10 Fun & Easy Outdoor Play Ideas

Finally, winter is OVER! (sorry, if it snows tomorrow, it’s my fault) I for one, and my two boys under four, are so ready to get out of the house and enjoy the warm weather. It’s been in the 60’s and 70’s the last week and we’ve been outside ALL DAY, meals and all, every day! We are soaking it all and and LOVING it! (as are the little birdies sealing the lunch crumbs)

But, it’s only been a week and we are already running out of new, fun things to do. So I did some searching and found some new ideas to try out. Check it out!

Click on the photo or link to view the How-To Details!

1.  Small Worlds in the Water Table

This is a collection of mini-worlds you can create using a simple water table and some other mediums like sand, rocks, plants, and toys.  There are many great ideas such as: penguins, beach, poolside, scuba diving, and construction site.

I love this dinosaur world, and the others are very cool too.  I can’t wait to set this up for my boys to play with.  A new ‘world’ every week this summer is the goal!

2.  Outdoor Play City – lake, sand, roads, town

I found this gem last year on the Lowes site when I was signing my little guy up for a Build and Grow workshop.  Doesn’t require too many materials.

I plan to make it, but have to wait until I move the raised garden beds to a better area.  So this means it won’t happen until next year.  I can’t wait to make it though, and I can’t wait even more to play with it!  This would have been so cool as a kid!

3.  Water Works Games – Sponge Toss

What else to do with that kiddie pool?  Well flip over some Frisbees and give the kids some sponges or balls; boom, fun game!  It’s fun and builds hand eye coordination.  Using a launcher of some kind to hit the target would be fun too.

You could use a small hoop of some kind as well and through sinkers (pool diving toys) through the hoops.

4.  Free Printable Outdoor Scavenger Hunt for Kids

This is a great printable resource for an outdoor scavenger hunt for kids.  It’s things you find in nature, but it’s specific, allowing kids to use the imagination, as well as play a few times in a row without finding the same things.  (I know I’m constantly hearing, “Again, Again Mommy!”  :-)

It’s fun, just laminate it and use a dry erase marker to keep tabs.  You can use it over and over again.

5.  7 kids games with chalk

This is a collection of games you can play with a sidewalk or driveway, and some chalk.  We like to draw pictures, write notes for when dad gets home, and make roads for cars and bikes.  I haven’t tried any games yet, but I’m sure we’ll try some of these as we have a TON of sidewalk chalk.

We like to do a group draw, where one person starts and the next adds a part, then the other goes again.  We usually end up with a crazy monster or car at our house.  :-)

6.  Homemade Sprinkler

Easy, cheap and fun; all things I like!  This will allow the whole neighborhood to run through the sprinkler at the same time!  I love it.  Easy storage in the winter an.d I imagine easier to clean than the plastic ones that fill with water.

Sprinklers are always a great addition to a hot summer day.  They aren’t much work to get out (unlike filling a pool) and you don’t have to wait for the water to warm up in the sun!

7.  DIY Lawn Twister

I do so many crafts at home that I usually have some spray paint marks on the grass anyway, so this year I think I’ll make some on purpose.  I like that I can make it my own size to fit my two boys under 4.  Their arms/legs can’t reach as far as mine.  :-)

I also like that I can pick my own colors or shapes.  I’m thinking making circles, squares, triangles, etc.  to help learn shapes, colors and build strength.

8.  20 Backyard Tents & Forts Built for Summer Fun

Who doesn’t love to get away?  How about to the back yard in an awesome tent or fort?  As a little girl I always dreamed of a playhouse in the back yard.  There was one at a house next to the playground at my elementary school that I LOVED.  They also had an apple orchard that was cool.  These aren’t quite as fancy as the one from my childhood, but they are DIYable and super cute!  I like the wood fort and imagine putting it on hinges so I can just fold it flat in the winter to store in the shed.

9.  Balloon Tennis

My boys are still pretty young, so a fast game of backgammon or tennis might be a little much for them to handle, so what about a slower version?  How about Balloon Tennis!  It can be played indoors or outdoors.  It’s slow paced, but not too slow paced so it’s still a challenge to the little guys (and sometimes me :-)

I also love the classic Balloon Volleyball!  Bump, set, spike!  :-)

10.  DIY Backyard Obstacle Course for Kids

For those days when you just need them to run off some of the energy (like the last two weeks now that it’s finally nice out!), make it fun!  Pull out some of your toys and make a DIY backyard obstacle course. Bet the dog will want to play too! 

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