Summertime is the perfect time to get outside and have some fun with your kids! There are so many different backyard games that you can play to keep them entertained. Here are a few of our favorite backyard activities for kids.
Backyard Activities for Younger Kids
Summertime means fun in the sun. However, most parents know the summer means hearing something along the lines of, “I’m bored!”. So what can parents do to keep their kids entertained for those summer days at home? We’ve got some creative ways to get your kiddos involved in some physical activity. These easy outdoor activities will keep your little ones occupied for hours on end!
Backyard Activities for Kids – Outdoor Water Fun
One of the most classic backyard activities is a water balloon fight. This is perfect for a hot day, and it’s always a lot of fun. You can either have each person stand in their own designated area, or you can have everyone gather in one spot to drench each other. All you need are water balloons and water. Make sure your kids are wearing something you don’t mind getting wet in and have plenty of towels on hand. Keep in mind, the play area for water balloon fights is best if the ground is clear and grassy.
Another fun activity with water balloons is a water balloon pinata. Water balloon piñata’s are perfect for a birthday party or any other celebration. You can make your own water balloon pinata or you can buy one online. Fill it with water balloons and hang it from a tree. Then, take turns trying to break open the pinata. The person who breaks it open will get wet, but everyone else will also get soaked in the fun. Kids will have a great time racing to grab any unbroken balloons on the ground to throw at each other. It’s the perfect way to cool off during warm weather.
Younger kids might enjoy playing with a water table. A water table can keep kids entertained for hours on end. You can buy a water table or make your own. All you need is a plastic bin, some PVC pipe, and a few plastic containers. Cut the PVC pipe to fit inside the bin and drill holes in the containers. Then, fill the bin with water and place the containers in it. Kids will love playing with the different shaped containers and watching the water flow through the pipes. This is one of the outdoor games you would need to supervise closely, since even a small amount of standing water can be unsafe for small children.
If you have a fence in your backyard you can create a water wall. Just drill holes in the bottom of a few plastic containers –or use a small laundry basket– and fill with water. Then, place the containers against the fence and let the kids play! You can also make one with peg boards from your local hardware store. This one is perfect for young kids because it will keep them entertained for hours.
Backyard Activities for Kids – Backyard Camping
Camping in your backyard is a fun way to spend a summer day. Set up a tent, roast some marshmallows, and tell stories around the campfire. I love this one because it sparks imaginative play. Go on a bear hunt, sing campfire songs, and pretend to go on a hike to a far-off place in the woods. What will you see on your way?
Backyard Activities for Kids – Making Mud Pies
This may not seem like the most exciting backyard activity, but trust us, kids love making mud pies! All you need is some soil, water, and a few containers to put the mud in. This is a great activity for a hot summer day when you want to be outside. Just put on some old clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty and when they are done they can run through the sprinkler to help wash off some of that mud.
Backyard Activities for Kids – Solar Magnification
Kids love this activity – grab a magnifying glass, some cheese, some chocolate and try this activity.
Backyard Activities for Kids – Bubble Fun – Unpoppable Bubbles
A fun way to get your toddlers moving and active are giant bubbles. All you need is some bubble solution and a few bubble wands. Have the kids run around trying to catch as many bubbles as they can. If you dislike blowing bubbles yourself there are plenty of fun bubble machines as well as bubble gadgets you can purchase.
Backyard Activities for Older Kids
It can be tough finding things for older kids to do that are fun and challenging. Not to mention, outdoor activities are a great way for them to get some exercise. Here are some ideas for fun outdoor activities for your older kids. Keep in mind that the difficulty of these activities can be adjusted to fit your child’s age and abilities. So, get outside and have some fun!
Backyard Activities for Kids – UV Beads
Everyone will enjoy UV color changing beads. With string or chenille sticks, make necklaces or bracelets, or a really long string of beads. What happens when it’s sunny, cloudy? Place the beads under leaves, under a piece of white paper, under a piece of dark paper.
Backyard Obstacle Course
This is another classic backyard activity that kids love. You can make a course with items like a picnic table, chairs, trees, hula hoop, and even a trampoline. You can set up different obstacles for your kids to go through, or you can have them race each other. This is a great way to get them moving and active.
For younger kids, you can make an outdoor obstacle course by drawing on the sidewalk with chalk. Sidewalk chalk courses have recently become popular. A few ideas you can use are:
- Walk on a bridge
- Spin in a circle
- Walk along all the letters in the alphabet
- Jump the “stepping stones”
- Stomp in the small footprint- shaped like a Dino or animal
- Pretend to walk a tight-rope
- Walk like a crab (This video on YouTube demonstrates the crab walk.)
Use your imagination and draw your own sidewalk guide! Be sure to switch up colors of chalk to make it extra fun. This is a great outdoor activity in the front yard on the sidewalk or driveway. It is a wonderful way to get the kids out for some active play. Hopscotch is a classic game, so even families taking a walk may enjoy it! You can also use sidewalk chalk paint for this project.
Backyard Activities for Kids – Make a Rain Gauge
Our rain gauge design is super-easy, and we have included a rainfall chart. Check out the instructions here with some activity ideas listed with the rainfall chart.
Backyard Activities for Kids – Set Up a Pollinator Area
One of our favorite backyard activities for kids and families is to maintain a pollinator garden to attract butterflies and other pollinators. It is so easy! Things you can do:
- Grow dill to attract swallowtail butterflies who will lay eggs. Swallowtail caterpillars love to feed on dill.
- Create a water bath by putting some rocks in a flower pot dish and keeping it filled. The pollinators will rest on the little rocks and drink the water on hot summer days.
- Grow milkweed that is native to your area. It’s important it is native milkweed to help reduce the risk of parasites. The Chicago Botanic garden has good information on which varieties to plant.
- Put up or create a pollinator house. The tubes should be at least 7-12 inches deep. The Audubon Society has instructions on building a pollinator house.
- Keep a nature journal of what you see and the progress of flowers planted.
Paint Rocks to Add Color to Your Yard
Painting is a favorite activity in our house. We’ve done paint pouring, have painted birdhouses, painted bookmarks for gifts, and one of our favorite is to paint rocks.
All you need to make painting part of the backyard activities for kids your family enjoys this summer is some smooth river rock from a home improvement garden center, craft paint, and paint brushes.
Purple, red, and yellow help attract pollinators. Place them around your yard and near a source of water to keep the pollinators coming back for more cool water and nectar.
Add some Bible verses as a reminders of His goodness and beauty wherever we are! (That’s one of our pollinator water dishes.
This is a backyard activity that can be tailored to any age group. You can make a list of things for your kids to find in the backyard, or you can give them a list of items they need to bring back from outside. You could make them a bingo card with different photos on them to mark off and find.This is a great way to get them exploring and using their imaginations.
Click the image below to get our nature scavenger hunt printable…and enjoy a family day in the backyard, in the park, or taking walk around your neighborhood.
Make Art from Nature and Make a Nature Journal
Even if you have a small backyard there are plenty of fun things for older kids to do. Why not make some art from nature? Make a pine cone bird feeder or a fun fairy garden with things you can find in your own backyard.
Collecting items on a list or Bingo card is great for a sensory play idea, if you have smaller kids that want to explore. Going to the park near a nature area with trees and vegetation is ideal for this idea. Keep close supervision again, to keep smaller children safe in wide outdoor space areas.
Take a walk around your backyard and journal what s found–from moss to flowers to feathers and more! All you need is a notebook, preferably with heavy paper. This is one of the tablets we use. Don’t forget the colored pencils. We like these.