Top 10 Tips for Getting Kids Outside – Fun Free Ideas

I’m excited to share my Top 10 Tips for Getting Kids Outside.

These ideas cost little or nothing for parents and can pay off big for the kids. National statistics show that kids are spending more and more time inside with TV, video games and music players and not getting outside. Not only is the sunlight good to regulate moods, but the exercise that your kids will get will help to reduce their likelihood of obesity.


Top 10 Tips for Getting Kids Outside

Top 10 Tips for Getting Kids Outside


Kids never need think a walk in nature is boring again if you learn some fabĀ  walking games and get you hands on a copy of my new book ‘A year of nature walks and games

its packed with over 50 fab ideas to get kids outside and having fun in nature.



Rock Collecting

Rock collecting is lots of fun – rocks can be built into towers, tuned into games of noughts and crosses, studied and painted. Free fun for all the family.


Litter Picking

Such a brilliant way to combine exercise with community action.



The old standby of sports is still a great way to get outside and get exercise. Whether it be football, baseball, basketball, tennis, golf, or yes, even soccer, sports are a great way to get exercise and build important skills for life. Striving to win is a quintessential American quality that sports certainly can help foster.



Volunteering at charities of interest is a great way to build pride in self and help the community. Many kids love to work at the Human Society. Dogs and cats need fed, watered, and loved. Kids are great at all three, especially the last. Other ideas are volunteering at hospitals and nursing homes including those serving veterans. Volunteering helps kids see the world outside their nuclear family and gain an understanding of the lives of others.

Scavenger Hunt

To encourage kids to explore in a back yard or park, plan a scavenger hunt. Divide the group into two teams with an adult supervising each group if children are young. Hand each team a list, a pen, a small bag for collecting items, and a digital camera for recording living items that cannot be brought back. Ideas include an animal print, a leaf with two colors, something bumpy, a V-shaped stick, an insect, a feather, a pebble and something yellow.



Clear a small square of land or gather supplies such as terracotta pots, recycled milk containers and potting soil. At the store allow kids to choose several kids of seeds, flowers or small plants to grow. Using small shovels and other gardening tools, help kids till the soil or fill the containers with dirt. Follow the instructions on each seed packet, planting rows of each item and marking the row with a Popsicle stick attached to the seed packet. Water seeds daily and in time, enjoy the harvest. Popular starter plants include sunflowers, cherry tomatoes, peonies and herbs.


Water Day

When the weather is warm, enjoy an outdoor water day at home. Start by washing the family car in your swim suits. Take turns lathering up the car, using rags and sponges to wash and rinsing with the hose. While the hose is on, fill up some water balloons and squirt guns. Divide into teams and have an old-fashioned water fight, making sure to pick up any leftover balloon remnants. Turn on the sprinkler and take turns running through it forwards, backwards and sideways.


Winter Play

If you are lucky enough to have a snowy day, make the most of it. Dress warmly in coats, hats, gloves and boots and head to the local sledding hill. If your town has an outdoor skating rink, bring your skates or rent skates there and enjoy some time with family and friends. Head back home to make snow angels by lying on your back in the snow and moving your arms and legs like jumping jacks. When you’ve had enough fun, hot chocolate with marshmallows will hit the spot.

Spending time outdoors helps children stay healthy, creative and more fit than their sedentary peers who prefer video games and television. According to the National Wildlife Federation, a recent trend of decreased time outdoors has taken a physical and mental toll on kids. By having fun with your kids outdoors, you can help them foster healthy habits.

Provide your kids with structure for outside activities. Get them off the couch and out of the house! Then you can sit down and relax!


Further reading on getting kids outside

You might also like my post on how to help kids get active

More outdoor benefits for kids

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