7 Creative Ways to Take Your Kids' Favorite Activities Outside

Wendy Robinson | Aug 12, 2015 Big Kid

Kids outsideSummer is a time of fresh air, lightning bugs, and getting the kids out of the darn house! Maybe it's because I live in Minnesota, where we only get so many warm days per year, but I am pretty adamant about my two kids (3 and 7) having outdoor time every day during the summer.

Sometimes, however, they claim to be "so bored" with all their usual outdoor toys and games. So I've devised a list of indoor activities that they can do outside when they need some fresh ideas. Read on for my ideas and don't hesitate to share any brilliant "inside out" ideas you have! We still have some more fabulous weather in store, right?

Image © Christopher Futcher/iStock

  • Outdoor Art


    © IuriiSokolov/iStock.com

    My 3-year-old loves to paint. I love my carpet staying beige. Putting her outside with her paints makes both of us happy! She can get a little messier than usual, and watching her paint often inspires my craft-resistant 7-year-old to join her for at least one or two paintings.

  • Reading Time


    © Linda Kloosterhof/iStock.com

    It can be a struggle sometimes to get my son to sit still long enough to practice his reading. My latest solution is to set a blanket outside, and supply him with a big glass of lemonade and a bowl of frozen grapes, and his new graphic novel. For whatever reason, his daily reading time seems to fly by faster for him once we add snacks and fresh air to his reading equation.

  • DIY Music Videos


    © Omelchenko/iStock.com

    Full disclosure: I totally stole this idea from a friend of mine, whose daughters love to sing and dance. When they're looking for something fun to do outside, she sets them up with her mini video camera and lets them hit "record" and make their own music videos. This often involves hilarious choreography involving bikes and backyard toys which delights those of us who eventually get to see these gems on social media.

    More from CafeMom: 20 Fun Outdoor Activities That Don't Cost a Cent

  • Fun With Blocks


    © Lizalica/iStock.com

    My kids love to build gigantic block structures, which is why creating a bag of blocks to use outside was an awesome idea. I gave them some large and waterproof blocks and they create whole towns, complete with a downtown filled with tall towers.

    The towns last until the inevitable flash flood, supplied by the garden hose, which both destroys the town and waters my garden. Win-win!

  • Checkmate!


    © og-vision/iStock.com

    Who says board games are just for inside? Just avoid games with lots of small pieces or cards that can get blown away in the wind, and your kids can have hours of fun. I suggest providing frozen snacks, a blanket, and a nice umbrella to keep the fun cool.

  • Science Discoveries


    © arkanex/iStock.com

    The best part of being outside is all of the discoveries a kid armed with a magnifying glass and a bug catcher might make. My kids love animal shows on television, so sending them outside to try to document finding five different kinds of bugs or three different places animals might live is both fun and educational -- who knew there were so many bugs in my garden?

  • Baby Love


    © prudkov/iStock.com

    My daughter loves her stuffed animals. She babies them in the house, putting them down for naps or in time-out when they misbehave (that stuffed panda is a frequent offender).

    Recently I've encouraged her to start taking some of her dolls outside. She takes them on hikes around the yard, and she lets them swim in her little pool and build sand castles with her in the sandbox. As long as she sticks to dolls that can survive a hose-down afterwards, it gives her a fun way to bring her role playing outside.

    More from CafeMom: 50 Awesome Summer Activities for Bored Kids

activities books & media kid activities

More Slideshows