Outdoor Activities for Kids to Keep Them Active Year-Round
Alright, friends. The time has come and we need some new outdoor activities for kids.
Summer’s always a good time, right? The days are long, the nights go on forever and there’s plenty for everyone to do. Now, fall is approaching. The longer days and warmer nights are nearing their end and, while it pains us to do so, we’re asking you to look ahead. And if we’re being true with you (we would never tell a lie), fall is perhaps the best season of them all – especially if you live in the midwest or northeast.
Those cool, crisp mornings and the never-need-an-excuse-to-wear-a-hoodie feeling every evening. Football, bonfires, and a surprisingly warm day sprinkled in once per week. Have we convinced you yet?
Oh, and the kids have officially gone back to school. We’re not encouraging you to celebrate this by any means, but it may take a bit of the weight off your shoulders.
The question you may have now is…what are some fun outdoor activities for kids to keep them entertained year-round? In the summer, there’s plenty to do outside. In the fall and winter, it’s getting darker earlier, they aren’t outside as much and they probably don’t want to do their homework at the appropriate time.
They also might be glued to their iPads, iPhones or laptops playing games or talking with friends rather than squeezing the last bits of summer into their post-school lives, and we know that being stationary or inactive isn’t good for anyone.
This is a wonderful time of year to be outside! Sometimes, you (and the kids) might need a bit of motivation to get back out there – and we’ve decided to come to the rescue. In this blog, we’ll offer tips and/or outdoor activities for your kids to stay active whether it’s spring, summer or fall.
Outdoor winter activities for kids
Yes, this means it’s getting colder and the sun goes down before 6 p.m. Neither of those things is ideal, of course. But even though it’s easy to default to staying inside, there are fun activities for the littles ones in the winter.
We’re not joking. We’re for real. Hang with us on this.
This may not be every kid’s favorite outdoor activity (but we can call it a chore, for this exercise). Your kids will be active, they may even work up a sweat, and it’s a great way to offer an allowance or reward for helping with a necessary task. Plus, if they can take care of it, that means you don’t have to.
Build a snowman
Outdoor activities for kids aren’t super-abundant in the winter, but constructing a snowman can be just that. Kids can learn what the snowman needs to see, hear, taste, and smell, even though smelling through a carrot has always seemed like a challenge.
We wouldn’t let you get by without a little cardio! If your kids haven’t started skating yet, enroll them in lessons at the local ice rink or find a friend or neighbor who can help teach. Once they learn how to skate, they’ll be hooked–and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a diehard hockey parent.
Outdoor summer activities for kids
Summertime means many things–school’s out, the days are long, the temperature is turned up, and there’s no shortage of backyard activities for kids (or not far from the backyard). The good news? Kids are far more likely to take up outdoor activities in the summer because of the better weather, and because they’re spending valuable time with their friends on break from school.
Activity is typically at its highest in the summer months and there’s a long list of activities to jump into.
Soccer, baseball, basketball…you name it. It doesn’t matter if the kids are playing a pickup game in the driveway or participating in a full-fledged showdown at the local fields. Just being outside is enough (and we guarantee they’ll come home tired).
Water activities are great for kids, and with limited time to take advantage of the summer heat, let ‘em dive into the deep end (metaphorically speaking, unless they’re good swimmers). Whether it’s the local pool, your own backyard pool or the neighbors’ pool, your kids will love cooling off with their friends and playing games all day long.
Most backyard swing sets provide a ton of activities all in one.
If you already have one, it may be time for a swing set makeover (something we make easy and fun!) In any one of our cedar playsets at EJG, the kids choose from climbing the rock wall, using the swings, zipping down the slide and much more. While A-frame swing sets are smaller, they also allow for a few children to play at once. Having a swing set at your home provides children with the opportunity to perfect their athletic skills. It also gives them a chance to use their imaginations; children love to pretend the jungle gym and backyard is a pirate ship at sea, or a castle with a moat. Turn ‘em loose!
Fall outdoor activities for kids
Is fall the best season? It’s quite possible, but we’re not here to hand out awards. Just advice.
Of course, if you send the kids out to tackle this chore, they’re going to jump right into the enormous pile once they’re finished. But, that’s just an opportunity to have them do it again until they learn.
This is one of our favorites. Most apple orchards or apple farms have plenty of activities during the fall, including mazes, painting, other crafts, and of course great food and snacks for kids of all ages.
Bonfires and smores
Ah, now this is the good stuff. Invite your family, even the in-laws, the neighbors and their kids…and just have yourselves a good old-fashioned fall party. The kids will be occupied and entertained, and you may just have a chance to sit back and in the Adirondack chair and sip a cool (or warm) beverage.
These are all fun and engaging ideas, but getting the buy-in or “want to” from your kids is a different story. If they’re hesitant or even resistant, here are some ideas that can change their minds.
How to encourage kids to play outside
Hey, it’s not always easy.
You might have the grandest of ideas and the most exciting plans, but the kids may not be into it at first. Here’s how to change their minds.
#1: Invite their friends
This one’s pretty straightforward. They’re more likely to partake if their friends are in, too. So make sure they’re in.
#2: Make it a family affair
It’s more fun when everyone’s involved. Plan ahead, drum up the excitement leading up to your day of activities, and spend time together as a family.
As you can see, there’s plenty to keep your kids active and entertained throughout the year–even if the weather isn’t screaming for a pool day or a trip to the beach. No matter if there’s snow on the ground or not a cloud in the sky, you can find a fun activity for your kids that will keep them away from their screens and stimulating their minds.
If you’re looking for a fun way to spruce up your backyard–i.e., a new swing set–then you’ve come to the right place. Our team at Eastern Jungle Gym is experienced and knowledgeable, and ready to help you find the dream swing set that fits your yard and your budget.