50 Fun Things to Do Outside With Kids as a Family

3 kids flying a kite outside
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Take every opportunity to head outside with your preschooler and have some family fun. If you have children of varying ages, it may be hard to come up with activities that they all can participate in together. This list of 50 fun things to do outside as a family can help you decide, and they are all free or nearly free.

Some may sound like chores, such as gardening or watering the plants, but they and be learning experiences and healthy physical activities.

  1. Go for a walk. Set a timer to see how far you can walk in five minutes, 10, 20, or 30. Remember that unless you are going around in a circle, you need to come back.
  2. Ride bikes.
  3. Fly kites.
  4. Blow bubbles.
  5. Play classic outdoor games such as Red Rover, Red Light Green Light, or Steal the Bacon.
  6. Host a scavenger hunt. Look for things like pine cones, acorns, and other common outdoor items. Who can find the most things? 
  7. Hula hoop.
  8. Roller skate.
  9. Play "Follow the Leader" through your yard or neighborhood.
  10. Draw a hopscotch board with chalk.
  11. Make play dough and bring it outside. Clean up is a breeze.
  12. Drive to a neighboring town and check out their playgrounds. Maybe you'll find a new favorite.
  13. Set up a canvas and let your little ones paint. Again, less mess to clean up.
  14. Find a shady tree and read.
  15. Have a picnic at a local park, beach, or your own backyard.
  16. Do things you'd normally do inside, like play board games or have a pillow fight or watch a movie on a laptop or tablet.
  17. Make smores.
  18. Garden.
  19. Make a movie.
  20. Eat homemade popsicles.
  21. Have a water balloon fight.
  22. Wash the car.
  23. Go for a jog.
  24. Play wiffleball or kickball.
  25. Take a ton of pictures.
  26. Make mud pies. Who can make the fanciest creation?
  27. Sing as loud as you can.
  28. Is it getting dark outside? Play hide and seek with flashlights (and partners if you have a lot of little kids).
  29. Water the plants. Give your preschooler some basic experiments to consider—does the hose make water come out faster or the watering can? Which is easier to control?
  30. Build paper airplanes. Who can make theirs fly the farthest?
  31. Search for bugs.
  32. Set up a lemonade stand.
  33. Run through the sprinkler.
  34. Make homemade, simple bird feeders out of pine cones, peanut butter, and birdseed.
  35. Drive to another neighborhood and go for a walk there. Pretend to be observational scientists. What's different? What is the same?
  36. Gather up a wagon, stuffed animals, and some pots and pans and have an instant parade.
  37. Look for things like pine cones, sticks, shells, and rocks. Make a mobile. Who can find the most interesting item?
  38. Play on the swing set in the dark.
  39. Pick flowers (from your own yard).
  40. Find shapes in the clouds.
  41. Take a nap, either in a hammock or just on a blanket you lie on the grass.
  42. Go "fishing." Set up a wading pool with objects and let your little one try to catch them.
  43. Color eggs outside with less mess.
  44. Pitch a tent.
  45. Paint rocks.
  46. Host a dance party.
  47. Have a water gun fight.
  48. Learn to do cartwheels.
  49. Build a fort using lawn furniture.
  50. Walk barefoot in the grass. Then try the cement (make sure it isn't too hot first). Ask your preschooler to compare what they feel like. What other surfaces can you make your feet touch?
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