The nice weather and the school year’s end mean kids and adults want to head outside to play. But playing the same old outdoor games over and over can quickly become tedious, and by the third week of summer break, you’ll likely be hearing, “I’m bored.”
So how can parents make outside play fresh and exciting without spending much money or constantly feeling like they need to entertain their kids? I’ve got a few tips to make outdoor play fresh and fun!
1. Take indoor toys outside. Simple no? Pack all the building blocks in a large plastic bin and set them in the driveway to play. Or, take the cars, animals, and people figurines to the backyard. The change of scenery will spark your child’s creativity and imagination because of the novelty of playing with an indoor toy outside.
2. Create a “Laser Maze.” This task takes some serious prep time. But once it’s up, it can provide endless fun for preschoolers and elementary kids.
Use string and trees, posts, or any heavy outdoor furniture you’ll not need in the immediate future, and you can create a laser maze for the kids to navigate. This activity is great if you have future spies on ninjas in your house.
If you want something less permanent and more colorful, check out this fun idea from KREAZONA using party streamers!
3. Make a giant sensory tub. Yes, sandboxes are fun and always a great sensory experience. But shake things up by making a giant sensory bin with something other than sand.
My favorite is water beads, but rice or dried corn are two other awesome alternatives! Toss in some exploration toys, and your kids will likely entertain themselves for quite some time!
A plastic kiddie pool is a perfect size – just cover it so animals don’t get in at night!
4. Create a camp in your backyard. I did this one summer when my boys were 10 and 7, and they loved it! We pitched a tent together and stocked them with snacks, flashlights, walkie-talkies, and a sprinkler for water play on one end of the yard and sent them out to enjoy on nice days!
Extend the camp theme by building a fire one night and making smores, telling ghost stories at night, or playing flashlight hide and seek!
5. Make an outdoor art studio. If you have a child who loves art, spring, and summer is the perfect time to take it outdoors! Set up an easel and use a large plastic bin to store all their art supplies and to keep them safe from the elements.
Let nature inspire their art without worrying about cleaning up the mess! You can also use a make-up storage case or tackle box to store supplies and make them easy to transport.