals do you hear? Can you identify any?
  • Plant bulbs, seeds or trees.
  • Take part in a maple syrup activity and learn about where maple syrup comes from and how it is processed.
  • Take one shovel full of soil from your garden and examine it. How many worms do you find? What other insects do you see? Why are they important?
  • Plant a moonflower. They wake up when you are getting ready to go to bed!
  • Use a camera to photograph the same area of your yard at the same time each day to see what comes up and what changes. Make a flip book with the photographs so you can watch a flower bloom, or a plant come up through the ground. This could also be done in the fall to see the changing leaves.
  • Build It! Build a toad abode, bat house or birdhouse and place it outside. Check on it daily and keep a journal about what you see. You can illustrate your journal.
  • Seasons search: Go out and find 10 things that you will only see during the summer.
  • Make compost or talk about how worms "make" soil.
  • On a hot summer day, play outside in the rain in your bathing suit!
  • If the grass is slippery, slide on it. If there's a muddy spot, play in the mud!
  • Pick dandelions, clover or Queen Anne's Lace bouquets. You can display them in a vase. (Local park staff can let you know which invasive alien plants can be picked from your backyard or vacant neighborhood lots or roadsides without harm to the environment.)
  • Shake and blow dandelion seed heads.
  • Go for a creek walk in old gym shoes or boots. It's like one continuous puddle!
  • Go outside on a windy day with bubble blowers, paper airplanes, simple kites, etc.
  • Make some Solar S'mores! Line an old pizza box with some foil and make it into an "oven" to melt your marshmallows and chocolate. Talk about the sun and alternative/renewable energy sources.
  • Have a camp out in your back yard. Use a tape recorder to record and identify all the sounds you hear through the night.
  • Have a star party and plan a picnic under the stars. Spend time on a blanket with some star shaped snacks talking together and "wondering" about the universe.
  • Find a great grassy area to lie down on and watch the clouds. What do they look like? You can even bring a lunch and a blanket!
  • Sit in the grass and make a necklace out of clover for someone special. Just tie them together with a knot. Continued ›
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About The Author

Leave No Child Inside Leave No Child Inside
Through education and community engagement, the Leave No Child Inside Collaborative of Greater Cincinnati promotes children's outdoor play, learning and lifelong connection with nature. Learn more at

Member Comments

  • The winter ideas all involve snow and we live in VA. We might get a couple snow days a year, but most of the time it's just super cold and/or rainy in the winter. We try to take advantage of indoor places to wiggle (trampoline parks are one of our favorites), but winter is the hardest time to go outside for us. We love snow days though!! - 3/9/2016 9:59:05 AM
    The best way to encourage kids to go outside and play is for parents to take the locks off the doors and leave them open. The children will find the way out. The parents of today have so many fears, hang ups, prejudices, and misconceptions that have held their children hostage. Thank you for releasing the children from their prisons. Leave the alone and let them explore the world. - 2/16/2015 9:11:44 AM
  • Great list for kids!1 my kdis are gonna enjoy it a lot. bookmarked thanks for the share - 9/12/2014 5:33:07 AM

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