Every single child needs to have an unstructured outdoor playtime for their holistic development, and though free play is important, sometimes kids need ideas from their parents.
Not all activities are created equally, however. Some activities can even be downright dangerous if not tackled appropriately.
Our experts here at Garden Buildings Direct understand this problem and has made it easier for you to let your kids play outdoors happily and safely with this list of awesome ideas.
1. Backyard Carwash
Kids always love to do things they see grown-ups do, in their own cute little way that is. You can teach them the value in taking care of their own things with a mini backyard car wash. On a nice day, set up all their toys and bond with your kids while getting their toys cleaned up!
For this activity, get your kids to gather all their toy cars and other playthings that can be cleaned with water and soap. Next, gather the materials you need: a water hose or bucket, hand soap or dishwashing liquid, sponges and a towel or old clean clothes.
To make it easier for your kids you can cut up large sponges into smaller sponges. This allows your kids to have the appropriately sized sponge to match their tiny hands and tiny toys.
2. Water Balloon T-Ball
When there’s warmer weather available to you, then fun outdoor activities involving water is totally on the table!
First, prepare a bunch of water balloons, like a laundry-basket-full of water balloons. Then, depending on your child’s ability level, you can use a tee-ball set or just a baseball bat.
Invite a few of your kids’ friends to your backyard and replace the ball with those water balloons and take in all the fun!
3. Toy Obstacle Course
Getting through obstacle courses is always fun for the kids but have you heard of using jumping ropes, hula-hoops, and boxes to up the game?
Come up with a creative course that kids need to get through around your garden. You can also plan one around a playhouse so they would have to go through more challenging paths. You may even want to consider decorating your playhouse for greater effect.
Once they are confident enough, you can also encourage the kids to come up with their own obstacle course for endless entertainment!
4. Building a Garden Birdhouse
If your kids are grade-schoolers or even teens, you can hand them a more challenging but crafty activity — building a birdhouse in the garden. It will not only allow them to have fun but also encourage them to care for wildlife.
Attract birds in your yard by getting out some tools and materials to build a birdhouse with your kids. Remember, it will involve some minor woodwork, so make sure to assist and keep them safe in the process.
5. Water Balloon Angry Birds
Inspired by the mega-popular mobile game, the water balloons ‘angry birds’ is a great way to spend a warm day with your kids.
First off, you need to find a concrete floor and some coloured chalks to draw your targets. Alternatively, you can use blocks with waterproof figurines on top. Either way, the goal is simple, use your water balloons to hit the target!
Next, prepare a tub of water balloons and paint them with the comic angry bird faces from the game. This is also part of the fun: drawing angry bird faces on water balloons with the kids.
Draw a limit line where kids are not allowed to go past. Then, tell them to position, aim and smash those bad pigs!
6. Paper Boat Race
Kids love swimming, so for this summer, it would be a great idea to make children play pool games.
One fun game to do is the paper boat race. Make paper boats for each kid and prepare straws. They have to blow through the straws to propel the boats in a kiddie pool and the fastest one wins.
7. Sun Melted Crayons
Doing activities outside the home does not need to be purely physical — there could also be art!
For this task, you need to gather up all used and broken crayons along with cookie cutters or chocolate moulds, a paper plate and aluminium foil. Place the foil on a paper plate before placing the cookie cutters or chocolate moulds on top.
Then, let the kids break the crayons into smaller sizes and place combinations of them on the moulds. Place the plate on a sunny spot. Once melted and cooled, your kids will have a new set of fun uniquely-shaped crayons to use!
Adults love the art of gardening since it undeniably provides a lot of health benefits. However, it can be an equally constructive hobby for the little ones!
For this one, the first task you can do is pick some of the most child-friendly plants for kids to grow. Once you have the seedlings at hand, let the kids do the dirty gardening work as well as maintaining their plants.
It will improve their cognitive, physical, and behavioural development in the process.
9. Squeeze the Sponge Relay
Relays are great games that bring the competitive side out of your kids. For this, you will need two buckets for each of the children — one filled with water and the other empty.
Give each of them one sponge and prepare a timer. Whoever fills the empty bucket with the most water in two minutes wins.
10. Ice Block Building
For some reason, children love playing with ice and letting them do so with colourful cubes on a sunny day will surely delight them.
Mix a variety of food colouring with water and use it to fill ice cube trays. Once frozen, pop the moulds out and let the kids go crazy outdoors. They can build towers, trains, and houses, and have fun as they melt in a cool display of colour.
11. Neighbourhood Scavenger Hunt
For a more mobile activity, a neighbourhood scavenger hunt would mean so much fun. Before you leave home today, you can write down 15-20 things to look for around the neighbourhood such as beautiful trees, street signs and fixtures.
One of these days, you can take the kids out for a walk and do a scavenger hunt. The kid with the most finds wins the game.