As a parent of young children, you’re naturally always on the lookout for new ways to keep them entertained. Kids typically have boundless energy that they need an outlet for – and if you don’t provide them with one, they may end up creating mischief to have fun while you’re not looking. Needless to say, you’ll thank yourself later for planning fun activities when your children are engaged, safe and out of harm’s way.
If you’re lucky enough to have your own backyard space, choose from this awesome list of activities that won’t cost you a bundle of money:
- Outdoor finger (or brush) painting
- Gardening for kids
- Scavenger hunt
- DIY Art camp – set up easels and have your kids paint the scenery or clouds
- Chalk drawing
- Nature walk – if you live near a wooded area, this is a perfect way for you to teach your children about local plant life, insects, trees and more!
- D.E.A.R.O. – Drop Everything And Read Outside
- Parkour – Today’s youth’s version of our nostalgic “obstacle course”
- Make your own birdfeeder
- Bird watching – Along with a book about birds, you can have a lot of fun teaching and learning about the birds that are local to your area.
- Bike washing station – Give your kids a bucket of soapy water, some old rags and access to the hose with instructions to make all of the family bikes sparkle like new.
- Playdough – Let’s be honest, none of us really wants playdough in the house. However, playing with playdough can be really fun for children (and adults!) and doing it outside makes for easy clean up.
- Water balloon battle
- Buried treasure hunt – Hide some cool prizes or coins and make a map they can follow to find it! This one goes over really well with kids of all ages. Older kids can help younger ones follow the map.
- Go “camping” – Set up an actual tent, or come up with a DIY version using sheets and blankets. You’ll be surprised how much fun children can have pretending to camp. They can also use it as a hideout or a location for their very own “kids club.”
- Sandbox time – While this one does involve a little bit of planning and money, building a sandbox in your backyard is a worthwhile investment of your time and finances. Alternatively, dedicate a small corner of the yard to ‘dirty play.’ Kids LOVE playing and digging in the dirt. Give them some tools, toys, rocks and a bucket of water or hose. The only caveat is that they must ask permission before beginning dirt play so you can make sure they’re wearing old clothing. Swimsuits work well here, too, because you can simply hose your kids down and have them air dry before coming back inside.
- Water play – Almost as much (or more) as they love digging in the dirt, children absolutely adore playing in or with water. Simply fill a large bucket or planter with water and give your children some floating boats and other toys.