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  • Writer's pictureElle James

10 Exciting Outdoor Summer Activities for Young Kids at Home

2 young girls smiling in the summer sun ready for outdoor summer activities.

Ah, summer! The sun is shining, and the air is filled with a sense of adventure and endless possibilities. It's the time when kids can bask in the warmth of the sun and explore the wonders of the great outdoors. The world becomes their playground, and every day holds the promise of new discoveries and exciting adventures.

While going on vacations or outings is always a great idea, sometimes circumstances may not allow for it. But fear not, for there are plenty of incredible outdoor summer activities that can keep young kids entertained and stimulated right at home. In fact, with a little creativity and some imagination, you can create an enriching and enjoyable summer experience for your little ones right in your own backyard.

Kids playing with pinwheels.

Summer is a time to embrace the simple pleasures and the beauty of nature. It's a time to let our kids run barefoot through the grass, feel the cool touch of water on their skin, and immerse themselves in the magic of the natural world.

So, as the sun shines brightly and the days grow longer, let's make the most of this wonderful season. Let's seize the opportunity to create a summer experience that sparks joy, fosters creativity, and nourishes the souls of our little ones. Let's celebrate the magic of summer and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

In this post, I'll share 10 fantastic outdoor summer activities that are perfect for young children during the summer months. Get ready to embark on a summer adventure filled with laughter, learning, and cherished memories.

10 Exciting Outdoor Summer Activities for Young Kids at Home

1. Backyard Water Party

Setting up a backyard water party is a wonderful way to beat the heat and create lasting summer memories for kids.

Begin by setting up sprinklers, water guns, and inflatable pools in your backyard. Add some pool noodles, water balloons, or floaties to enhance the fun. Ensure you have a water source nearby for refills. Encourage the kids to splash, play water games, and cool off in the refreshing water.

A backyard water party is a great activity for kids as it provides a fun and safe way to stay active, promotes social interaction, and encourages imaginative play. It allows them to enjoy the outdoors, beat the summer heat, and create joyous moments of laughter and play with their friends and family.

Kids having a backyard water party, a fun outdoor summer activity.

2. Water Table

Setting up a water table outside is a fantastic way to provide kids with hours of sensory play and refreshing fun.

Begin by selecting a suitable water table or use a large plastic container. Set it up in a shaded area of your backyard or patio. Fill the table with water and add various water-friendly toys, such as cups, funnels, sponges, and floating objects. You can even enhance the experience by incorporating colored ice cubes or bath toys. Encourage your child to splash, pour, and explore the different textures and sensations.

A water table is a great activity for kids as it promotes sensory development, fine motor skills, and imaginative play. It offers a hands-on experience where children can learn about cause and effect, practice pouring and scooping, and engage in open-ended play. Plus, it provides a cool and refreshing way to beat the summer heat while fostering their creativity and enjoyment of the outdoors.

3. Gardening

Setting up a gardening activity at home is a fantastic way to connect kids with nature, teach them about responsibility, and foster a love for plants and the environment.

Start by designating a small area in your backyard or providing your child with their own pot or planter. Choose age-appropriate plants, flowers, or vegetables and involve your child in the planting process. Teach them how to water the plants, pull weeds, and care for their garden. Encourage them to observe the growth and changes in their plants over time.

Gardening is a great activity for kids as it allows them to learn about the natural world, develop patience and responsibility, and witness firsthand the beauty and wonders of plants and the environment. It provides a sense of accomplishment as they see their efforts result in blooming flowers or tasty vegetables, nurturing a lifelong appreciation for nature and gardening.

Kids gardening, a fun outdoor summer activity.

4. Obstacle Course

Setting up an outdoor obstacle course using toys or objects from home is a fantastic way to keep kids active, engaged, and entertained.

To set it up, start by gathering items such as hula hoops, cones, jump ropes, and pillows. Use the hula hoops as targets for jumping through or stepping into, arrange the cones to create a zigzag path to navigate, lay out jump ropes for hopping over, and strategically place pillows for crawling under or balancing on. Let your imagination run wild and get creative with the layout of the course, adapting it to your child's age and abilities.

Once set up, explain the rules and demonstrate how to navigate the obstacles, and then let your child tackle the challenge. Get creative with the layout and design of the course, and adjust the difficulty level based on the ages and abilities of the participants.

To make it a game, you can time each other to see who completes the course the fastest, or assign point values to different obstacles and compete to see who can score the most points.

An outdoor obstacle course is a great activity for kids as it promotes physical activity, develops motor skills, encourages teamwork and friendly competition, and boosts confidence and problem-solving abilities.

