Five SUPER Easy Outdoor Kids Activities!

Five SUPER Easy Outdoor Kids Activities!

Five SUPER Easy Outdoor Kids Activities!

School's pretty much done here, and really, hasn't it been done since March kind of?

My husband and I are going to be mostly camp-less, and daycare-less this summer, so we're basically both on work and child-care shifts.

I wish when I was with my kids, I could just focus on them, but it's just not realistic. Work comes in and sometimes it's urgent. I'll shout-out how completely unsustainable this is for any working parent, and I'm honestly still processing how I feel about it all, while trying to keep the house and children vaguely under control, while building two businesses. This summer's going to be tough, but we'll get through it. 

Anyway - these are five of our go-to outside activities, that both my kids (one nearly 3, and one 5) will get into for at least 30-40 minutes WITH NO adult intervention. The combination of common activities is what makes these work for my kids.

It gives the kids a more uncommon perspective with familiar play and objects, with enough of a prompt and focus to get more invested in the activity. 

Sprinkler + Umbrella = RAINSTORM

Effort level = Low
Mess level = Low

We do not have a fancy, kid-type sprinkler, the one we use on our veggie garden is the one the kids play with. On it's own the sprinkler is considered acceptable, but with the addition of the umbrella, this gets a lot more interesting. They stand behind the umbrella and charge the sprinkler, or sit underneath and let the "rain" fall around them. The noise of the water on the umbrella, the feeling of pressure from the water as they move closer to the sprinkler, as well as working together to hide behind the umbrella, all combine to make this a winner.

Sand + Takeaway Containers = BAKERY DELIVERY

Effort level = Low
Mess level = Medium

I can try to send my kids out to the sandbox, but usually they're back in about 5 minutes looking for something else to do. We always have bunch of those black plastic takeaway containers, or even old cracker tupperware. I tell them I need a bunch of pies and cakes, decorated, and delivered. They use leaves and other bits and pieces they collect to decorate, and then they deliver to all the "houses" in our backyard.

Again, the focus on completing something keeps them there longer, and with a little maintenance from myself and my husband, you can get re-up the time pretty easily. I just have to turn up, buy a couple of things with some leaves (or other unit of currency) and then order more. Also, after this, I frequently chuck them in the bath after this, which can also usually buy  a little more time.

Craft Stuff + Cardboard Box = KID CAR/STUFFY CAR

Effort level = Medium
Mess level = Depends on you

You could do this inside, but my personal preference is outside. This one can be as messy, or un-messy as you want. If it's a big box, it's a car for them. If it's a small box, it's a car for their stuffies and/or dolls.

Tape and stickers and markers work, or add paint if you think it's worth it. Sometimes I think it is, sometimes I don't. The paint means they can't play with it as quickly as they might want to.

I usually cut a door in the box so they can flap it around, and if I get fancy, there might be a windscreen.

Paint + Sticks and Rocks = MAGIC STONES AND WANDS

Effort level = Medium
Mess level = High

I personally find painting on it's own to be kind of pain with my kids. The littlest one always mixes up the colours, and then the bigger one gets pissed off because all the paint is purpley-brown colour.  With stones and sticks though, there's more a team effort and sense of camaraderie to get the magical objects created and all magic-y.

I set the paint up while they go find all the sticks and stones they'll need. Then I can pretty much leave them to it. They hide the rocks, run around with the wands, and generally just get into some good magic-y fantasy world stuff. Definitely a messy one though. Bonus points for combining this one with the sprinkler!

Weeds + Pots = FLOWER SHOP

Effort level = Low
Mess level = Medium

We JUST came up with this one yesterday. If you have a more "natural" yard, even better, maybe they'll get rid of some of the weeds you don't want. We always have a lot of little pots around, some nicer looking than others, but my kids couldn't care less. They both really like "shop" type games, which is why the bakery game also works well.

We have a lot of evergreens, and little baby evergreen growing. It's up to you what you let them go after. We got a lot out of this yesterday, and I have a little cedar planter that I bought for 10 leaves. Total bargain!

That's it! Good luck out there, fam. It's going be a loooonng summer!

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