One of the best ways to connect children with nature is to spend time outside. Sounds so easy, but with the increasing pressure on children to sit indoors in front of screens, getting outside can be a challenge. Today I’ve put together a collection of simple outdoor play ideas that will hopefully inspire families to get outside and play.
Color Hunt Outdoors
Head outside and go on a color hunt. This activity is fun for children of all ages. A color hunt doesn’t require any special equipment…simply head outside and look for one single color.
Whether you live in the heart of the city or in a rural area, children will be surprised where they find the color they are hunting for.
If you would like to extend the hunt, use a camera or phone, to take pictures of the items you find that match the color. Bring along a pad of paper and crayons to draw the items you find.
Use printable photo scavanger hunts! Print and play!
It’s super simple to find the items needed to make tic-tac-toe game outside during spring or summer.
You will need to encourage a child to gather up 4 sticks, 4 rocks and 4 flower heads. Build a tic-tac-toe game in the grass with the sticks and instead of playing “x’s and o’s” – play “rocks and flowers”.
Build a Fairy House
Do you believe in fairies? We do. The next time you visit a park, or in your own front yard, build a fairy house.
Spend some time collecting the supplies you will need to build a fairy house: sticks, leaves, rocks, pinecones, grass, whatever you like. Select the perfect spot to build a fairy house…out of the way of people’s feet is best. Then build a house and leave it for a little fairy to enjoy.
We try and build a fairy house every time we go to the park. Never enough of magic in child’s life!
Fun with Chalk
Sidewalk chalk can enhance a child’s outdoor play experience. Think of all the ways children can play outside with chalk;
- set up a hopscotch,
- trace shadows,
- draw animals and flowers,
- write the alphabet,
- write their name, etc.
Winter Play in the Snow
We live in Canada, winter isn’t a time to stay inside. When the snow falls the kids bundle up and play outside.
A hearty snowfall means it is time:
- to create a snow fort,
- build a snowy highway for toy cars to drive,
- build a family of snow people or
- simply lay down and make a snow angel.
You can also encourage your child to bring the snow inside for a painting time! They love spending their time with this simple yet unfamiliar activity.
Other Simple Outdoor Play Ideas
There are so many uncomplicated and easy ways to play outside. By taking children outside we give them a chance to connect with nature. Starting a love of the outdoors from a young age is the best way to protect the future of our environment and is a great way to embrace a childhood with less toys – more play.
Try some of these activities as well:
After listing reasons we have started month long series Less Toys. More Play. and talking about why fewer books will result with more reading for kids, today we hosted another great blogger who will take us to play outside:
Hi, my name is Jen and I am an eco-living and outdoor play advocate who writes the blog Kitchen Counter Chronicles. We are trying our best to raise our children to have an appreciation and understanding of the world around them. Come by and learn how we are greening our lives, what we are crafting cooking and creating.
READ NEXT IN LESS TOYS. MORE PLAY. SERIES
- Turning Old Technology into Toys for Imaginative Play
- 5 Things to Consider When Choosing Toys (And What to Avoid)
- Simple Washing Station for Toddlers