Even when we’re not in quarantine, we’re always looking for new outdoor activities to do with Brexton to keep him entertained and constantly learning. Now add in a stay-at-home order, and we’re absolutely looking for additional activities to do with Brex since we have PLENTY more free time.
Luckily, the web is chock full of unique and interesting outdoor children’s activities that will not only keep your child learning and exploring but also helps keep them busy so they’re not a) getting into trouble and b) glued to their devices. I find it super important to limit the amount of time Brexton spends with technology because I want him to learn about other things like art, science, and math.
Another great reason to get your child into some of these fun outdoor activities is that it’s a fun way for them to learn. In my experience homeschooling Brexton, you absolutely want your child to be entertained while learning as it will help them remember the things that they’re learning because they can connect it with them having fun and being happy at that moment. With this, they won’t necessarily feel like it’s a learning activity. Trust me, it’s easy for kids to get bored or fed up with their at-home learning if you’re not making it interesting.
Brexton and I have tried out some of the fun outdoor activities below, and to say he loved them was an understatement. With these activities, he was able to play around with art supplies, letters, numbers, elements of science, things in nature, colors, and plenty more. In the comments below, let me know what YOUR favorite outdoor activity is to do with your kid/s!
For this activity, you’ll need a heavy-weight paper like cardstock or a painting pad, liquid watercolor paint, a dropper to drop the paint into the straw, and some drinking straws, of course. It’s truly one of the simplest activities, but we definitely do love doing this outdoors since things can get messy (well, I guess what can’t get messy when a kid’s involved, ha!).
Cut your straws in half and make sure to poke a hole halfway up the straw with a pin so your child doesn’t accidentally suck IN the paint. Use your dropper to grab your paint, and then drop it into the straw. Then comes the fun part! Have your child blow into the straw onto the paper and see what cool designs they can make!
Outdoor Name Art
With just a couple of tools (that you probably already have at home), this art activity can be seriously time-consuming and major fun for your child. You’ll need paint (any kind that you have at home is probably fine, just make sure it’s washable just in case!), Kraft paper (the large rolls are a great investment!), tape (a heavier tape like painter’s tape or duct tape are best), a muffin tin (or small bowls), paintbrushes, and a Sharpie.
Roll out your paper depending on the length of your child’s name (Brexton takes a bit longer of a paper than, say, Jack, for example). Cut the paper and write your child’s name in large bubble letters (bonus points for them if they can do this on their own!). Use your tape to secure the painting to something like a fence, the side of your house, a deck, etc. Pour your paint colors into the muffin tin (or small bowl), hand your child a few paintbrushes, and let them go at it trying their best to keep their paint in the lines.
Outdoor Color Scavenger Hunt
This project takes the least effort from mom or dad out of all the activities, and it totally involves the most exploring. With only a white paper lunch bag and some markers, you can have fun exploring the area or just your yard in this outdoor color scavenger hunt.
On your white paper lunch bag, choose the colors you want your child to search for and use your markers to make a colored-in box so they know that’s one of the colors they have to find an item to match. Do this with as many colors as you can fit on your bag (likely about 9-12). Give your child the bag and search around outside with them while they try to find items to match the colors that you scribbled onto the bag (for example, they may pick up a grey rock to match the grey marker you drew on). After they’ve matched the item to the color, they can toss it in the bag and continue on. Once they’ve finished all the colors, you can head back into the house and discuss what you two found together.
DIY Rainbow Soap Foam
While this activity can also totally be done in your home, I like to do it outdoors to avoid a giant mess. What you’ll need is about 2 tbsp. of dish soap, 1/4 cup of water, a mixer, and some food coloring. Ina. bowl, you can begin to mix the small measurement of dish soap and 1/4 cup of water together. Once they’re mixed together, add in your food coloring (or liquid watercolors to avoid any possible staining if you’re doing this indoors).
Mix this mixture for about 1-2 minutes on the highest setting possible and then scoop your mixture out of the container and keep going as much as you’d want to until you have a solid amount. You can scoop this into a large bucket or container. You can take the mixtures straight out into the grass so that they can have fun playing with the mixture or even keep it indoors in a sink or an empty bathtub.
Human Sundial Shadow Science Experiment
Not only is this activity super fun and a great learning experience, it’s almost mind-blowing for kids to learn how the sun moves. You’ll want to choose a spot on the concrete that is completely open with no shadows or trees that will block the sunlight throughout the day. You’ll also need some sidewalk chalk.
Using the chalk, place an “x” on the ground where your child will consider their “starting place”. Starting in the morning, you’ll want to have your kid stand on the “x” and you can trace their shadow that shows up on the ground with the chalk (if you have more than one child, you can have them draw each other’s shadows to get a little art practice in there too). After you’re done, set an alarm for two hours from then, and when the alarm goes off, head back outside and repeat the process. With the sun moving, the shadow will also move, of course. Continue this until the sun is going down, and then you’ll be able to sit down with your child to explain how and why it happened.