5. Nature Scavenger Hunt

Setting up an outdoor nature scavenger hunt is an exciting adventure that encourages kids to explore the wonders of the natural world. Begin by creating a checklist of items for them to find, such as different types of leaves, rocks, flowers, or even insects. Hide these items strategically around your backyard or nearby outdoor space.

Provide each child with a checklist and a container to collect their treasures. Explain the rules and boundaries of the hunt, and let them embark on their quest to find the items on the list. You can also add an element of friendly competition by setting a time limit or offering a small prize for the first one to complete the scavenger hunt.

An outdoor nature scavenger hunt is a great activity for kids as it promotes curiosity, observation skills, and a love for nature. It allows them to connect with the environment, learn about different plants and creatures, and develop an appreciation for the beauty of the natural world.

Scavenger hunt guide, an exciting outdoor summer activity.

6. Music and Dancing

Setting up a music and dancing session outside is a delightful way to get kids moving, grooving, and enjoying the fresh air.

Start by setting up a portable speaker or music player in your backyard or outdoor space. Create a playlist of their favorite songs or upbeat tunes that will inspire them to dance.

Clear a designated area where they can freely move and groove to the rhythm. Encourage them to express themselves through dance, and join in the fun by showing your own dance moves.

It's a wonderful opportunity to let loose, bond with your kids, and create joyful memories together. Music and dancing are great activities for kids as they promote physical activity, enhance coordination and rhythm, boost creativity and self-expression, and provide a sense of joy and happiness

7. Sensory Table

Setting up a sensory table is a wonderful way to engage kids in exploratory and hands-on play. Begin by selecting a suitable table or container with a shallow depth. Place it in a shaded area of your backyard or patio.

Fill the table with various sensory materials such as sand, rice, or kinetic sand. Add tools like scoops, containers, and small toys to enhance the sensory experience. Encourage your child to touch, mold, and manipulate the materials, fostering their tactile senses and fine motor skills.

A sensory table provides a rich and stimulating environment where children can engage their senses, spark their imagination, and promote creativity. It offers a safe and controlled space for open-ended play, allowing children to experiment, discover, and learn through hands-on exploration.

Additionally, a sensory table at home outside allows kids to connect with nature, providing a unique sensory experience that combines the elements of the outdoors with the joy of sensory play.

8. Bubbles

Bubbles never fail to captivate children's imaginations. Begin by getting a bottle of bubble solution and a bubble wand or bubble machine. Head to your backyard or outdoor space with plenty of room to move around.

Dip the wand into the solution and blow gently to create beautiful and iridescent bubbles. Encourage your child to chase and pop the bubbles, creating a magical and whimsical atmosphere.

Playing with bubbles is a great activity for kids as it enhances their hand-eye coordination, encourages outdoor play, and sparks their imagination.

It provides a sensory experience as they interact with the delicate bubbles, and the anticipation of seeing them float and burst brings a sense of wonder and excitement.

Kids blowing bubbles, a fun outdoor summer activity.

9. Paint with Water

Setting up a paint with water activity is a simple and mess-free way to unleash your child's creativity and provide them with a fun art experience. Begin by gathering some large paintbrushes, buckets of water, and an outdoor painting surface such as the driveway, patio or a wall.

Dip the paintbrushes in the water and let your child "paint" on the surface. As they brush the wet brushes on the surface, the water will create temporary designs and patterns. It's a great activity for kids as it allows them to freely explore their artistic side without the worry of making a mess.

Paint with water promotes fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and encourages imaginative expression. It's a wonderful way for children to experiment and experience the joy of creating temporary artwork in a simple and engaging manner.

10. Sidewalk Chalk

Setting up activities with sidewalk chalk is a fantastic way to encourage creativity and active play in kids. Start by providing a variety of colored chalks and designate an area on your driveway or patio as the canvas.

You can create different games and activities like hopscotch, tic-tac-toe, or a maze for them to navigate. Alternatively, they can let their imagination run wild and draw colorful masterpieces.

Sidewalk chalk activities are a great way for kids to express themselves artistically, practice fine motor skills, and engage in active outdoor play. It encourages their imagination, fosters hand-eye coordination, and allows them to enjoy the simple pleasure of creating vibrant artwork in the open air.

Sidewalk chalk, a fun outdoor summer activity.

Final Thoughts

Summer is a magical time for young children, and there are numerous activities that can keep them entertained, stimulated, and happy right at home.

Whether it's engaging in sensory play, exploring nature, or getting their bodies moving through dancing and obstacle courses, these at-home activities provide a wonderful opportunity for children to learn, grow, and create cherished memories.

So, embrace the summer spirit, unleash their imagination, and enjoy the beauty of these simple yet fulfilling experiences. With a little creativity and a lot of fun, this summer will surely be one to remember for your young ones.



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