Have You Tried These 9 Ways to Play Outside With Young Children?

Have you tried these new ways to get outside with kids?

Every family in America can use a little extra fresh air this year. Prior to becoming parents, my husband and I loved to be outdoors and travel. Now life includes a baby and a toddler. Therefore, it’s more challenging to manage great adventures–so we have to get creative. When it comes to playing outside with young kids I like to choose activities that stimulate the adults too.

Skip the sandbox with these 9 simple activities the whole family will love.

  1. Fly a Kite. Kites are good old-fashion fun for kids and adults alike. We have this Monarch version but I am ogling a frameless kite that travels easily and doesn’t have any tricky parts to lose and break.
  2. Light a Fire. We don’t have a permanent space for a fire pit, but this small wood burning pit and this propane pit both hit the mark for convenient, portable camp fire fun.
  3. Peek at the Stars. Our toddler is fascinated by the night sky. A telescope is a great family activity to nurture a budding astronomist (both young and old). This telescope is compact and will let you observe Jupiter’s Moons and Saturn’s Rings. No idea where to start? This book will help.
  4. Make a CrownEven the sweetest princess can get outside with a nature crown. A brown bag and some double sided tape will allow little ones to get creative with their remnants from nature.
  5. Wash the Car. There is nothing my three-year-old loves to do more than grab a bucket of soap and scrub down our cars. My fingers are crossed this interest lasts for many years to come.
  6. Release Butterflies. Grow some Very Hungry Caterpillars at your house and release them into the sky. The whole family will be captivated as the caterpillars grow, spin a cocoon, and complete metamorphosis as they hatch into butterflies all in front of your eyes.
  7. Make a JournalA nature journal will give you some direction as you hike and take walks outdoors. The youngest child can start out with a simple photo checklist to keep a record.
  8. Clean Up Litter. Much to the dismay of parents, kids love to pick up dirty pieces of trash off the ground. Why not make an day of it? Read this book about collecting litter and then head out on your local trail for your own litter-control-mission.
  9. Find a Race. Get out your jogging stroller and find a race to join as a family.

What are your favorite ways to get outside and play as a family?

I believe we need to travel and plan adventures with our kids–even though it’s not easy. You can read more about our “travel with kids” philosophy here. 

Denaye Barahona

Denaye Barahona is a loving wife and mama of two. She's a therapist for moms, an author, and the host of the top-ranked Simple Families Podcast. Denaye holds a Ph.D. in Child Development and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has been featured on the likes of The Today Show, Netflix, The Wall Street Journal, Real Simple, Forbes, and numerous other media outlets.