Things To Do Outside With Your Kids For Free Or Close To It

by Lori

Tree SwingKids getting restless? The weather is improving and it is time to find things to do with your children outside.  If your kids aren't excited to play outside on their own get outside and play with them.  There are a lot of fun family activities that everyone can do together.  

Not sure how to find the time for these activities?  Schedule it on the calendar.  Start with 1-2 times a week and increase it from there for more fun and exercise outside.  Another idea is to make a crockpot dinner on those days and use the usual dinner prep time for the family activity.

If your kids have a hard time settling down to start their homework after school you may want to schedule the activity for that time.  After getting some air and exercise your kids will be more ready to sit down and get their homework done.  Studies show exercise improves brain function as well!

Here are some ideas for family fun outside.  Which activities are right for your kids will depend on their age and interests.  Pick and choose which activities are right for your family.  Or better yet,  let your kids pick! 

Around the yard

  1. Tea time, girls especially love a tea party.  Make some special cookies or biscuits and have a tea party.  Stuffed animals can join in on the fun too.
  2. Draw with chalk on the sidewalks or driveway
    1. Have an art contest with the neighborhood kids
    2. Draw a hopscotch grid and play 
  3. Hang up a tire swing.  Here is how.
  4. Make mud pies.
  5. Involve the kids in gardening
    1. Have a weed pulling contest
    2. Plan a pizza garden! (basil, tomatoes, oregano, parsley, peppers)
    3. Plant flowers, vegetables and plants
    4. Make a scarecrow.
    5. Paint step-stones.
  6. Tie-dye project with t-shirts.  This is a great outdoor activity.
  7. Gather the neighborhood kids for some activities 
    1. Have a sack race
    2. Create an obstacle course
    3. Hold a three legged race
    4. Try a jump rope competition or some double dutch.

Visit your local parks

  1. Make a list of local parks you want to visit and cross them off one by one as you go enjoy the park.
  2. Enjoy the playground equipment that is already there.
  3. Have a family picnic. Something as simple as peanut butter & jelly with a salad and apple is extra fun when you are picnicking. Bring a blanket and some surprise cookies.
  4. Fly a kite.  If there is a nice light wind, flying a kite is a great family activity.
  5. Games:
    1. Tag
    2. Frisbee
    3. Football tag – This is a game my family created and loves to play together.  We use a nerf football. Everyone starts with 10 points. The person who has the football has to throw it at one of the other players. If they hit that person the person who has hit loses a point.  If the person catches the football the thrower loses a point.  Generally the throwee then gets the football and can choose who to target next.  If another player gets to the football first before the throwee they have control.  When a player loses all of their points they are out.  The player left after all the others are at 0 is the winner.  This is a great game to encourage running in ALL the participants. 
  6. Collect bugs or leaves!  This is a great opportunity to teach your kids about nature.  Bring a book from the library on bugs or trees and plants and identify what you see around you.

Other ideas

  1. Watch for free activities in your town such as:
    1. Parades
    2. Free days at the zoo
    3. Free days at your nearest Botanic Gardens or Nature Center
  2. Find a local trail and take a hike

So many ideas you want to try them all?  Try writing the activities you and your family would like to do on slips of paper and put them in a bowl.  Pick on to do on activity day.

What are your favorite things to do outside with your family?  Share your tips in the comments below or on Facebook.  Click here now to be taken to my Facebook page.

Lori Thayer is passionate about finding ways to have the best life, from healthy eating, healthy living, saving money and enjoying life. She is excited to share these tips with others. Improve your health with her FREE article "5 Easy Habits To Improve Your Health".  Sign up now in the upper right corner of this page

  • http://www.complicatedtosimple.com Robert Seth

    Lori, I love the list of possible things to do.  It’s a very nice reminder.  It seems like it all too easy to get brain freeze when the time to do something actually comes.  This will help.  Thanks!

  • Olga Hermans

    I absolutely loved it when our kids were playing outside. My kids are grown u now, can’t wait for my grand-kids and do all these things with them.

  • http://www.twitter.com/jodycalkins Jody Calkins

    Great ideas, Lori! The bowl idea to pick an activity is a great idea, too, and could be used for indoor activities as well.

  • http://visitourcrazyhouse.blogspot.com Amanda

    Great ideas!!

    Following you back. 

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