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Outdoor Summer Activities for Kids


If your kids are experiencing the mid-summer boredom blues and you’re running out of things to do with kids, it’s time to get them outside for some awesome, outdoor, summer fun. Playing outdoors has more benefits than just getting the kids out of the house; in fact, research shows that outdoor games and play promotes social skills, increases attention span, helps to reduce stress, and kids can get their daily dose of vitamin D! Need we say more? Check out some of our favorite outdoor summer activities for the whole family.

Backyard Fun

  • Craft a backyard obstacle course using items you have on hand like water hoses, pool noodles, or even brooms! Have the kids do monkey-jumps over the hose, forward rolls through a line of pool noodles, and hitting a ball with a broom to the finish line! Have your own ninja warrior course!
  • Put together a backyard scavenger hunt and let your kids go wild. There are so many things kids can find in the backyard, like friendly bugs, plants, flowers, rocks or even feathers. 
  • Plant a garden. Not only will planting a garden teach children about responsibility (think watering and weeding), it will help teach them how things grow. Gardening is also proven to help with cognitive functions, socialization and language skills.
  • Turn on the sprinklers or craft up a DIY slip ‘n slide. The kids will spend hours outside frolicking in the water and they might convince you to take a slide yourself.

Nighttime Activities

  • Summer activities like backyard camping, equipped with s’mores by the campfire, is a special experience for a child. Grab the tent, sleeping bags, flashlights, and lanterns and camp without the worry of forest creatures (depending on where you live). The kids will have fun having a real camp experience along with delicious, ooey-gooey s’mores!
  • Host a backyard movie night. Project your child’s favorite movie onto a hanging white sheet and make one of these delicious popcorn recipes and you’re ready to go!
  • Catch and release - fireflies! If you’re fortunate enough to live in an area where fireflies are visible at night, take this opportunity to catch (and release) these whimsical bugs. 

Outside the neighborhood; exploring the great world out yonder

  • Live near a pond or lake? Head out on a mini fishing trip fully equipped with your child’s own fishing pole and bait. If your kids like creepy crawlies (worms), let them go digging in the backyard before you head out! Looking for something less time consuming? Feed the ducks some halved grapes or thawed frozen corn!
  • Explore good ol’ mother nature with a trail walk or scenic hike. This is a great way for kids to get out their energy and to learn about the world around them. Be sure to pack easy-to-access snacks and lots of water. Don’t forget the sunscreen too…  Here’s are great tips and a packing list broken out by age.
  • Head to the local park, splash pad, or community pool. Pack a picnic lunch and head home just in time for a good afternoon nap!

With these fun, outdoor games and activities your family is sure to have a fun summer. Too hot for outdoor fun? Check out your local The Little Gym! To find a The Little Gym location near you, click here

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